Key: We still need a new internet copyright law

21:40, Mar 04 2009

Implementing copyright law covering the internet is necessary in terms of bringing New Zealand into line with other countries, Prime Minister John Key says.

The enaction of Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act was delayed until March 27 yesterday so the sector can work to try and make laws acceptable to all parties.

It followed protests from the online community about the potential effects of a law which exposes internet accounts to forced closure following any accusation of breach of copyright to closure, even if not proven.

Mr Key this morning told TV3's Sunrise show that internet copyright laws were being implemented in countries aligned with New Zealand.

"One of the challenges is that internationally, the equivalent of Section 92A is emerging around the world - Australia has a version, the UK has a version," he said.

The laws were striving to recognise that copyright holders had some rights and could potentially be important here.

"If New Zealand was to sign a free-trade agreement with America for instance, we would need an equivalent of Section 92A," he said.

Commerce Minister Simon Power agreed there was an expectation from other countries, including the United States.

"I wouldn't say they are driving it," he told Radio New Zealand this morning, "but it would be part of negotiations".

Mr Power said if agreement on the law was not reached in time for the March 27 deadline the Government would step in and potentially move to suspend it with the aim of re-writing it.