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.

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Comments on “New Zealand Uses Earthquake As An Excuse To Sneak 3 Strikes Law Through”

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Christopher (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Prashanth (profile) says:

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.)

Rikuo (profile) says:

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?

TasMot (profile) says:

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.

StarStruck_Ouch says:

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.

Stuart says:

Re: 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,
B) Total democracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

abc gum says:

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

twistedmentat (profile) says:

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.

chillienet (profile) says:

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.

Simon Chamberlain (profile) says:

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 (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).

TasMot says:

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.

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