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Shreyas
Shreyas • Apr 22, 2011

New Zealand Passes Bill Banning Peer To Peer File Sharing On Internet

It seems the cyber world needs to think over the ways it functions after various issues relating to file sharing on the internet coming up. In past we have seen conflicts between Google and the Chinese government on issues of cyber security. Netizens in China are already under strict laws governing file sharing on the internet. It seems that New Zealand is also going the same way. Recently, the New Zealand parliament passed The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill”. This bill aims to bring into a law which will ban peer to peer file sharing between online users. Come September 2011 and the netizens in the Land of Long White Cloud will have to be careful from where they download their favorite movies, songs and other stuff. The bill was strongly opposed by the citizens in the country using Twitter, Facebook and other social sites. Still the government did not heed to their demands and has passed the bill with a whooping majority. The law says that:

    [*]If a file sharer was found guilty on first two counts, he will be given a warning by the copyright tribunal.
    [*]If the crime is committed for the third time, the owner of the copyrightable material is eligible to file a case against the offender.
    [*]The court can suspend the person’s internet account.
    [*]The internet can be disabled up to 6 months.
    [*]Further, a fine of $15,000 NZ can be imposed.

[​IMG]

The majority of the people who voted against the bill call for more positive changes. If the bill is to be passed as a law, it surely needs amendments. The bill does not include the mobile network users up to 2013.The critics of the bill say that it is full of loopholes. What if in a house, there are multiple internet users and one of them breaches the law? Why should others suffer for the crime they have never committed? What if someone’s PC is zombied and the files are illegally shared by a hacker? Is there any system to prove that a particular person has committed the crime? The definition of “crime” is still not clearly spelled out. What if one shares only one file and other shares multiple numbers of files? Will the punishment for both be same?

The bill evokes the section 92A of Copyright Act and is surely generating debate.  The section primarily addressed the requirement of disconnection of users by their internet service providers for downloading pirated material on a regular basis. Twitter has its share of angry citizens at #Blackout whereas Facebook is generating heat through “Opposing the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill” group on its site.

According to Commerce Minister Simon Power, this move will help government a stronger Copyright tribunal and expand its area of operation. He says, “Online copyright infringement has been damaging for the creative industry, which has experienced significant declines in revenue as file sharing has become more prevalent. This legislation will discourage illegal file sharing and provide more effective measures to help our creative industries enforce their copyright."

How true his words are, only time will tell. Meanwhile there is a strong possibility that UK is going to come up with a law banning file sharing using virtual private network in coming months.

Source: BestVPNService | Image of Shaun the sheep: CineGeek

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