NZ ISPs and the Copyright Inquisition
Shortly the new Copyright reform bill will be passed into law in New Zealand bringing both welcome and unwelcome changes to how copyright is delt with.
The major concern is the rather abrupt wording of the legislation that deals with internet copyright infringment. The new system requires the ISP of an offending user to disconnect their account when they are presented with accusation from one of the copyright organisations in NZ. The ISPs have banded together and said that this is unworkable but the government - as usual - have no interest. No actual evidence of the infringment is required for this disconnection to be executed either (source).
Other news sources have posed the question of what exactly will happen to the internet market in New Zealand if this is enforced fully. In a country with almost no legal download services and TV that is at best six months out of date what will be the point of a high rate account if the only services on offer are email and youtube type content.(source)
On a positive note the new legislation also brings into effect legalisation of format shifting for CDs to other formats and finally allows for legal time shifting of TV content. Unfourtunatly this format shifting has not spread as far as video and the penalties for breaking DRM restrictions have been increased to $150k fine and/or 5 years inprisonment.(source)
Oddly though the enforcment of reigional encoding has been lifted so bypassing zoneing restrictions on a DVD is now legal. Certain people are also allowed to remove DRM for stuff like libraries and schools helpfully - i think - allowing places like schools and libraries to format shift their media to easier to catalogue and access/archive formats after the appropriate paperwork has been filled in to state that the format shift is being done without infringment in mind. (source)(source 2)
Given the restrictions in your respective countries what does everyone think of the 'reformed copyright' that we will have to abide by shortly in New Zealand?