New Zealand: New Copyright Law Still Involves Kicking People Off The Internet… But With A Bit More Oversight

from the for-the-industry,-not-the-people dept

Earlier this year, there was a lot of attention paid to proposed changes to copyright law in New Zealand. After originally being struck from a proposal, some politicians simply put back in a “three strikes” proposal and then literally yelled at those who were upset by this. This kicked off a lot of controversy, with the government standing by the proposal for a long time — even in the face of musicians who stood up to against this bill that was supposedly there to help them! Eventually, with so much attention, the government agreed to dump the plan temporarily. There was a report that it would actually revisit all copyright law from scratch, but that was denied quickly.

Either way, it should probably come as little to no surprise that the proposals now being put forth really aren’t all that different than what was there before. After all, the industry needs to have its laws. The people… not so much. The major difference is that it won’t be ISPs just kicking people off. Instead, it will use a gov’t Copyright Tribunal to act as a mediator to review accusations of file sharing and deciding on what (if any) punishment should be handed out, including the potential to cut people off. This is certainly an improvement, but it’s still about the industry fighting the wrong battle. Rather than providing more value and a better business model, they’re so obsessed with stamping out file sharing that they’re totally missing the big picture. What a shame that politicians are simply going along with them.

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Comments on “New Zealand: New Copyright Law Still Involves Kicking People Off The Internet… But With A Bit More Oversight”

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Ryan says:

The impression I get from this article almost seems to squarely blame the music industry, as if political interference on their behalf is unique. This sort of thing happens all the time–the U.S., for instance, provides ridiculous subsidies for crop production thanks to the agricultural industry(those poor farmers!), massively ridiculous funds for public school administration thanks to teacher unions(those poor teachers!), tons of economically-infeasible environmental subsidies thanks to fanatical environmental groups(those poor trees!), awards defense contracts on the basis of jobs instead of contribution to defense thanks to defense contractors(what about the x jobs we’d lose by cutting y program?!), provides terrible homeowner loans to absolutely anybody that asks thanks to “community” NGOs(everybody should own a dream house!), etc. etc. And, of course, terribly overreaching IP laws for those poor artists so the labels can wipe their ass with toilet paper while the top 0.1% of successful artists ride the $100,000 couch on royalties as everybody else has to work harder despite the technological opportunities available if we actually focused on the consumer over special interest groups for once ever.

“What a shame that politicians are simply going along with them” is the understatement of the century.

Chargone says:

and apparently New Zealand has it’s own pirate party now.
that’s nice. too bad they decided to make 1/3rd of their platform an attach on the existence of the chief censor’s office, which has NOTHING to do with copyright, piracy, or privacy, and less than you’d think to do with the internet.

on the other hand, it Does have a lot to do with stomping on child pornography. and avoiding the whole ‘company got sued because parent was dumb enough to buy mature content for their 10 year old kid’ issue by attaching legally binding age rating stickers to stuff. [in the above example, the shop would be liable if they sold it To the Kid, but if they sold it to the parent, who gave it to the kid, i believe the parent is liable, if anyone is.]

anyway, a side issue that.

on the subject of the actual law, from the linked summary there, it looks… Mostly actually fairly reasonable, given that we have similar procedures in place for a lot of things, and it works quite well. there are only two problems: it does nothing to remove the screwed up nature of the copyright system in the first place [which still doesn’t seem as messed up as the usa?] and the splitting of court costs. that will Never be done fairly. evenly, yes. fairly? no. oh, and there’s no mention of penalties for false accusations, though noticeably Tribunal’s have been more prone to, if a mediated settlement cannot be reached and thus they end up issuing a judgment instead, actually stomping on Whoever’s in the wrong. they don’t really usually look at it as ‘plantif’ and ‘defendant’. it’s just party A and party B. the goal is resolving the situation. that’s why the costs are split, incidentally. sometimes they find that Noone’s done anything wrong and everyone just has to live with it, sometimes that both parties are in the wrong. hehe. they’re not the same as a court. [in fact, quite a few exist specifically to take loads off the courts]. though some of them can be Appealed to the courts i beleive.

I’m not a lawyer, mind you. i took a class on legal studies a few years back. this is based on my memory of that.

so yeah, it Could be a lot better, but unlike the previous one, does not inherently violate anyone’s rights, at least.

which the last one did. the main problem with the first iteration, that people objected to Very strongly, was the ‘guilt on accusation’ element. here, that is not the case, and cutting the connection was listed as a Possible penalty.

though looking at that again [and it’s a summary, not the law itself] it’s written to assume guilt even now. a proper tribunal, however, doesn’t actually deal in Guilt or Innocence or a particular Charge at all. it deals with accusation and resolution. if it is done properly, in the case of Actual infringement [uploading only, i notice. not making personal copies or downloading.] where no resolution can be come to [and they’re there to ensure that Those are fair too. no 100 million dollar fines for an individual uploading 3 songs because however many people MIGHT have downloaded it. contracts not to do it again with Very harsh breech of contract clauses… maybe.] then you get ‘punishments’ mandated by the tribunal, consisting of fines or specific action and such which, i Believe, can be appealed to the courts. certainly failure to carry them out leads to court cases in other areas where tribunals are used. but it’s not over the original claim. it’s over failure to comply with the ordered settlement. different [though related] issue.

errr… yeah, someone correct me if I’m wrong on any of that.
I’m still not terribly happy with this new law, mind you. it’s just not so inherently catastrophic.

wow this is long.

Chargone says:

Re: Re:

somewhat. it is part of the process and in many cases the outcome can be appealed to a normal court. [maybe even all cases. not sure]. doesn’t have a judge so much as an arbitrator. it’s a mediator system, mostly. various consumer stuff goes through such systems instead of the courts too, at least initially.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Corruption in Govnt

It is not that power corrupts, referring to the government officials who really want to pass this law, public be damned.
It is that the corrupt seek power, and greed. So that is why most governments do not care about their people. Those who care nothing for others and will lie to get there always end up in office because they are primarily the ones who seek it.

Ryan says:

Re: Corruption in Govnt

I disagree with the totality of that assertion, and I don’t actually think that a lot of completely asinine and idiotic politicians are necessarily “corrupt”…but that’s sort of a chicken-or-the-egg argument anyway, and thus doesn’t make much difference in the end result.

Point is, government officials are self-serving and generally indifferent to the efficiency and unintended consequences of their actions, for whatever reason. To take Obama, I think he is a great speaker and honestly wants to improve the country…but he’s still a politician. So to get what he wants, he uses public money and power to reward his friends. And what he wants is extremely simplistic and shortsighted, so we end up having a bunch of policies that hurt the U.S. Bush was similar.

There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government.

— Milton Friedman

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