FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

New Zealand’s changes to the Copyright Act has a number of controversial measures, namely section 92a which covers maintaining records of copyright infringers and cutting off repeat infringers in appropriate circumstances.

Many major companies have raised objections to this particular section with Google lodging a submission saying the section would undermine the social and economic benefits of the internet and TelstraClear saying they would not be involved in the industry body’s development of a code being developed to outline telco’s obligations under the act (as reporting in DomPost, 16 March 2009).

The changes are broad enough that it implies as a web and mailing list server provider we at FSpace Publications are obliged to maintain records of use and act on copyright infringement.

Such policing of the content posted by users is well beyond the resources of our firm to undertake. And undertaking investigations of infringements by rights holders is also beyond our resources.

The position being taken by FSpace Publications is that all participants are posting material to our services for the purposes of discussion, evaluation or under provisions of fair use under the conditions outlined elsewhere in the Copyright Act, or with the permission of rights holders in their published terms (aka GPL, creative commons etc), or with explicit permission from rights holders.

If we receive a legitimate complaint from a rights holder we will inform all named parties that a complaint has been raised. We hold the complainant liable for all costs to conduct any investigation or legal action required at a cost recovery basis set by us.

Because we are not in a position to pass legal judgement on claims of infringement, we will ask that parties involved in the dispute of infringement take the matter through appropriate legal channels, namely the New Zealand court and tribunal system as appropriate to the matter identified. FSpace Publications will comply with any New Zealand court order requesting disconnection order for an infringer.

Any complainant or rights holder seeking to circumvent due legal process in New Zealand by taking punative action against our server, services or content running on our server, utilities suppliers, domain name provider, blacklisting our IP address or other unlawful activity to restrict access to this server, services or content will be dealt with accordingly.

We encourage rights holders to be open to dialogue with us and allow the justice system in New Zealand to take care of any issues identified.

To all users of our services, we will continue to respect your privacy and your own intellectual property rights for material posted to our services. We do not intend to allow ‘unsubstantiated’ action to be taken against users, or their privacy to be violated at will without suitable legal proceedings being followed before that information is released.

It is unfortunate the former Labour government allowed such a dismal piece of legislation to be passed into law and left the burden of interpreting obligations under the Act to a messy interplay between rights holders and service providers.

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