New Zealand Government to scrap amendment section

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The New Zealand Government has scrapped a controversial clause in its amendment to the Copyright Act that covers the internet, after industry leaders have failed to make the clause work for them. The clause, Section 92a, would have made ISPs to disconnect the internet of anyone, or any website, accused of infringing copyright.

The clause, which has been labelled as a “guilt by association law”, was due to come into effect in February, but was pushed back by a month as new Prime Minister John Key told the industry to find a way to make the new law work with a new code of conduct.

However, talks broke down as TelstraClear pulled out of talks 2 weeks into the period, saying that they could not make the law work with them. Prime Minister Key agrees with the decision, saying it could not fix the fundamental flaws.

The amendment, apparently, was added because New Zealand wanted to sign a Free Trade Agreement with the United States; but the online copyright issues was one of the reasons why the United States didn’t want to sign.

The government has now tasked Commerce Minister Simon Power to write a new section to replace it.