TelstraClear exits NZ copyright talks

TelstraClear exits NZ copyright talks

Summary: TelstraClear has effectively killed plans for an industry code between New Zealand ISPs and copyright holders to sit under the controversial S92 copyright legislation amendment.

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TelstraClear has effectively killed plans for an industry code between New Zealand ISPs and copyright holders to sit under the controversial S92 copyright legislation amendment.

Anti-copyright protesters in Wellington
(Credit: Rory Purcell-Hewitt/ZDNet.com.au)

TelstraClear didn't believe that the code was going to help the legislation which had been passed "in the dead of night" by the former government without consultation from industry and has signalled its intentions to leave the working party formed to create the industry code, according to a spokesperson for the telco.

The amendment says that ISPs have to have a policy to terminate repeat copyright infringers' accounts. New Zealanders were concerned about exactly how it would be applied. There were widespread online and physical protests against the amendments.

Prime Minister John Key delayed the amendment until 27 March in the hopes that a voluntary code of practice might be worked out between ISPs and copyright holders, which would accompany the amendment to create certainty on how industry players would act.

But TelstraClear didn't believe the code was going to help. "The code that people were looking to make doesn't fix it," the company's spokesperson said.

For the code to be accepted, it needed unanimous agreement from the parties, meaning that TelstraClear's decision has effectively scuttled any hopes of it going ahead.

The government now needed to decide if it was going to let the law come into force without the industry code governing how it is to be applied, according to Ralph Chivers, CEO of the Telecommunications Carriers' Forum, which has been overseeing work on the code.

Work will continue on the fledgling code, Chivers said. TelstraClear's leaving means any code the rest of the working party comes up with will have no formal status, but some of the industry players will likely still implement policies based on its tenets.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Legal, Software Development, New Zealand

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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