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Simon Power

23 March, 2009

Government to amend Section 92A

Cabinet today decided that section 92A of the Copyright Act 1994 will not come into force on 27 March as scheduled, but will be amended to address areas of concern, Commerce Minister Simon Power said today.


Section 92A requires internet service providers (ISPs) to have a policy to terminate the internet account of repeat copyright infringers in appropriate circumstances. 


"This legislation was put in place to combat unlawful file-sharing which facilitates copyright infringement on a large scale. Section 92A traverses an important issue in an emerging area of copyright law reform both in New Zealand and internationally," Mr Power said.


"This behaviour is very costly to New Zealand's creative industries and needs to be addressed."


Mr Power acknowledged efforts by ISPs and rights holders to negotiate an effective policy for the section's implementation.


"Allowing section 92A to come into force in its current format would not be appropriate given the level of uncertainty around its operation.


"These discussions have exposed some aspects of section 92A which require further consideration," Mr Power said. 


"While the government remains intent on tackling this problem, the legislation itself needs to be re-examined and reworked to address concerns held by stakeholders and the government.


"The government will begin a review to amend the section immediately to address areas of concern.


"I am confident that amendments to section 92A, which builds on the work of ISPs and rights-holders to date, will lead to a more workable piece of legislation," Mr Power said.

  • Simon Power
  • Commerce