Oh, that’s right. Because John Key is Warners Bitch Boy.
A controversial copyright bill giving courts the power to disconnect internet pirates from the web has been watered down by MPs.
The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill aims to prevent the illegal download of files, such as music and films, and would have allowed district courts to suspend the internet accounts of repeat offenders for up to six months.
But a change to the bill by the commerce select committee means courts will not be able to disconnect infringers until the Commerce Minister regulates to give them that power.
The minister will do this only if other sanctions, such as warning notices and fines, fail to deter infringers.
Recording Industry Association chief executive Campbell Smith said it was disappointed the bill had been diluted.
Suspension was the ultimate sanction and deterrent, he said.
“It’s extremely inconvenient for people to lose access to the internet for a period of time.
“But we are pleased some action is being taken and that we will have a law that enables us to deal with this activity sooner rather than later.”
Vikram Kumar, chief executive of non-profit society InternetNZ, said it would prefer account suspension to be off the table completely, but the committee’s recommendation was the “second-best option”.
Opponents of suspension have argued it is a disproportionate punishment and education about illegal file sharing would be more effective in reducing infringing.
The committee said it believed the change was a “workable compromise”.
The bill requires internet service providers to identify which customers have allegedly infringed copyright, in response to complaints from copyright holders, and issue up to three infringement notices to alleged offenders.
The Copyright Tribunal will be able to hear complaints and award penalties to rights holders of up to $15,000.
A spokesman for Commerce Minister Simon Power said he was comfortable with the change.
“The committee obviously listened to the arguments and decided to give the educative and warning notices regime a chance. So he’s going to give it a bit of time to see what happens.”
The bill has been referred back to Parliament for its second reading.