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Three-strikes still on agenda in New Zealand, though strike three has been postponed for two years

By | Published on Thursday 4 November 2010

New Zealand’s attempts to introduce a three-strikes system continue, though with a new set back for those who advocate the launch of such an anti-piracy procedure in the country.

As previously reported, New Zealand actually initially put three-strikes on the statute book before France and the UK, but with very little consideration as to how it might work. Politicians, content owners and ISPs have since been reviewing the whole thing.

Now the country’s Parliament Commerce Committee has reported back on a new bit of proposed legislation called the Copyright Infringing File Sharing Bill which aims to set out the process for a working three-strikes system. Following the report, the bill will now go back to parliament for a second reading.

According to TorrentFreak, the Commerce Committee report suggests launching the warning letter part of the three-strikes system now, but waiting to see what impact that has on file-sharing levels in the country before properly instigating any net disconnection process.

Obviously in three-strikes losing internet access is the threat that sits behind warning letters urging illegal file-sharers to stop accessing content from unlicensed sources. But, under the new proposals, it could be two years before the more draconian part of three-strikes starts in New Zealand.

The report’s conclusion to hold off on net disconnections was welcomed by trade body InternetNZ, whose CEO Vikram Kumar told reporters: “I am pleased that the Committee has recommended that account suspension not be introduced now. We would have preferred no remedy of account suspension being included in the legislation. The decision to leave it in but not commence its application is a second best option, but is far better than the current law, and better than the initial draft”.