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Racist email encourages breach of copyright law

Sep 3rd, 2011 | By | Category: Latest News, News

AN EMAIL allegedly circulated to members of racist group Right Wing Resistance urges them to incriminate non-whites under NZ’s new copyright law.

The email encourages RWR members to download white-power music via the unsecured connections of non-whites.

That could potentially cost the target internet account holders up to $15,000 under the new Copyright Amendment Act, which came into effect this month.

RWR spokesman Kyle Chapman – and others contacted – say the email is a hoax.

It appears on the NZ section of social networking site Reddit, and was posted to Reddit by user “concernedconserv”, and by Green MP Gareth Hughes.

Hughes blogged about the email, saying:

“Without the usual checks and balances, anyone can be accused by pretty much anyone else of infringing copyright and be held liable for fines or disconnection.”

“If you know of any Asians or blacks that own an internet cafe, motel or have unsecured internet at home, do your kind work for the resistance,” the email says.

“It’s been written to our advantage that anyone accused is guilty before being convicted.”

When contacted by NewsWire, Mr Chapman denied sending the email.

“I think the email that was sent to you was fake, most probable some kind of activity done by left wing activists to try are involve us in things we aren’t interested in,” he said.

“The reds are very creative in their ways they try to attack us. I think it’s their only way they know to fight us since they are all cowards.”

Mr Chapman said the group has no dealings with overseas groups, and that US white power music label Resistance Records, which was mentioned in the email, is now defunct.

Copyright lawyer Simon Fogarty says if the plan outlined in the email was carried out, the target account holder would be liable for the infringement.

“It’s a bit difficult to prove a negative,” he says. “They would have to show that the infringement didn’t happen, or didn’t happen on their account.

“However, this may be an example where the Copyright Tribunal might decline to make an award against the account holder because to do so would be manifestly unjust.”

Official guidelines released on August 22 by the Ministry of Economic Development indicate the Copyright Tribunal may consider others infringing on your account a defence.

“If you consider that you should not be held liable for infringements made by another person on your internet account, you may wish to contest the claim at the Copyright Tribunal,” the guidelines say.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act came into effect on September 1, and claims can be backdated to August 12.

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is A Journalism Student at Whitireia in Wellington, New Zealand. His specialty areas are digital culture, politics and cyber-crime.
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