AUCKLAND, 14 April 2011
The Pirate Party of New Zealand is disappointed that the Government used urgency to pass the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill after the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Bill.
“Not only is the urgency process being abused,” party secretary Noel Zeng stated, “but our government is also exploiting the people of Christchurch by using their unfortunate situation to pass underhanded legislation.”
Under this “three strikes bill,” if anyone in a household is accused of three acts of illegal filesharing, they could be fined $15000 or, if fines are found to be ineffective, the entire household could lose their internet connection for 6 months. This bypasses due process, violates privacy, and provides the “Copyright Tribunal” with more discretionary powers. The initial draft of the bill widely criticised when it was debated in November and changes since then have failed to adequately address the concerns raised. The Pirate Party of New Zealand believes that internet access is a basic human right. The bill is unjust in violating the general principle of, “innocent until proven guilty.”
The Pirate Party is not the only group that opposes this bill, Tech Liberty, InternetNZ and the New Zealand Open Source Society are just some of the prominent organisations that have strongly criticised it. Major ISPs and Internet users have also voiced concerns.
The Pirate Party is pleased to note that the Green MP Gareth Hughes was vocal in his opposition to the bill during debate and should be commended.
About The Pirate Party of New Zealand
The Pirate Party of New Zealand is a political party which seeks to reduce the unfair monopolies perpetrated by the oppressive copyright and patent system in New Zealand. It is our aim to improve individual privacy and civil rights as they apply in the modern digital age. You can find out more about The Pirate Party of New Zealand at http://pirateparty.org.nz.