New Zealand Moves Forward With Three Strikes; Big Questions Left Unanswered

from the not-so-good dept

New Zealand has been working on putting in place a three strikes law which is only marginally better than the one that it originally tried to pass. Right now, it looks like the "new bill" is moving forward with little opposition, even though there are some serious unanswered questions. Reader Matt Perryman has written up a detailed look at some of the bigger issues, asking about things like the privacy issues and the costs put on ISPs. However, his final two points are perhaps the most important. First, he notes that no details have been released or discussed about this special "copyright tribunal" that will handle these cases, even though that's pretty central to the whole deal:
You're creating a copyright tribunal to handle all of these complaints, and yet we've heard exactly nothing about what this will entail, regarding standards of evidence and valid defenses....

The dilemma: I have a wifi hotspot in my home, attached to my internet account. It's unsecured. A hacker or ne'er do well logs in to my hotspot, torrents a bunch of movies without my knowledge. Later I receive infringement notices and have to show up at the tribunal. I'm stunned, because I know nothing about it.

Is my defense of an unsecured wifi hotspot, combined with total ignorance of the matter, valid?

Change the parameters a little. My hotspot is secured by WEP, and a hacker cracks it (which is amazingly easy to do). Same scenario ensues. Is this a valid defense?

What about IP spoofing? What if someone frames me for infringement when I've not engaged in the activity? Is that a valid defense?
No matter what you feel the answers to the above questions are, the fact that this is not clear and has not been discussed with regards to New Zealand's proposed law seems tremendously problematic. It leaves all sorts of questions on the table that could make the law incredibly bad. And the answers to those questions -- no matter which way they go, raise questions about this law:
If these defenses are valid, then the copyright tribunal is redundant; anyone aware of these issues has so many plausible defenses that there is no way to prove infringement.

If these defenses are not valid, then the tribunal is a sham and a rubber-stamp for industry interests, because there is no way to prove your innocence in light of accusation.
His final point is that this bill would create a new class of criminals totally at the behest of an industry -- which isn't quite how things are supposed to work:
You're criminalizing a non-criminal behavior based on exactly nothing of substance, and at the behest of a private industry.

I'm of the mindset that if you're going to criminalize a behavior, you had best meet the burden of proof as to why that behavior is being outlawed.

Can the NZ MPs do that? If they can, they're doing their best to hide their evidence. The industry's own statistics have been called into question and ultimately they've been debunked.

So the obvious question: on what grounds are you justifying this?
Good questions -- but somehow I doubt we'll get any substantial answers from New Zealand MPs.

Filed Under: new zealand, three strikes

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  1. identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, 26 Apr 2010 @ 6:58am

    adlib furthar economic repurcussions

    Ya know once this starts the economies around the world are really gonna get whacked.

    A) Canada has 24 million net accounts. Lets just say people ignore then get hit with the fines of ACTA.
    - the law states now that commercial infringement aka profiting = 20,000 dollar fine , ACTA make NON-COMMERCIAL no different.

    B) those that get fined have that money removed from the economy as they pay the gov't NOT the artists this fine, WHO may do as they wish with fine money. The most likely to do this type a stuff are already not well off and some may then resort to criminal behavior to make up for this.

    C) if there is no difference to selling and not selling and i for instance have already been logged as having done more then a life sentence worth of infringement even if non commercial then you can only get life once and i might as well take a few jerks out along the way to prison.

    D) Societies cost to house me for 2.5 years per music tune is valued at 250,000 $ PER music tune so a full album could run me a max fine of 280$,000 OR max time in jail of 28000 days ( over 76 years) This also removes me form a tax base however small i was BUT imagine that on a scale of a million people....

    E) ALL isps in canada have been using DPI for some time and they do know what people have done and are up too. THere fore supporting ACTA means your just going to toss hundreds of thousands into jail OR make examples of those that embbarrass or make it tough on govt ( thus suppression of opposition and freedom of speech is achieved )

    F) Stealing internet and access becomes a huge thing.
    GO look at sides of your houses and why over 10 million homes in canada are insecure versus this. and BCE for example says they will not secure them cause it will cost them 200$ per home.

    G)IP spoofing is damn funny and easy to do.

    H)Sniffing data is also easy and even if encrypted if they never change passes and many dont you will be able to eventually crack it. The recent crck can mean you sniff and copy the data then use the unstable electricity to by pass the encryption. THIS is why its very serious to use multiple encryption.

    I) these laws only furthar show (wait and see ) that it will increase criminal gangs selling the material to end users at cheaper then hollywood does or is willing to.

    Oh and after my 3rd strike in canada ill just steal your net and when you get canceled ill go to the next until NO ONE has net access in my city.

    YUP gonna get lots a people angry but ya know what BLAME your JAFFER LIKE MP for being bribed by a foreign govts wish to tax us all.

    THAT'S RIGHT all politicians that take lobby money from hollywood or there associates are traitors to your country.

    CYA France, UK and New zealand, YOUR all just CHINESE to me now....

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