Saturday, March 21, 2009

ISPs under pressure to produce code
By GILES BROWN - The Press

The pressure is on to get a code drawn up in time for a new internet copyright law.
The Government delayed the enforcement of Section 92a of the Copyright Act until March 27 to give internet service providers (ISPs) time to draw up a code.
The section demands ISPs disconnect users who repeatedly breach copyright, but has been criticised for assuming guilt on accusation without a sufficient burden of proof, as well as putting too much pressure on ISPs to judge culpability.

Ralph Chivers, chief executive officer of the Telecommunications Carriers Forum, which is working with copyright holders and ISPs to produce the code, said hitting the deadline this month would be "pretty tight".
The TCF has drawn up a draft code, but Chivers said it would be hard-pressed to have it completed by the end of next week.
It still needed to change the draft based on input from rights holders, ISPs and over 40 submissions, then draw up a new document.
Chivers said if the code was not finalised by March 27 the Government may suspend the law and work out the details itself. Otherwise the law could go ahead with ISPs using the unfinished document as a basis.
"It may possibly be that, if we don't get the complete document by the 27th, there may be a further draft which people can use in the meantime if they so wish," he said.
A meeting between ISPs and rights holders will be held in Auckland today.

The TCF's work was dealt a blow this month when TelstraClear said it would not support the code because it said the law was unfair on its users.

The Government is under pressure from its ministers to repeal Section 92a.
ACT MP Rodney Hide has said he would recommend that it be withdrawn.
United Future's Peter Dunne has been an outspoken opponent.
Clare Curran, Labour IT and communications spokeswoman, said scrapping the law was not the way forward, but the Government should intervene to make it workable.
One of the biggest problems was the lack of an independent body to judge whether or not breaches had occurred.
"[The Government's] intervention could be around establishing a third party, whether it is the copyright tribunal or another body," she said.
"I don't know why they are taking this hands off approach.
"Do they want it to fail or are they burying their hands in the sand?" she said.
Curran is inviting talks at a meeting in Parliament on Tuesday.

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