Guilt if not denied, not guilt on accusation

Once again, many New Zealanders are saying incredibly incorrect things about copyright law – most of them because they are parroting other people in a twisted Chinese whispers style of journalism.  People are calling the latest changes “guilt on accusation”.  All you have to do is actually read the amendment (which is not something that many do) and you can tell that is not the case.

The relevant part of the amendment is this:

122MA Infringement notice as evidence of copyright infringement

(1) In proceedings before the Tribunal, an infringement notice is conclusive evidence of the following:

(a) that each incidence of file sharing identified in the notice constituted an infringement of the right owner’s copyright in the work identified:

(b) that the information recorded in the infringement notice is correct:

(c) that the infringement notice was issued in accordance with this Act.

(2) An account holder may submit evidence, or give reasons, that show that any 1 or more of the presumptions in subsection (1) do not apply with respect to any particular infringement identified in an infringement notice.

(3) If an account holder submits evidence or gives reasons as referred to in subsection (2), the rights owner must satisfy the Tribunal that the particular presumption or presumptions are correct.

What this says is that if you are accused and you do not deny the accusation then the tribunal does not need to consider additional evidence – they can get on with the rest of their work.  As soon as you say “no, this wasn’t a rights violation”, or “there’s a mistake here”, or “this notice wasn’t in the right form”, the burden is explicitly on the rights holder to prove guilt.  In case this is “TL;DR”, it’s the final words: “the rights owner must satisfy the Tribunal that the particular presumption or presumptions are correct.

This is doesn’t mean you are guilty until proven innocent – this means that if you can’t be bothered denying the accusation, then the Tribunal doesn’t have to waste a lot of time looking at evidence.  If you’re innocent, all you need to do is point that out, and you are presumed to be correct until proven otherwise.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: