New Zealand's 3-strikes rule can go into effect in September

This week, New Zealand's Parliament rushed in its controversial 3-strikes Internet disconnection law, using emergency procedures invoked to help victims of the Christchurch earthquake for cover. The law allows whole families to be disconnected from the Internet if someone using their Internet connection is accused -- without proof -- of three acts of copyright infringement. The NZ government and press say that this draconian law only goes into effect if infringement doesn't decline over the next two years. But the reality is that 3-strikes can go into effect as early as September, based on consultation solely with rightsholders, with no need for public consultation.

Juha sez, "Disconnections under the new copyright law in New Zealand can in fact be activated any time after September 1 when the Act comes into force. This would happen if the notice-and-notice regime where rights holders can take infringers to the Copyright Tribunal is deemed not to be working. IP lawyers I've talked to expect the regime to fail due to the sheer volume of notices and cases, as per overseas experience. The Copyright Tribunal will be staffed by five IP lawyers. At this stage, we don't know if the government will allow public consultation and submissions, should it decide to activate the Internet Termination Penalty in the new law. It's not mentioned in the new Copyright Act. The review after two years is to see if mobile data connections should be subject to the new copyright act as well."

The majority of us recommend the new section 122PA, which would effect what we believe a workable compromise on this issue. The bill's provisions allowing for Internet suspension would be retained, with modifications, but would not be brought into effect immediately. If evidence indicated that notices alone (and the remedy through the Copyright Tribunal) were not having the desired deterrent effect, the suspension provisions could be activated by Order in Council. The majority of us believe this approach would create the right incentives, with the remedy of suspension able to be brought into effect if needed. We would expect an appropriate timetable for monitoring and review to be developed in consultation with rights holders. We note that a similar approach was recently adopted in the United Kingdom.
Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill 119-2 (2010), Government Bill (Thanks, Juha!)


  1. Worrisome, but as long as Kiwi ISPs aren’t owned by the MAFIAA, there’s a conflict of interest that Kiwi politicians are going to have a problem with.

    Given the choice between propping up Hollywood, or allowing a local business to make a profit, no politician interested in re-election would condemn the locals.

    1. Hollywood can make a bigger contribution to the re-election campaign than the locals can.

  2. I think the perpetrators should go to prison for life after the third strike. :-) That works very well here in the US of A and it would help New Zealand fill it’s prisons just as nicely as ours.

    Cut off the entire family’s internet? Noooo, that’s silly, lock them all up instead!

  3. Should be fun to watch. This legislation will be nuked from orbit as soon as the families of a few members of parliament receive the inevitable three strikes.

    1. That’s the beauty (horror) of selective enforcement, especially as it is the industry doing the enforcement.

      They can be careful to only accuse people with no recourse.

  4. Best way to defeat this law is simple:

    Accuse every single household in New Zealand of 3 counts of infringement starting day one. There’s no consequence for doing so, and flooding the system will shine the needed light to shame their politicians for even trying this.

    It’s only if you let this creep in slowly that a law like this becomes a problem.

  5. And according to Torrentfreak, they’ve already unmasked as a pirate one MP who supported this.

    Still: it’s up to her to prove that she’s not a pirate. Isn’t that how this is supposed to work?

  6. I can’t help thiking about my reaction to these strategies of enforcement in the form of metaphors and analogies. Like this:

    “Keep forcing your grip on the soap. One day it’ll pop out of your control and it’ll hit you in the eye. You can feel it slide already.”

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but I think one of the few positive things about thrusting these silly laws into society is that more sensible pathways and counter-measures (not to mention more radical versions of them) become inevitable and justifiable contemplations in the future. I have no doubt that those fined would be the first in line to go through these contemplations and alternative proposals.

    It’s like Gadaffi attacking the rebels. The act of attacking them is the underlining and highlighting of the rebels’ case.

  7. They should have the “innocent until proven guilty” thing like we do here in America.
    What? Bradley Manning?

    Oh, never mind.

    1. Yes, the next thing you know they’ll be starting wars and engineering light settlements from bankers.

  8. Melissa Lee (Pro bill MP);

    We are taking this seriously;

    Only party to vote against (apart from a few independents);

    Footage of a MP talking about Skynet;

    Watching Parliament live stream as the debate was happening was like watching a comedy show.

  9. Call me extremely naive or a fantasist even but are we (as the “people” and not the plutocrats) looking at this fight the wrong way? Should we from a worldwide perspective, irrespective of the country we happen to have been born in/live in, be lobbying and petitioning unitedly for internet access, where available, to be made a Human Right by the UN? The world is evolving and changing and as always the neophiles are embracing the changes whilst the neophobes fight them (futile in the longer run surely? – second law of thermodynamics etc). Does this belittle the fight for the existing basic Human Rights that many worldwide lack? Surely it could be argued that as things stand and as society is evolving, being disconnected from internet access would infringe supposed Human Rights of freedom of speech and (on-line) assembly, preventing some families from communicating and cutting off an invaluable source of education and learning?
    Saturday morning ponderings.

    1. “Does this belittle the fight for the existing basic Human Rights that many worldwide lack?”

      Who cares, look at the Middle East right now, the internet has be instrumental in allowing anyone and everyone with a grudge against the government to get organised. I think getting the means to organise and secure their rights to people is worth a lot more than some old men in suits deciding on a list of rights they won’t bother getting to people.

  10. Perhaps Kiwis should force the issue. Everybody with an internet connection grab a couple of files. Everybody gets cut off, ISP’s suddenly have zero customers, and perhaps the New Zealand legislature is gently forced to get a clue.

  11. This opens some entertaining possibilities (more entertaining than the obvious end user shake-downs this will encourage) for economic attack vectors. The incentive for a foreign government to use this to stymie NZ businesses is huge (and requires none of the targeting that domestic businesses would need to deploy this against each other).

  12. please remove “no proof”. If you read other articles, it says that the copyright people get evidence that you are holding a copyrighted file and they can take that to your isp.

    Imagine if there was no proof. Its not how this country works mate!

    1. “Imagine if there was no proof.”

      You mean like the UK, where Ofcom abdicated their responsibility and just handed everything over to the media industry? >:(

      Where are we going, and why are we in this hand-basket?

  13. Coming from a country where sexual assault at airports (including fondling six year old kids) is accepted as perfectly fine by the majority of people, I wouldn’t hold much hope for New Zealand. Maybe I could be wrong though, maybe they have more common sense there.

    1. Note; Kiwiblog is a pretty bias blog. DPF is pro everything the Nats do. He even tried (although ultimately failed) to defend their blatant abuse of urgency since they have been in power.

      1. Yes, normally I can’t stand the guy, but in this case his interests seemed to align with forces of good (I found the post initially through Just avoid the comments section.

  14. Mixing unpalatable copyright BS with legislation to help the quake recovery is an excellent way to stop the flow of public good-will donations. Don’t these moron politicians understand cause and effect?

    it says that the copyright people get evidence that you are holding a copyrighted file and they can take that to your isp.
    @Anon #18:
    Even if they demand ‘proof’ there are still insane, disprovable claims made by rights holders:

    Some file sharing programs and firewalls purposefully list dummy IP addresses for the exact purpose of messing with copyright trolls. The copyright trolls pull up a torrent file and make a list of all IPs downloading/seeding the torrent. They contact the ISP to which the IP# belongs and say “this IP was d/ling this file at this time – here’s a screenshot”. That is all the ‘proof’ they need to get your contact info. A crappy, easily-forged screenshot which may well be filled with many IPs of completely innocent people.

    That’s why if you’re going to use P2P (on Win) you should most def get yourself peerblock:

  15. Dont they have a problem with keeping youth on the island down there?

    wouldnt this just scare more of them away to ‘the mainland’ australia?

    oh politicians…*

    *can be repeated for pretty much any country

  16. Ok now this has just toped the cake. if the media industry of late cannot expect that there world is falling down around them, then well…. so do we still buy music cds from the famous singers n rappers n bands for the hefty price of $30 plus. Just to have our precious cds scratched by no fault of our own, u want proof VHS is Ur proof. Vhs to cds to DVD to hddvd and so on. still scrachable and still every expensive (when it first comes out) so we the “young ones” think of a solution to the problem of stuffed disks and wahla “Movie.AVI” in a range of codex dvix xvid mpg mp4 and so on. The long arm of the media does not like this so along comes a 3 strike law oh the calamity. But in all their power they can’t stop what’s coming (hehe hehe). They know it’s the end of their sick perverted game. Where they steal a nation’s wealth and resources and demand public slavery to pay of an imagery debt. we the young ones will prevail, u want proof, the old get older and the young have to care for them hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm lets not pull the plug to early on this one lol


  17. If their music isn’t good enough, that the consumer would rather download it, than pay for it, as the consumer does not value it so highly, maybe the artist should consider working in another industry……

    Thoughts anybody?

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