NZ pushed to create copyright laws by US government

A few short weeks ago Neowin reported that the New Zealand government was attempting to sneak through new anti-piracy laws on the back of the Christchurch disaster which occurred in February. The government pushed the bill through overnight and the law was passed, coming into effect on September 1, 2011. 

Under the law -- dubbed "Section 92A" -- copyright holders can complain directly to ISP's about users "sharing files" and users would be punished accordingly. For the first few offenses, the user would receive a written warning to destroy the data, and explaining what would happen if they were caught again. After repeat offenses, a user will be blocked from any internet access for 6 months via a nationwide blacklist. If the user continues to break the law, a fine of up to $15,000 can be enforced.

The US wanted a piece of the action for this new law, and offered to help draft the controversial three-strikes legislation which was finally passed last month. The US approved of the law that was finally passed saying:

"This particular section of the copyright law deals with provisions to terminate repeat copyright infringers who use the internet to illegally download copyrighted material. The GNZ plan looks to be well thought out and with the assistance of a panel comprised of five of NZ's leading intellectual property experts, the redrafted provision looks positioned to avoid the earlier pitfalls and criticism of poor draftsmanship," 

Wikileaks cables also released yesterday reveal that the US government offered to pay more than $500,000 to fund a "recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative" when New Zealand was re-drafting its aging copyright laws. The US government also offered to draft the new copyright laws for New Zealand, TVNZ reports.

Apparently, in February 2008, Judith Tizard (Minister of Consumer Affairs) and Phil Goff (Minister of Trade) were handed a list of "shortfalls" of the new law by the US government, and were asked to submit these as the legislation was being drafted. These new copyright laws were passed in April 2008.

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