New Zealand Uses Earthquake As An Excuse To Sneak 3 Strikes Law Through

from the well-isn't-that-nice dept

You may recall that a few years back, New Zealand politicians tried to sneak through a "three strikes" proposal to kick people offline based on accusations (not convictions) of file sharing. When lots of New Zealanders complained, the Copyright Minister first got angry that anyone wouldn't accept this, but eventually the government was forced to back down. Of course, that was only temporary, as last year the plan came back, with a sneaky provision that said they'd only really implement it if file sharing didn't decrease. The argument was that you couldn't say the law was about kicking people off the internet, because it wouldn't start doing that for a few years.

Of course, that proposal hadn't been touched since last December... and yet suddenly it's being pushed through quickly, to the surprise of many New Zealand politicians who had no idea it was even on the docket. Even more nefarious? Supporters are trying to attach it to an emergency bill related to earthquake recovery efforts in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake. Of course, no politician wants to be seen holding up an earthquake recovery bill. This is the ultimate in underhanded moves by politicians, at the behest of the entertainment industry, to ram through broken policies by attaching it to a separate bill. Update: Good explanation in the comments showing that this bill wasn't "attached" to the earthquake bill, but rather just put through the same process in parallel.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    James Carmichael, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

    Can politicians get punished for being sneaky rats like that? Honestly, wouldn't that kind of behavior be against the law somehow?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

      Re:

      Why would politicians make lying (read: being a politician) against the law?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Christopher (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:55pm

        Re: Re:

        Being a politician is NOT about lying. People have made it out to be about lying, when it is no such thing.

        Being a politician as it was supposed to be was supposed to be about:

        1. Helping to protect and guide society.
        2. Serving society.

        It was only in the past 50 years that being a politician (actually more a conservative politician) has morphed into being a liar.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          This is one of the most idiot things I have ever read. Look into the history of American politics and you will see lying and dishonesty have been hallmarks of our system since the beginning. And the jab at conservatives just shows your myopic view of reality that much more.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            icon
            Christopher (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 3:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Feel free to think that it is an 'idiot thing', but the bottom line is that is how politicians were SUPPOSED to be. It's only a very recent phenomenon that turned them into lying bastards who would do anything for money from lobbyists and others.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I thought the turnip truck just went by. That must have been you that fell off it.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Prashanth (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Dear Mr. Masnick,
    What is with you and your cruel, heartless, uninformed blog posts? Are you really going to be in favor of holding up a bill that would bring millions of dollars in aid to those suffering from broken lives and those suffering from broken business models? All we want is for everyone's lives to go back to the status quo; just because the earthquake was a literal disruption does not mean we need further figurative business disruption.
    Thank you for your inanity.
    Sincerely, the RIAA, New Zealand branch.
    (That was supposed to be sarcastic.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Rex Mitchell (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:03pm

    How?...

    I will never understand how attaching things to other things getting passed through Congress (Both here, and whatever New Zealand uses) is legal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Rikuo (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:06pm

      Re: How?...

      True. How can this law be deemed legal if there is virtually no debate on it, and it is more or less paperclipped to something completely different? Doesn't this undermine the concept of a parliament, where if your law is massively unpopular, you just staple it to a different popular law and it goes through automatically?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Rabbit80, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

        Re: Re: How?...

        See the DEA in the UK.. pushed through by a dying government in the final throws of power. Invented by a corrupt MP after wining and dining on a private yacht. Discussed in a ridiculously short space of time. A three line whip to stop any opposition.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:20pm

      Re: How?...

      I'd like to see some politicians from the other side attaching an addendum for the abolishment of the majority of copyright onto a similar bill helping people in need.

      Of course, I doubt the politicians siding with **AAs would care that they were against the helpful bill.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Squirrel Brains (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

      Re: How?...

      This is why you need the single subject rule and then have the judiciary rigorously apply it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:17pm

    I still don't understand why they don't go after the source

    OK, the 3-strikes rule is going to kick in if the file sharing doesn't decrease. While I agree that stopping alleged illegal file sharing is not necessarily going to increase sales, what I really want to know is why, if they know where the illegal file sharing is and can measure it, why don't they go after the source and stop it there. For example, Google is being sued for just linking to allegedly illegal images from Perfect 10. Why is Perfect 10 going after Google? Google is pointing them to exactly where the the allegedly infringing material is located. Why aren't they going after getting allegedly infringing material removed at the source. Then, there is nothing for all of the search engines to link to. If the a teenager or other scofflaw can so easily find and download the allegedly infringing material, why can't the owner go after the one source? It just boggles my mind. It seems that the business model is to sue everybody except the source of the allegedly infringing material. It seems that this should even be Google's defense against Perfect 10. Look, we linked to it for you, go get them to take it down, then we won't even be able to link to it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Squirrel Brains (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

      Re: I still don't understand why they don't go after the source

      Its all money and ease. It would be easier and more profitable to use one rich target like Google instead on a lot of no-so-rich targets like the individual sites.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    crade (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:28pm

    lol, how could anyone possibly think it was legitimate / honest to attach a bill that won't take effect for several years as part of an emergency earthquake provision? Thats a little obvious even by today's pathetic corruption masking standards.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    StarStruck_Ouch, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Do we actually need politicians any more? Are their "contributions" to society a net positive? Has there EVER been a time when a politician has been honest and corruption did not exist? (Give some examples - because I can guarantee you are wrong!) Has there EVER been a better time to use technology to throw off the shackles of these useless parasites and run things through a true democracy? Egypt used technology to throw off their shackles, we just now need to create methods for self rule.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Stuart, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

      Re:

      I have no love of politicians.
      But seriously. Have you looked around. People. All over the world. They are entitled, whiny little bitches that can't think past the last commercial they saw.
      Truth be told the only two things I can think of that would make things worse than they are now is
      A) Total anarchy,
      and
      B) Total democracy.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        crade (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re:

        I fail to see how people all over being entitled whiny bitches means honest / total democracy would make things worse. People are entitled whiny bitches now, just some entitled whiny bitches have more power than others.. How is that better?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Moron, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          He just misses facism

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Preface: In America - can't speak for anywhere else and also IMO...

          I can see total democracy being good in some ways, bad in others. Lobbying would certainly decrease.
          The major problem I see would be that 'The Many' have wants that are ultimately self-destructive. In a dramatic oversimplification, most would vote to increase taxes on the rich, while decreasing their own, and impossibly increasing services. Causing the rich to hire less, inflation to rise... I'm sure most can see where I'm rolling this snowball. I think there would be 2 directions we would go - economically 3rd world, isolationist or militant resource plundering empire builder.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        The Devil's Coachman (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 2:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Either one is better than the corrupt pile of crap we have now. The fact that you were born yesterday is probably why you make such silly statements.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chris Rhodes (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 3:39pm

        Re: Re:

        I'd take total anarchy over what we have now.

        At least then there'd be a good chance of creating something new and worthwhile on top of it.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Politicians simply need to be licenced with a code of ethics in their rules. Your doctor is licenced, your plumber is licence, why isn't your politician?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 12:54pm

      Re: License

      Well, politicians would have to pass a law requiring a license, and same said politicians would get to set the licensing requirements--I'm sure they considered it and said "why bother?"

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      harbingerofdoom (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:08pm

      Re:

      the inmates are already running the asylum.. what you are asking for is for those same inmates to give themselves the right to run it.

      not exactly something that id be all that excited to see.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ben (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

    No proof

    So if no proof is needed, I can clog the legal system with hundreds of false copyright infringement notices against the movie companies and have them removed from the interwebs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Jay (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

      Re: No proof

      Proof is needed. The problem is that the law reverses the burden of proof.

      What I mean is that under the law an unchallenged accusation is a presumption of guilt. It's unclear to me whether a challenged accusation would be something less than a presumption of guilt or not. Its just a badly thought out law.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      abc gum, Apr 13th, 2011 @ 4:33pm

      Re: No proof

      "So if no proof is needed, I can clog the legal system with hundreds of false copyright infringement notices against the movie companies and have them removed from the interwebs?"

      Doubtful ... there will be a list of those exempt from these provisions. this list will include the content pushers, uber rich and politcos

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    twistedmentat (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    It wasn't attached to other legislation.

    Just wanted to give out a quick correction.

    When parliament went into urgency yesterday the Section 92A legislation was put on the docket as a seperate piece of legislation. The only connection it had with the shit earthquake legislation is that they were both put through under urgency.

    Otherwise they were entirely seperate pieces of legislation. For example the S92A bill could have not passed while the Earthquake bill did.

    And to understand exactly what parliament sitting under urgency is the NZ Parliament site has a page describing it. http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/Features/8/f/a/00NZPHomeNews170220091-What-is-urgency.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      chillienet (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 7:55pm

      Re: It wasn't attached to other legislation.

      Thanks for the clarification.

      From your link: "A Minister may move an urgency motion for specified business, particularly bills. The motion can be moved without advance notice, and is not debated by the House, although the Minister must inform the House why the Government wishes to take urgency."

      I would really like to know what the Minister said when informing the House why the Government wished to take urgency on this 3 strikes bill.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Chargone (profile), Apr 13th, 2011 @ 9:56pm

        Re: Re: It wasn't attached to other legislation.

        pretty sure we all would.
        well, at least, i did until i stopped and thought about it and realised it was probably both depressing and stupid. now i don't.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Simon Chamberlain (profile), Apr 14th, 2011 @ 3:12am

      Re: It wasn't attached to other legislation.

      And just to be clear, seperate pieces of legislation cannot be joined together in New Zealand, as they can in the US. (Any constitutional geeks can check Standing Order 256 "Except as otherwise permitted by Standing Orders, a bill must
      relate to one subject area only.", available here http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/81D0893A-FFF2-47A3-9311-6358590BEB3D/100828/standingorders2008 _5.pdf (PDF 841kb)).

      The issue here is that the Bill was put through under urgency, when there's no apparent need for that to happen (there's an election due later this year, but plenty of time before then to pass this legislation following due process).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 5:39pm

      Re: It wasn't attached to other legislation.

      So not only sloppy reporting by Masnick, but he leaves the completely untrue headline up.

      No surprise of course, but still a slimeball move that perfectly demonstrates his agenda.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        TasMot, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

        Re: Re: It wasn't attached to other legislation.

        That part is true almost. It was attached to an "Urgent" session to get it passed quickly without much time for debate or public comment. Why was this all of a sudden urgent and had to be considered at the same time as an earthquake relief bill? Please don't be snide, just answer that question.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2011 @ 6:13pm

    It wasn't attached to anything. It was addressed in the same session.

    The TD headline is FUD and a fabrication.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This