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New Zealand Releases Revamped Three Strikes Proposal

The New Zealand government has released a revamped three strikes proposal that incorporates full court hearings and the possibility of financial penalties. A prior proposal, which would have resulted in subscriber access being terminated without court oversight, was dropped earlier this year following public protest. The new proposal is essentially a notice-and-notice system where ISPs would be required to pass along alleged infringement notices to the subscriber. After the third notice, the rights holder could seek up to $15,000 at the Copyright Tribunal for damages sustained. If the infringements continue, the rights holder could go to court to seek suspension of the subscriber account for up to six months.

The NZ government proposes to amend its copyright law to give courts the power to suspend accounts, taking into account any relevant circumstances including multiple users of a shared account, effect on business, and vulnerable account holders. The NZ Cabinet paper also notes that the government is currently negotiating ACTA and free trade agreements that could require legislative reform.

By Michael Geist, Chair of Internet and E-commerce Law

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