On 28 February 2009, ‘Section 92′ of the Copyright Amendment Act will come into effect in New Zealand. The act states that any Internet user accused of sharing copyright works is automatically guilty, and the punishment is abrupt disconnection from the Internet.

From the act:

“An Internet service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer.”

Until now, file-sharing control has tried to implement the ‘3 strikes’ rule, where a gradual reaction to copyright infringement is enforced. This ‘graduated response’ involves formal warnings and limiting infringers connection speeds. So, cutting off Internet connections and websites based on nothing more than accusations is being considered, to put it lightly, too authoritative. Both ISPs and artists are resisting the legislation, pronouncing that Internet access is a basic human right.

Internet Service Provider TCF says it’s “a deeply flawed law that undermines fundamental rights and simply will not work.”

Many claim that, even worse, “the responsibility is open to malicious abuse by parties who wish to close-down websites or disrupt in some way another person’s business or enjoyment of the use of the Internet.” So, it’s feasible that a hacker could disconnect an entire school system or hospital from the Internet, simply by file-trading on their Internet connection.

One group that is fighting against the legislation is The Creative Freedom Foundation. They aim to “unite artists who are against the removal of New Zealander’s rights through proposed changes in Copyright law, done in the name of protecting creativity.”

Damn the man! Sign the petition on their web site now!

Source: Slashdot, Torrentfreak, Theyworkforyou