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Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
1 mins to read

89% oppose 'guilty until proven innocent' file sharing law


Almost 90% (89%) opposed the 'guilty until proven innocent' aspect of the new Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill passed this month, according to a HorizonPoll.

Alex Walls
Tue, 26 Apr 2011

A HorizonPoll of 1922 people nationwide has found 89% opposed having to prove innocence if accused of breaching copyright while sharing files, and thought authorities should have to prove a person has illegally transferred files before disconnection from the internet occurs.

Disconnection can only occur under a cabinet-level order but a maximum fine of $15,000 is also possible.  The poll, conducted between April 15 and 22, showed 37.1% support the law to stop copyright breaches through file sharing while 38.3% oppose it.  32.2% support the power to disconnect a user, with 45% opposing and 19.3% neutral.  3.2% did not know.

In response to a question of whether authorities should have to prove a person has illegally transferred files before they are disconnected, 89.4% said disconnection should occur only after the offence was proven, and only 1.6% supported disconnection without proof.

The survey also showed that 18.3% said they had downloaded files that could have been covered by copyright but did not pay for them, 54.5% said they had not and and 27.3% said they did not know.

Of the 18.3%, 17.9% said they would download less, while 68.4% said the law would not make a difference, or there were ways around such controls.

The survey is weighted by age, gender, ethnicity, employment status, region and party vote 2008.

Rights owners argue that the legislation will help deter copyright infringement and will protect New Zealand’s creative industries. 

These industries provide 22,000 jobs and contribute more than $2.5 billion to the country’s economy, New Zealand Film Commission chief executive Graeme Mason said in a New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT) release.

Alex Walls
Tue, 26 Apr 2011
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89% oppose 'guilty until proven innocent' file sharing law
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