New Zealand Copyright Minister Sneaks In 3 Strikes Law; Yells At Those Who Ask Why

from the reasoned-debate dept

There’s been plenty of backlash around the globe towards any sort of law that requires a “three strikes” policy for kicking users off the internet for three unsubstantiated accusations of unauthorized file sharing. In many places, attempts at such laws have been abandoned. However, down in New Zealand, after one such law was proposed, a group of concerned citizens protested, and had the provision removed, while also adding in a provision that put liability on copyright holders who filed false claims. However, at the last minute, the country’s copyright minister, simply changed it and put the three strikes provision right back in. This resulted in some outrage, and a meeting was set up between the copyright minister and those who had fought hard for the earlier change. As Boing Boing notes, the meeting did not go particularly well:

When it opened, [Associate Minister of Commerce, responsible for copyright] Judith Tizard spent 30 minutes telling us why the change had to be made. She began by strongly expressing her anger that we had complained to her at this stage in the proceedings. None of us, she said, had been to see her before this on this topic. When we protested that we had worked with the Select Committee, which had removed this provision – and balanced it with one which made licence holders liable for false accusations – she said that this was completely inappropriate of the Select Committee, because Cabinet had already decided this was going ahead. We should not have been surprised, we were told, that this provision was reinserted by the government at the last minute before the bill was passed….

She set forth strong views about how the launch of Sione’s Wedding had been ruined, about how studios in Auckland were running out of work, and about how artists were mortgaging their homes to make films and music and were not making any returns on their investments, all, she said, because of Internet piracy.

One of the Internet group tried to ask her whether the term piracy was appropriate, but she insisted that it was because people’s livelihoods were at stake. She also said that, since the Internet Service Providers were making money from providing Internet they were making money from copyright infringements and they have to find a way to deal with it. This was couched in very strong language.

What you see here is cognitive dissonance at work. This government official has decided what the problem is and who’s at fault, and simply will not listen to any of the reasonable explanations for why she’s wrong. But given that last paragraph and based on that reasoning, we should be taxing ISPs to provide money to newspapers. After all, “people’s livelihoods are at stake” and ISPs are “making money from online news.” Or, we should be taxing auto companies to provide money to horse-drawn carriage makers. After all, people’s livelihoods are at stake, and car companies are making money from the roads that were built for horse-drawn carriages. And, of course, we should be taxing any book publishing company that prints the bible, and supplying the money to monks. Their livelihood as scribes is at stake, and they are now making money based on taking away work from these monks.

If Tizard’s logic were to prevail, there would be no innovation and no competition — because any innovation or competitor would put someone else’s livelihood at stake, and would build off of the market they had helped create. Most people see why this makes no sense. Unfortunately, the person in New Zealand making the laws does not.

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Comments on “New Zealand Copyright Minister Sneaks In 3 Strikes Law; Yells At Those Who Ask Why”

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eleete (user link) says:

Sounds About Right

Sounds like every other meeting I’ve heard of regarding new copyright laws. Let’s hold a 45 minute meeting to hear all the issues regarding our constituents concerns. 30 Minutes of the meeting are used as a propaganda speech for how badly the nation NEEDS this new proposed legislation. The remaining 15 minutes are spent repeating the bullet points from the first 30 minutes. Disgusting. Why are the constituents being ignored so repeatedly?

Shaun Wilson says:

Re: Sounds About Right

Why are the constituents being ignored so repeatedly?

Beacuse big business – including big coppyright are the ones that supply the funds for election campaigns rather than the people the politicians are suppost to represent.

If you ban all political donations (including imposing strict penalties for those trying to circumvent this) and instead publically fund elections then a whole lot of problems like this would dissapear almost overnight as the politicians would then have to get the approval of the people instead of big bisness as is currently the case. When you think about it we, the people, are hiring the politictions to do a job for us – to run our country – isn’t it natural that we should have to pay for the “interview” process?

eleete (user link) says:

Re: Re: Sounds About Right

You are correct. I was just thinking the other day about that exact point. Isn’t it odd that once the polluticians are in office, they begin to receive these campaign finances. That more than insures that the incumbent will be re-elected regardless of their poor performance. Thinking deeper, anyone who runs against that pollutician must have a bag full of cash to counteract their donations. Otherwise, they are certain to lose the race. The very fact that they (Obama AND McCain included) get into office almost guarantees them a permanent position in office. Sickening really. Who are the only folks that can handle this ? Sadly, the very polluticians receiving the bribes. Oops contributions.

Tony (user link) says:

Re: Re: Sounds About Right

“Beacuse big business – including big coppyright are the ones that supply the funds for election campaigns rather than the people the politicians are suppost to represent.”

You need to remember, however, that the “people” are the ones who vote, not “big business”

In the end, they get and stay in office because the people who vote put them there.

Dave in Canada says:

Re: Re: Re: Sounds About Right

Except that the vote is set strongly influenced by the party/candidate with the most money behind them. More money means more ads, more stops on the campaign trail, more PI’s to dig up dirt on the other guys, etc, etc… Canada has tried to limit this a bit by putting restraints on the time allowed to campaign and to limit the amount of donations received for campaigning as well as the amount of money spent on the campaign. I’m sure there are plenty of loop holes in the system though…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Sounds About Right

This is New Zealand, not American. The campaigns are motly publicly funded, not big business funded, although parties can be given donations there is a cap on how much they can get from one person, being I believe $20,000, all donations have to be publicaly listed and reported to parliament.

Fentex says:

> A smear campaign needs to be organized
> painting the woman as a communist.

>> Why are the constituents being ignored so repeatedly?

>>> Beacuse big business – including big copyright
>>> are the ones that supply the funds for election campaigns >>> rather than the people the politicians are suppost
>>> to represent.

This is New Zealand where calling somone a communist isn’t the fearful horror it is in the U.S, and also where big business does not buy elections.

Anonymous Coward says:


My thoughts exactly, this is going against the wishes of everyone except the people who are probably paying her off.

ISP’s: Don’t Want It
Public: Don’t Want It

The artists that it is supposedly protecting are against this, so how can this be a fair and just law, its total bullshit, this is one of the reason that I am thinking of leaving NZ and its safety from war and never coming back, and I have lived here for my whole life.

jj says:

an opposing view

Interesting take on this legislation.

FWIW section 94A in the copyright bill won’t come into full effect until feb 2009. This will give time for a working party made up of representatives from Music, Film/TV and ISP/Telco industries to formulate a suitable mechanism to deal with ‘piracy’ complaints in a fair manner.

Further points to take into consideration are the following:

80% of music released (by title) annually is owned by small independent record labels or artist run labels.

Independent Music NZ (representing the majority of independent music copyright holders) was actively involved in lobbying the NZ government to include section 94A.

This, in my opinion, refutes the comment that the “constituents being ignored so repeatedly” has a great deal of meaning – you could even argue that the NZ government listened to it’s constituents (ones that provide a valuable cultural contribution and one that provides a voice and profile to NZ image both locally and internationally).

I believe the ‘Big Bad Business’ moniker should be reserved for the big ISP’s and Telcos that control the internet access.

ISP interest in having ‘free’ music (available is not based on altruism – but is seen as free ‘content’ to attract paying customers to use their services.

Gary Storm (profile) says:

C'mon, be honest....

ISP’s do make money from people downloading pirated music/movies/games etc. People wouldn’t pay the extra for ADSL2 and 20 more GB per month without the ‘free’ content available. Of course the ISP’s don’t want any laws in place which severely limit that traffic. Customers wouldn’t need much bandwidth at all just for email etc.

Of course jobs and companies go down the drain with piracy so rampant. Duh. If you open up a pirate movie shop right next to a dvd shop, and the pirate movies are free, the dvd shop goes out of business.

Some people may actually download movies or music and then go and buy the dvd/cd if they like it…. but most won’t. All that hard work and money put into a release and nothing much back to show for it.

My wife is a musician and even as little-known as she is, her album is on the torrents right now. Doesn’t help us buy food that’s for sure.

Businesses can account for a certain amount of shoplifting, but when 80% of the people walking into the shop are doing it, they have no choice but to shut down.

I think the 3-strikes rule is a fair one, BUT I also think that the people accusing should be held to accountability on false accusations. I once got an email from my ISP saying I`d downloaded some game for the Wii…. I didn’t even have a Wii lol.

Jason Chan says:

Section 92A is Stupid, Judith Tizard corrupt or just plain thick

Judith Tizard was probably sexually abused by her family as a child or constantly teased & bullied at school for being fat or ugly & is messed up from it..

So When she started Yelling & Screaming is because she knows her law is dumb & shes being a dumb horrible bitch But for some reason she wants her law to pass so she wont admit to it..

I her life was probably made to feel miserable now she wants everyone else to feel miserable also because she is a selfish horrible bitch & this is her revenge on humanity.

If this is not the case well then she is just incredibly thick & someone should shoot her to get her out of parliament.So she probably have a worthless university degree or 2 unfortunately added braincells do not come with these degrees & I don’t think the paper she did was a masters degree in how not to be a total cow.

& It would surprise me if she was accepting bribes & even
given secret immunity to this law herself

as for Sione’s Wedding being released early..
It was a shight movie is far as NZ movies are concerned & it still would have been pirated if it was going to be pirated,
I don’t know anyone that downloaded this movie or would even want too.Non of my friends went to see this movie at the movies because they all thought it looked stupid & a waste of time.
its just like another made for dvdtv budget movie.. I to spite being a NZ movie made for New zealanders it only got 6.1/10 on IMDB & nearly 30% of that score are from jackass’s giving 10’s trying boost the rating probably purely because its a Newzealand movie & they think there helping their country. Otherwise it probably would have got a 3 or a 4 out of 10.
The movie did poorly because it was rubbish not because to many people downloaded it.

My IT school provides Internet to students from different company’s in test environments PC rooms.They cannot control who downloads what or kick students out because most of the students are changing each week. Therefore a useful asset for helping us learn.

f you work for a large company that provides personal Internet access to its staff, that will probably be taken away for the risk of just 1 staff member downloading a mp3 or movie on a couple of occasions. & One that don’t may go out of business
Cybercafes will probably have to close down.

Schools & Library’s will not be able to provide students Internet access which is valuable to there education, Because no matter what they not unless locking the whole thing down. Students `will` download MP3s when teachers are not looking.

If you have kids you are guaranteed to get cut off I don’t care how well behaved you think you 8 to 16 year old kids are, At least one of them will download files & if they don’t you friends will.

A flatmate or flatmate’s friend may cause you to get banned & you may never find out who it was specially if there from oversea where the law is different.

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