New Zealand's terrible copyright law suspended, may be dead

Street demonstrations, netwide campaigns, unfavorable press attention and sustained lobbying have moved the New Zealand government to temporarily suspend its new copyright law, which would have required ISPs to terminate their customers' net access on the basis of three unsubstantiated accusations of infringement.

It remains to be seen whether the law is truly dead, but this is an amazing development:

In a surprise announcement this afternoon, prime minister John Key says the government will delay the implementation of the controversial Section 92a of the amended copyright law.

Computerworld spoke to technologist Nat Torkington who attended Key's press conference this afternoon at 4pm.

Torkington says the government may suspend the controversial S92a until the 27 March if no agreement is reached between the parties on how to implement it.

John Key delays copyright law (Thanks, Hayden and everyone else who suggested this!)


  1. Yay! It saddens me that the liberal Labour government voted this law in we’re praying that the conservative National government will repeal it. Hopefully New Zealand’s Labour Party wakes up after this and realises what its own constituents want.

  2. This is what democracy looks like.

    Respect and admiration to all the people on the ground and in the ether who contributed to this victory. Celebrate!

  3. WOOT!

    That’s a tentative woot, but a proud woot nonetheless. Huge props to the CFF for getting stuff organized, and getting people motivated.

  4. Oh, I wouldn’t cheer just yet.

    There’s no force as unstoppable as a politician who’s decided to implement a bad idea.

  5. I’ve been thinking a lot about why governments are pressuring ISPs to act as police. I’m not a cultural anthropologist or even a social psychologist, but I think there is evidence to suggest that rapid cultural change combined with economic hardship, may drive people into a protectionist mode whereby police (or policing) is viewed as a good thing. Do we always seek more control in a chaotic world?

  6. Policing is a good thing. But it’s one of those good things that doesn’t get better the more you have of it. Like raspberries.

  7. So Nelson, Perhaps the issue is how much control is required in any system to imbibe it with a secure “feeling”. Perhaps legislators in many countries hear the heads of corporations say that more security is needed because sales are being lost, which translates into loss of tax money. So security is added by pushing on ISPs. Another example of this sort of relationship: look how many people are screaming mad over the lack of specific kinds of regulation and security in the financial sectors. Now the average person feels cheated (loss of market derived income), and they want the thieves to pay. So, maybe the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that there is going to be a certain level of theft/abuse in any system until the users of that system: A, become more honest, B, become highly scrutinized (watched), C, leave the system.

  8. The most recent report I heard of the relevant minister said that if there was not agreement on an enforcement code by the end of march it would have to be replaced with ‘something that works’.

    Anyhow, yes, thanks to everyone. The awesomely wide support was a help.

    (As, I imagine, was the keen support of a prominent NZ blogger with the ear of the government)

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