New Zealand Politican Tweets How She's Violating Copyright Law Night Before Supporting Three Strikes Copyright Law

from the you-did-what-now? dept

This is just bizarre. Andrew Dubber points us to the latest on the debate in New Zealand’s Parliament over the draconian new three strikes law, in which people will get kicked off the internet after accusations (not convictions) of file sharing. Dubber points us to the speech from Parliament Member Melissa Lee discussing her support of the new law. You can see it here:

All well and good… except the night before this debate, she posted the following to her own Twitter account:

Ok. Shower… Reading … And then bed! listening to a compilation a friend did for me of K Pop. Fab. Thanks Jay.

Now, to be fair, in her speech, she does say she gets that sharing a DVD or a CD can be sensible. She even references the “Korean Wave” of k-pop and says that it happened because of file sharing (directly contradicting US VP Joe Biden’s lies from yesterday).

In the end, then, she seems to have no logical consistency at all. She’s happy to infringe on copyright when she gets to listen to good music. And she knows that infringement helped get artists attention and built up things like the Korean Wave of successful musicians… and yet New Zealand still needs to pass draconian copyright law to outlaw these things that she admits aren’t so bad. Say what now?

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Comments on “New Zealand Politican Tweets How She's Violating Copyright Law Night Before Supporting Three Strikes Copyright Law”

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72 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It isn’t just politics. Everyone pirates. That’s why these kinds of new laws are needed.

As for the “exposure” argument, musicians became well known before piracy and there are plenty of non-pirate ways for musicians to become known now.

Piracy as publicity is not necessary. If a band wants that promotion, they can just release their music for free. Then there is no piracy at all.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Piracy happened long before the internet. Laws did nothing for it. What’s really the difference between people swapping audio cassettes, and swapping mp3s? The quality alone doesn’t suddenly make it ‘less legal’ or ‘suddenly new’. Radio (in the UK at least) freely exposed you to new bands ho you would then go and spend money on. Heck, I’ve even bought stuff because it was playing at Virgin or HMV. So really, why is it suddenly so bad?

No-one is really saying “release everything for free” as the only choice. Only, that in a world where music sharing happens (and this was as true in 1971 as 2001) you should make the most of it to gain a net benefit – and those who can make truly compelling business cases WILL benefit, no matter the ‘piracy’ levels. It’s just that the day of gatekeeper monopoly rents are long gone, and music is once more no longer tied to a physical product. Remember, physical music items are purely a 20th Century conceit. A temporary fad that has now been superseded. For millennia before, music was purely performed, with only a written form as an alternative. Now, that ‘writing’ is bits instead of drawn notes. Welcome to the 21st Century. May the **AAs go the way of the Edsel and the dodo.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“It isn’t just politics. Everyone pirates. That’s why these kinds of new laws are needed.”

This is a non-sequitur. “Everyone drinks water. That’s why anti-water drinking laws are needed.”

If everyone does it, maybe the problem isn’t with everyone, but the problem is with the law that doesn’t allow everyone to do it. and if everyone does it, maybe it’s because everyone doesn’t think it’s all that wrong and so the law should change to reflect what the people think and not what some industry wants.

and what are the chances that this person will be punished? We already have anti-piracy laws in place and if they are not enforced against this politician like they would be against anyone else then the laws effectively don’t exist for certain people but they do for others. and why should they exist for some people and not others?

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Piracy happened long before the internet. Laws did nothing for it. What’s really the difference between people swapping audio cassettes, and swapping mp3s? The quality alone doesn’t suddenly make it ‘less legal’ or ‘suddenly new’. Radio (in the UK at least) freely exposed you to new bands ho you would then go and spend money on. Heck, I’ve even bought stuff because it was playing at Virgin or HMV. So really, why is it suddenly so bad?

No-one is really saying “release everything for free” as the only choice. Only, that in a world where music sharing happens (and this was as true in 1971 as 2001) you should make the most of it to gain a net benefit – and those who can make truly compelling business cases WILL benefit, no matter the ‘piracy’ levels. It’s just that the day of gatekeeper monopoly rents are long gone, and music is once more no longer tied to a physical product. Remember, physical music items are purely a 20th Century conceit. A temporary fad that has now been superseded. For millennia before, music was purely performed, with only a written form as an alternative. Now, that ‘writing’ is bits instead of drawn notes. Welcome to the 21st Century. May the **AAs go the way of the Edsel and the dodo.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Maybe her friend made her a playlist using her own music files.”

Maybe, but unlikely. The implication is clearly that a CD or other format was used to give her a copy of the music. Which, if done online, is exactly the sort of thing that would get you kicked off the net under this law.

“Wonder if she’ll remove the tweet once she catches wind of this “bad press”?”

Irrelevant, thankfully. The internet also makes it a lot harder to delete embarrassing mistakes by those in power – even if the tweet is removed, the above screenshot remains.

umb231 (profile) says:

so… theoretically, we can kick her off all internet the moment this law goes into effect as we have a plausible accusation to level at her?
What’s that? It won’t work cause the accusation has to come from someone she’s getting all buddy buddy with for putting the law into place, so it won’t ever be used on her? gogo governmental hypocricy!

Matt P (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

We have the RIANZ, local RIAA knock-off, and NZFACT. But they’re effectively in league with the US & international orgs, as evidenced by the MPAA giving a submission at the committee hearing on this law.

There’s a lot of people believing that this whole thing was pushed through on pressure from the US, whether ACTA, the TPP, or both.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: I have a question...

She?s of Korean extraction?I believe the only such politician outside Korea.

New Zealand runs a ?Mixed-Member Proportional? election system. We have MPs of various Asian extractions, a Muslim, gays, even one who was a transsexual. Why? Because they?re representative of our society, so why not?

That?s why I like proportional representation. Other countries should give it a try.

herbert says:

same old thing. ‘dont do as i do, do as i tell you’.
these assholes seem to think that it’s ok to threaten ordinary people with anything from reprimands, to disconnection, to fines, to prison, but then do exactly the same thing themselves. talk about double standards! and these people are elected officials that are supposed to be looking after the interests of the voters. i dont think so!

Fentex says:

It’s not entirely accurate to say this new law will have people kicked offline through accusation only.

It requires a court order to kick you off. It just happens to detial a process by which the court order is sought.

So it isn’t quite as evil as one might imagine.

As to why it was suddenly (no one in NZ new it was even back in parliament) passed under cover of urgent legislation regarding Christchurchs earthquake there is a growing suspicion in NZ that it’s somehow involved with TPP negotiations, that it’s a show of good faith or a demonstration of an early adoption of a requirement to be included in the TPP of having three strike laws.

I know that some in NZ Internet administration think it’s an attempt to pull the wool over lobbyists eyes by having a fairly toothless three strike law (because it has several safegaurds and involves fees for registering complaints to avoid spamming of them it’s a bit of a sheep in wolves clothing) that can still be called a three strikes law.

I suspect lobbyists wouldn’t mind because NZ is a small and unimportant market in the global scheme of things but anyone having a three strikes law becomes a lever againt others.

And once more adopt them lobbyists can always start moving back and forth arguing each should ratchet up theirs (as they do with copyrights) to better implement the idea compared to others.

Chargone (profile) says:

It is worth remembering that NZ politics work a fair bit differently from US politics. not least is the party system. the party decides what way it’s going, and then everyone in that party ends up voting that way/giving speeches to that effect, whatever their actual beliefs. while this is better than it used to be (a layered system of majority votes used to mean that it took (a specific) ten people or less to agree to get a law passed. MMP was introduced in part to put and end to this) it still means that it doesn’t even require the invidual to be that clueless to get this sort of result.

the bigger the party, the more MPs are in there off the list. that means if they go against the party line they get the boot and get replaced by the next persons on the list. the rest are in for specific electorates, so can’t be just kicked out of parliament, but if they ‘cross the floor’ (that is, vote against the party) odds are very good that they will NOT get the resources they need to run for the next election, or will be running as an independant against another party member (which Usually, though not always, results in a loss).

the exception to the above is when the party specifically states that something is to be a concence(sp) vote. this is usually done only for bills that would change the way elections work, start wars, etc. but is also used when a private members bill (proposed by an individual, not a party) comes up on an issue that is hot enough that voting either way has good odds of blowing up in the party’s face and/or they have not made an opinion of it a part of their platform. alternatively if a coalition partner proposes soemthing that presents a similar situation. this is rare though.

the flip side to all this is that, generally speaking, most people aren’t as obsessive about aligning with one party or another as seems to be the case in the USA. it helps that you don’t have to go all the way over to the other side of the spectrum on any given issue to change who’s running things, of course. (yay for multi-party unicarmel parliaments in constitutional monarchies, i guess. though i always wonder a bit about NZ’s ‘constitution’. it seems rather… flexable and disorganised, from my understanding of the situation, which is admitedly limited.)

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Re: NZ Party Politics

Chargone wrote:

… the party decides what way it’s going …

That decision is made at a meeting of all the MPs belonging to that party, called the ?caucus?. There they get to vote individually, but once a collective decision is made, they must all abide by that in the Parliament vote itself.

That is, unless it has been decided by Parliament that the matter should be put to a ?conscience vote?, where each MP is free to decide for themself.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: NZ Party Politics

yeah, but how much say anyone gets in the meeting and how democratic the decision making in caucus actually is varies from party to party (or at least it used to. labour has a history of being very democratic at that level, national not so much).

still, while making seem a little less suspect, that doesn’t exactly change my point that once that decision is made, the individual MP’s actual opinion doesn’t mean much. 🙂

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: NZ Party Politics

oh, worth noting that at least some of the smaller parties are prone to only binding their MPs to the party line on certain platform specific issues and allowing a conscience vote, so far as their MPs are concerned, on almost everything else.

well, except when the nonsense that is coalition agreements gets in the way.

(properly speaking there shouldn’t even be a government/opposition divide. the house as a whole is the ‘government’ and the opposition only applies at election time (the people who didn’t get in) or on an issue by issue basis (the people who disagree with you). the ministarial selection process is Supposed to be entirely under the control of the governer. unfortunately, the party system and an unwillingness to break tradition for fear of triggering a constitutional crisis (because God forbid they atually follow the consitution if it could do that(though for all i know they’ve finally got around to changing it. flexible and all that)) break this ideal horribly)

Simon Chamberlain (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 NZ Party Politics

On the government/opposition divide, it can be confusing in Westminster systems: whereas the Americans would talk about the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of Government, Brits and Kiwis (etc) talk about the Government when they mean the Executive. So from one way of looking at it, the opposition are part of the government (because they’re part of the legislature); from another, they’re not (because they’re not part of the executive, which includes Ministers, and government departments)

The Ministerial selection process is constitutionally under control of the Prime Minister. In practice, the PM will want support from his/her own party caucus, which means that they have to include a range of Ministers (e.g. from different parts of the country, male/female, the right and the left of the party). [This is why Lange had Douglas and Prebble in his Cabinet; the Labour right wanted them and he risked a leadership challenge if he sacked them].

I think the Constitution is less flexible than you do, as well: while NZ is one of the few countries in the world to not have a specific written constitution, we do have several documents that make up the constituion: everything from the Bill of Rights Act and the Constitution Act to the Cabinet Manual and Standing Orders (and inherited bits like the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights). See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_New_Zealand

Anonymous Coward says:

Easy solution to the problem…
The law passes, but before it can be applied to “the people” it must be enforced on the government officials for 2 years first.

They will automatically get the most severe punishments allowed by the law they passed. They should be showing us the “right” way and be held to the highest standards.

They will be forced to have special monitoring of their accounts to make sure they do not do anything secretly.

I’ve often found people with stupid ideas get smarter when they get real world examples of this idea in action, when it is directly applied to them.

miketee (profile) says:

Resumtpion of innocence

The single most disgusting aspect of this legislation and similar laws in other countries) is that someone can suffer because of a mere *accusation*.

If in other aspects of law, someone could be penalised simply because of an accusation, huge chunks of the population would suffer.

NOBODY should be penalised because of an accusation without clear evidence and a trial or right of appeal.

This kind of knee-jerk, ill-considered law-mongering is destroying principles which protect people from unfair and arbitrary conviction. It is endangering our rights. It is a very bad precedent.

“3 Strikes” is a catchy “tough”-sounding slogan, not a sensible philosophy.

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