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New Zealand’s Labor Party has come full circle, now stating its opposition to any plans that would disconnect file-sharers from the Internet.It was the Labor Party that was first responsible for amending the country’s Copyright Act back in 2008 in a bid to ensure “copyright laws keep up to speed with the dynamic nature of digital technology.” This included the controversial Section 92A which vaguely required ISPs to “adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer.”Critics pointed out that it the burden of proof unjustly was placed on the accused and the not the accusers, and that there were no mechanisms for appeal. Hence, following extensive public outcry and the refusal of at least one ISP to participate, the country’s Prime Minister John Key decided to throw out S92A.The plan was then slowly resurrected last June with a roundtable of intellectual property and internet law experts who began developing a framework for copyright legislation that was then formally submitted by Commerce Minister Simon Power earlier this year. The new Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill repeals S92A and replaces it with a “three-strikes” regime that requires a court order to disconnect illegal file-sharers.However, the Labor Party, once the main proponent of Internet disconnection, now stands firmly opposed.“Labor believes that enacting this Bill will not address the fundamental issues of copyright infringement and unauthorized peer to peer file sharing,” says the party’s Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran in a press release. “The digital age has meant that corporations which have traditionally controlled and managed the distribution of creative content are losing control of that distribution. The prevalence of P2P file sharing across the world is a result of the market’s inability to control and distribute content, more than the illegal behavior of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders and millions of people across the globe.” Curran said that intense and widespread public reaction to the introduction of S92A led Labor to conclude early in 2009 that the issue needed to be re-addressed. “Labor quickly moved after the election to acknowledge there were problems with S92A and consulted widely with stakeholders,” she said. She says the party has realized that a better approach would be to help New Zealanders figure out how to use the Internet to create viable digital distribution services that allow them to reach a global audience and make a profit.“Labor believes that the government should invest more time and money investigating how to enable New Zealand content creators to use new technologies to promote and distribute their work to national and international audiences, in such a way that allows them to build profitable and sustainable businesses,” she added.Well said. Instead of focusing on a dead end effort of censorship and filtering that will never address the lack of a viable business model relevant to the digital age, copyright holders will be better served by embracing new technology and adapting to it.