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AS 90726 3.7
“Complete Independent Research on a Language Topic”
Level 3 English

N Z M E D I A O N T H E S E C T I O N 9 2 A P I R A C Y L AW

1.What range of positions does the media represent about the Section 92A law?

2.What are some of the main techniques used to represent these positions?

3.How do the techniques and positions reflect on the genre of the material and the author, and
which ones are most effective?


The Internet has changed the way we consume and access our information. Whether it is news,
shopping, entertainment, knowledge, movies, or music, the technology these days enables us not
only to see what the world has to offer, but to use, listen, read, or consume it right within our finger-
tips. For the music and movie industries, this has created a problem. For them, it means that their
content can be accessed by individuals without the standard “checkout” process at the record store
three blocks away or movie theater in town. And because it’s possible to consume something
without having to take out your wallet for it so easily, many Internet users around the world are con-
stantly downloading the latest album of their favorite artist, or that movie which comes out in New
Zealand next week. This rampant growth in piracy has caused the movie and music industries
around the world to consider a retort, and many such attempts have failed.

One attempt, however, almost nearly went into the New Zealand copyright laws, until it was
“scrapped” in early May by Prime Minister John Key after being widely criticized for being too un-
fair and unethical. The Section 92A law, also commonly referred to as the “three strike” or “guilt
upon accusation” law, was inserted into the Copyright Act by NZ minister Judith Tizard, until it was
rejected, reinserted, and approved ‘blindly’ by parties who were unaware that they were voting for
it. The law proposed that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in New Zealand setup a system where,
when an NZ resident is accused three times of using the Internet to download illegal material -- for
example, a movie -- that they be ejected from the ISP, thus removing Internet service from location
and being forced to sign up once again with another ISP to regain it.

Arguably, the withdrawal of the law could be credited partly to the response of the media in
New Zealand. A plethora of opinions surfacing as people got to be aware of the law, the pressure,
criticism, and protest which built in the last few weeks of the supposed practice date caused govern-
ment officials to reconsider, and finally, NZ Prime Minister John Key to directly veto it. With the
media’s position so crucial to the fate of this law, something that interested me was how it got to the
point that it did, and the technicalities of the media’s response on the controversial matter.

In this research report, I will look into the language of the New Zealand media when reporting
on the issue. Specifically, my questions will cover the range of positions the media represented
about the law, some of the main language techniques they used to represent these positions, and
how these relate to the genre of the material and the author.

1.What range of positions does the media represent about the Section 92A law?