31 Aug 2011
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Labour promises to reform copyright law

With the controversial Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill due to pass into law tomorrow, Labour has jumped behind opposition to the bill, saying if elected it will undertake a comprehensive review of the Copyright Act.

Clare Curran, Labour’s ICT spokesperson, says Labour will remove the ‘termination clauses’ from the Act within 90 days, then begin a review with the goal of introducing a new bill within 18 months.

Curran says the termination clauses give the District Court the power to impose account suspension as a punishment for illegal file sharing, a punishment which is ‘unsustainable’.

"Labour voted for the bill in April because we stuck by a commitment to work with the government to enable IPSs and rights holders to reach a compromise on copyright law,” Curran says.

"Labour remains committed to protecting the rights of the creators of works. This is a debate about shifting power, access to information, out-dated business models and the immense potential of the internet to change our world.”

Curran says no government in the world knows how to tackle online copyright infringement yet, but Labour is committed to finding solutions.

"Labour will review the whole Act with a view to encouraging new business models to emerge which will distribute digital content easily and affordably.”

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