Google on Section 92A of New Zealand’s Copyright Law

While commenting on New Zealand copyright law, Google makes some interesting facts known about the DMCA. According to an article in New Zealand PCWorld:

Google notes that more than half (57%) of the takedown notices it has received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, were sent by business targeting competitors and over one third (37%) of notices were not valid copyright claims.

These comments were made by Google at New Zealand’s Telecommunications Carriers Forum concerning that country’s copyright laws. The infamous Section 92A states that ISPs must cut internet service to people if a copyright violation has been asserted – not proven. A trial is not required, nor is proof, and no recourse is offered if the allegations prove false.

Google’s comments continue:

“Section 92A puts users’ procedural and fundamental rights at risk, by threatening to terminate users’ internet access based on mere allegations and reverse the burden of proof onto a user to establish there was no infringement.

“Section 92A undermines the incredible social and economic benefits of the open and universally accessible internet, by providing for a remedy of account termination or disconnection that is disproportionate to the harm of copyright infringement online.”

Considering the history of the US’s DMCA, and similar if not worse legislation in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, what is up with English-speaking countries and onerous, jackass copyright laws?

As much as the language’s greatest writer Shakespeare would have been an ardent supporter of artists getting paid for their labors (lost or otherwise), he would not have supported the crown’s draconian rule over the performances of his plays, nor their written forms, supposedly on his behalf. In fact, I suspect he’d satirize such over-reaching zealotry in the form of a twisted, copyright-mad monarch à la Richard II.

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