New Zealand gov't delays controversial new copyright law 2009-02-23 13:11:08   Print

    WELLINGTON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government announced on Monday that it will delay the introduction of a controversial new copyright law due to come into effect this week.

    New Zealand Prime Minister John Key told a press conference on Monday that the implementation date of the copyright law would be pushed back to March 27 to see if the sector can come up with a workable code of practice.

    "If one could not be agreed then the section in question would be suspended," he said.

    Last week, the New Zealand government was presented with a petition signed online by more than 10,000 people against Section 92A of the Copyright Act.

    The copyright act requires Internet Service Providers to disconnect users accused of illegally downloading copyrighted material.

    Protesters said Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act could force the closure of websites following any accusation of breach of copyright, even if it was not proven.

    An Internet blackout went ahead on Monday morning as the online community protested against the new copyright law.

    Thousands of sites, from political blogs to news sites joined the blackout.

    On Thursday about 200 people protested at the Parliament and presented an online petition signed by 10,000 people.

    The new law was passed by the then Labour government last year. The clause which has sparked protests was removed by a select committee but then restored by the minister responsible for the bill, Judith Tizard, when it returned to the House.

    In response to criticism, Commerce Minister Simon Power said last week a code of practice being developed by the Internet community would help implement the law.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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