NZ passes three strikes piracy law

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 Apr 2011

The New Zealand government has passed a controversial new law that could see repeated copyright violators disconnected from the internet.

The legislation, passed by 111 votes to 11, will make ISPs responsible for sending out warning notices to their users after receiving complaints from copyright holders, reported.

It will initially give the Copyright Tribunal the power to fine internet account holders up to NZ$15,000 ($11,895).

But if after two years piracy remains high, the government will be free to introduce tougher penalties including “three strikes” style rules that would see offenders' internet accounts suspended for six months.

The legislation sparked waves of protests on Twitter and on Facebook, with users complaining of not having a say in the rules and accusing politicians of putting corporate interests ahead of the public.

Critics have also accused the government of sneaking through the legislation by introducing it in a parliamentary session called to discuss Christchurch earthquake legislation.

The government was forced to scrap an earlier three strikes bill in 2009 after resistance from many of the nation's ISPs, as well as the public.

Governments including France and the UK have also passed three strikes laws and are currently implementing them.

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