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Clarity sought for internet site blocking powers

24 April 2019

There are possible legal arguments under the Copyright Act 1994 and the courts’ inherent jurisdiction that a New Zealand copyright owner can seek an internet site blocking injunction where an ISP is being put on notice that its services are being used to illegally upload/download or stream copyright infringing content, the Law Society has said.

In comments on MBIE’s issues paper on Review of the Copyright Act 1994, the Law Society says there have been no cases in New Zealand yet to test the arguments.

It notes that many other countries have implemented statutory provisions under which site blocking injunctions can be sought against ISPs either through the courts or through administrative bodies. This includes 16 European countries, 10 in Asia Pacific – including Australia – and five in South America.

The Law Society says there is now an opportunity to deal with the matter by legislation in the new or updated Copyright Act.

It says there should be active consideration of a statutory provision to allow the implementation of site blocking injunctions in New Zealand.

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Last updated on the 29th April 2019