APRA Endorses Strong Copyright message

Saturday 16 April 2011, 10:42AM

APRA, the organisation that represents the New Zealand’s music writing community, is encouraged by the government’s recent strong copyright message.

The much debated Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill was yesterday passed with broad support from all the major political parties across the political spectrum. It enacts a graduated response process where repeat infringers will receive warning notices from their ISP in response to evidence gathered by rights owners.

“We acknowledge all sides of this debate but there are basic principles that should not be ignored. The future is a digital one and whilst technology might change the way content is delivered it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to ignore the rights of those who make the content in the first place”, says APRA’s Director of NZ Operations, Anthony Healey.

Despite what has been reported widely in the media, APRA note that the possible penalties imposed include fines, not suspension of internet accounts. Only at some time in the future, if it is shown that the current process has not been effective and that the problem is widespread, will the range of remedies available to the Copyright Tribunal be extended to include account suspension.

“In today’s world connectivity is crucial, but this current attitude of entitlement in relation to illegal file sharing must change. We need this law to encourage the development of more legal digital services, to encourage ISPs to play a responsible role and to set the example that the creator’s rights are worthy of our respect. This is an important step in the right direction” says Healey.