According to news released today by torrentfreak.com, New Zealand looks set to pass the controversial Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill for its second reading in just a few hours. The Bill originally passed its first reading in April 2010. Most surprisingly, a green party MP, Gareth Hughes was unaware of the bill even being raised today. This legilation is being rushed through in a similar fashion to the UK digital econmy act and has many people in protest on various social networks.

According to the 3 strikes rule, when copyright holders first detect online copyright infringement, they must send a warning notice to the responsible ISP. This notice must then be forwarded on to the subscriber responsible for the infringement. If infringement continues, the copyright holders may then forward a ‘cease and desist’ notice to the ISP. All the while, the copyright holders do not know the identity of the infringer. The subscriber is given an opportunity to contest, and the ISP is given the authority to make judgment on whether they have merit.

If infringement then continues after the ‘cease and desist’, the copyright holders can then request personal identifying information for the subscriber in question from the new Copyright Tribunal. (taking the place of filing an infringement lawsuit and requesting a subpoena from court.) The copyright holder at the stage can contact alleged infringers directly, informing them that an allegation of ‘repeat copyright infringement’ has been filed with the Copyright Tribunal. The accused subscriber can then request mediation if he/she wishes, otherwise the Tribunal will rule and can disconnect the user from the Internet or enforce a fine up to a maximum of $15,000 (NZD).

Click here for the relevant part of the bill about to be passed.

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Tags: Privacy

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