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    New Zealand Tribunal Issues First Graduated Response Decision

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    Wednesday January 30, 2013
    The New Zealand tribunal responsible for copyright graduated response cases has issued its first decision. The tribunal ordered an individual to pay $616.57, which included $6.57 for three songs, $50.00 for notice fees, $200 for the application fee, and a $360 deterrent fee ($120 per song). Most striking is that the New Zealand law forces the tribunal to statutorily presume infringement, despite an absence of evidence and denials by the individual.
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    Australian Music, Software Groups Back Away From Internet Termination

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    Monday June 06, 2011
    The Australian Content Industry Group, which includes the music industry's anti-piracy arm and the book, computer software and video game industries, has backed away from a call for a three strikes system leading to termination of Internet accounts. The group is still calling for "mitigation measures" but says loss of Internet access is not among them.
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    UN Report Says Internet Three Strikes Laws Violate International Law

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    Friday June 03, 2011
    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression has released an important new report that examines freedom of expression on the Internet.  The report is very critical of rules such as graduated response/three strikes, arguing that such laws may violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Canada became a member in 1976). Moreover, the report expresses concerns with notice-and-takedown systems, noting that it is subject to abuse by both governments and private actors.

    On the issue of graduated response, the report states:

    he is alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from Internet access if they violate intellectual property rights. This also includes legislation based on the concept of “graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as the so-called “three strikes-law” in France and the Digital Economy Act 2010 of the United Kingdom.

    Beyond the national level, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has been proposed as a multilateral agreement to establish international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. While the provisions to disconnect individuals from Internet access for violating the treaty have been removed from the final text of December 2010, the Special Rapporteur remains watchful about the treaty’s eventual implications for intermediary liability and the right to freedom of expression.

    In light of these concerns, the report argues that the Internet disconnection is a disproportionate response, violates international law and such measures should be repealed in countries that have adopted them:


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    UK Three Strikes Plan To Exempt Small ISPs

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    Wednesday May 19, 2010
    UK reports indicate that the rules for the UK's three strikes system will exempt all ISPs with under 400,000 subscribers.  While the move is described as creating "piracy havens" it is consistent with the regulatory assessment that identified the competitive impact on small ISPs of such a system and raised the possibility of exemption.  I discussed the issue in a column earlier this year on the significant cost of three strikes.
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