New Zealand Authors Demanding Compulsory Blanket 'You Must Be A Criminal' Internet Charge

from the author-welfare dept

With New Zealand’s copyright reform proposal still being discussed, we’re hearing about some really ridiculous proposals to make it even worse. We already noted the idea of a full internet ban for users found to be infringing, and Glyn Moody Michael Scott points us to a proposal from “The Society of Authors” in New Zealand saying that there should be a blanket licensing fee for anyone accessing content online. Yes, basically they’re asking for free money, backed by a government proposal. Rather than having to actually work to put together a business model, they want the government to just tell ISPs to collect a fee from everyone and then they’ll figure out a way to give it to some authors.

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Comments on “New Zealand Authors Demanding Compulsory Blanket 'You Must Be A Criminal' Internet Charge”

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34 Comments
Frank (profile) says:

This is a business model...

Rather than having to actually work to put together a business model,

Once again, your level of rejection astounds me. I continue to hear calls from you and other content-must-be-free folks that there should be some kind of technological solution that allows P2P folks to keep on sharing. The P2P folks always say, “Why can’t we just pay one fee each month…” But they never subscribe to Rhapsody. Now you’re dismissing another proposal out of hand claiming it’s not a business model. Why don’t you just admit it: you don’t want to pay for anything!

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is a business model...

Not quite. With beggars you have a choice if you want to give them money or not. This is called a TAX.

Since they can’t work out for themselves how to make money, they try to turn themselves into some sort of quasi-socialist dictatorship where the government exists to enforce their monopolies on the people.

Call me Al says:

Re: This is a business model...

What they are suggesting is a blanket charge on all internet users. This is irrespective of whether they are active consumers of online content or whether they simply use it to work from home or check their email. You cannot lump everyone into the same boat and simply demand they all pay. Those who do not consume much in the way of online content shouldn’t be made to pay because of the greed and paranoia of rights groups.

ScaredOfTheMan says:

Re: This is a business model...

Oh sure, you got it, no one wants to pay for anything…. which is why iTunes is doing so badly.

Tell you what, I will admit that we “don’t like paying for anything”, right after you admit that you you don’t want to work for your money. That you want an artificial payment system that compensates you, your kids, your grandkids, and maybe their kids too, again and again and again for the same work for a very long time.

Griff (profile) says:

Re: This is a business model...

Would you like to be taxed $10 a month to cover the costs of goods stolen from department stores, even if you’d never set foot in one ?

This sort of proposal enforces a financial loss on the innocent and a financial gain on the guilty.

Why not jail everyone for a week rather than find the murderer and lock him up for life ?

lfroen (profile) says:

Re: Re: This is a business model...

You’re actually paying (indirectly) to cover cost of stolen goods. Store pay insurance and roll cost of insurance into price of goods.

>> This sort of proposal enforces a financial loss on the innocent and a financial gain on the guilty.
Like all other taxes. Unemployment fee is perfect example of that.

>> Why not jail everyone for a week rather than find the murderer and lock him up for life ?
Not all crimes are solved, or even investigated.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: This is a business model...

“Store pay insurance and roll cost of insurance into price of goods.”

The store loses money because they lost physical goods that costs money to produce per good. The collection societies do not pay additional money per extra download and they are not owed a monopoly on anything.

“Like all other taxes. Unemployment fee is perfect example of that.”

So then you agree this is a tax. Except this is a tax to failures.

Unemployment is a tax to those who are currently out of a job but were previously working within the recent past. It’s to help them out until they get a new job. Those people also played unemployment while they were working and hence contributed to the system as well.

This is a tax to a bunch of parasitic failures that contribute nothing and need to get their own business model. See the difference.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: This is a business model...

“content-must-be-free folks”

Thanks for starting by introducing your complete ignorance and/or misunderstanding of the arguments raised here.

“The P2P folks always say, “Why can’t we just pay one fee each month…” But they never subscribe to Rhapsody.”

That’s something of a false dichotomy.

Also, IIRC, Rhapsody is not available to AUS/NZ customers. It’s certainly not available to me in Spain (also not in Gibraltar, where I’m checking this from). Likewise, licensing restrictions also prevent me from paying for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon MP3 downloads, etc., etc. I’d happily pay for those if I was *allowed* to, and I’d guess many in the southern hemisphere would agree.

“Now you’re dismissing another proposal out of hand claiming it’s not a business model.”

It’s not a business model. There’s no proposal as to how the money will be managed and distributed. There’s no clarification as to how the people being listened to will get the money, and not some default set of RIAA equivalent incumbents.

There’s also no proposed option to opt-out if you don’t listen to music at all. If I listen to an independent artist, why should Britney get paid? If I watch an independent British movie, why should a Hollywood studio get paid? Those questions are never answered and they form the bedrock of my objections to these kinds of proposals.

So, it’s a tax that you must pay whether or not you use the service being taxed for, and there’s no guarantee that the musicians being listened to get paid, etc. How in hell is that a business model?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: This is a business model?!

You are freaking too funny. Let me put it this way. This topic is about authors. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work. I don’t read ebooks. I don’t even read physical books. Anything I do read, like Tech Dirt is already free. So why should I pay a fee on something I don’t even use.

Frank Buster says:

Re: This is a business model...

This is a business model…

Frank, please tell me you are a troll, and not a complete idiot.

Once again, your level of rejection astounds me.

Apparently, you are EASILY astounded, since this is a NO BRAINER. Your earlier acertion that this is a business model is astounding. Do me a favor… go… pick up a book on business and read it. Figure out what a business model REALLY is… then, come back and apologize… then, we may take you some what seriously.

I continue to hear calls from you and other content-must-be-free folks that there should be some kind of technological solution that allows P2P folks to keep on sharing.

Really? What you usually find here is people trumpeting to make the infinite free (since it’s infinite) and charge for the scarce.

The P2P folks always say, “Why can’t we just pay one fee each month…” But they never subscribe to Rhapsody.

Rhapsody is a FAILED business model. Probably not best to point to it as an example. It had a number of issues with it which are too numerous to list, but if you go back and do some research they will pop out.

Now you’re dismissing another proposal out of hand claiming it’s not a business model.

Please enlighten us as to the exact business model this bill is proposing. Please show the listed payouts to authors, artist and other creators. Show us the compensation plans… how much does each get. Is it per work? How often are they compensated? How much does the government take off the top? How much do the OTHER middlemen get? Does any money actually make it to the ACTUAL rights holder?

You get back to us on that and then… maybe… if you’ve read up on Business 101 and know what a REAL business model is (heck, if you can just say “Supply and Demand”) we MAY (some of us at least) give you further time of day.

Why don’t you just admit it: you don’t want to pay for anything!

So untrue. I can name tons of things I pay for. Things that have real value. I just bought lunch. Yup… and I think it was slightly overpriced, but it was nearby and I was in a hurry, so I paid the extra to save time.

That’s why they CAN charge those prices… because they found an area with customers who will pay to get good food quickly.

We don’t mind paying… we just want to pay for what we want… not for what we don’t. I don’t want to pay a straight “tax” to authors I don’t read. Sorry. No. They did nothing worthy of my money.

I don’t want to pay for music I don’t listen to. Again, they have not contributed meaningfully to my existance, so no… they don’t get my money.

I want to decide who I patronize and who I don’t. That’s freedom. That’s what I want.

You want slavery. You want to round up people, but them into shackles and force them to do your bidding.

Go back under your bridge little troll and dream your dreams of enslaving the world.

We will fight for our freedom.

Long live the fighters!

(reply to this) (link to this) (view in thread)

Anonymous Coward says:

Form a Bank Instead

Is this proposal from the “Society of Authors”? More like the “Society of Money Collectors”! Tell you what, if they like being in the business of collecting money then giving it away to themselves and their friends, why not just form a bank? That appears to be how the New York banks work and it seems to be going really well for them. Plus, every so often, the stupid government tips in billions of dollars to make sure nobody goes bankrupt. Then the party just goes on and on. Nobody goes to jail, apart from a few silly people who actually confess. What a life! It is all paid for by the poor old taxpayer and made to happen by politicians who are pretending that they do not know what is going on under their noses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Careful what you wish for

If I started seeing a licensing fee for content that they assumed I was downloading then I would have no problem downloading “pirated” content (music, TV, movies). I would assume this is now OK based on their model. This would only quicken the demise of the current institutions they are trying to prop up.

I love this line from the article “ensure rights holders were compensated for infringements, including undetected offences. ” Yes, I believe my book has been downloaded 10 million times, can I please have my share of the licensing fee? Proof? No, those downloads were undetected. Now have the money wired to my LA office please. I have a PAC meeting to go to.

Anonymous Coward says:

This will immensely help the poor authors who CAN’T SELL ANYTHING. Pass that law and everything made / created in Australia will be on the s**t list.
Oh no, no mo’ Nicole!
No mo’ shrimp on the ‘barby.
Be happy if you are from New Zealand.
No more moving to the United States to be cool and successful.
You will just be another s****y Australian.

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