27 Aug 2011

Protest against tightening of internet copyright law

3:45 pm on 27 August 2011

Protest rallies against legislative changes aimed at stopping illegal file-sharing by internet users have been held in the four main centres on Saturday.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act passed in April comes into effect on 1 September.

The new law says offenders could have their internet account suspended or be made to pay a fine to copyright holders.

Copyright holders can send evidence of alleged infringements to internet service providers, which then send out infringement notices.

Those opposing the law say it punishes the public, not the professional pirates.

The organiser of the Auckland protest, James Roberts, says there is overwhelming support for the act to be repealed.

One of about 50 protesters in Auckland, Hammond Pearce, says the new laws are over the top. "$15,000 for a single song seems to be extremely excessive to me," he says. "I'd like to see a law which maybe fined you twice what the CD was worth."

Small protests have also been held in Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.