Businesses In New Zealand Worry That New Copyright Law Will Kill Off Their Open WiFi

from the can't-have-that-now... dept

With New Zealand rushing through their new three strikes copyright law to kick people off the internet based on accusations (not convictions) of online copyright infringement, some businesses are apparently noting that the law makes no distinctions on business and personal accounts, and any business with open WiFi may suddenly become liable for actions of their users. In other words, the many businesses that offer free and open WiFi to attract customers may have to turn it off to avoid losing all internet access.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    You'd think that some countrys would figure out to become more leniet towards these things, as it only serves the corporations.

    But nope, they only get tighter on their silly rules.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    David Spira (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:01am

    Maybe this is good

    While I'm completely opposed to these three-strikes rules, I think some good can come from New Zealand's passage of this law.

    The world needs to see the vast and far reaching the consequences. When public wifi dries up, and businesses lose their connections, the failure will be crystal clear. Fingers crossed, I'm hoping that one or two of the lawmakers who voted for the law will have their connection severed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    FuzzyDuck, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:02am

    Cost to society as a whole

    In other words a cost will be imposed on society as a whole - less convenient and more expensive Internet access - in order to "protect" the profits a a few big corporations.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Planespotter (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:10am

    If it is anything as bad as the UK DEA then it will be further reaching than just the local coffee shop and pub.

    The DEA in the UK has the potential to make schools, colleges, universities, libraries and even local government shut down free open access wifi. A point I tried to raise with both my local MP and the Labour government prior to them pushing through the DEA in the last weeks before the election last year. It is only ISPs BT and TalkTalk that stand a chance of having the DEA or parts of it stricken from law now. Good luck NZ, you're gonna need it!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:18am

    looks like some answers from USTR on ACTA are out:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Josef Anvil (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    DUH !!! And then the spin...

    This one is a big fat DUH!!!

    I wonder if the RIAA/MPAA/BSA will figure the loss of business due to this type of law into their calculations for damage to the economy due to piracy. As in, the pirates forced us to lobby for these types of laws that further harm the economy, so now the total cost of piracy is more than a Bajillion dollars to the global economy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Re: Maybe this is good

    *pictures a few people with Guy Fawkes masks sitting in a car outside the lawmaker's grounds, downloading using his connection ... and the settlement letter that comes as a big surprise to him*

    Could happen. Won't be me, though, NZ is a bit out of the way, nor am I a member of that particular group.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Donnicton, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Re: Maybe this is good

    Or, instead, it'll be like other issues, where the sheer arrogance of a particular person or group will instead cause them to respond with "Well, they simply didn't do it right. WE can do it better, watch!" despite overwhelming evidence in other countries that it doesn't work.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Mr. Smarta**, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Darn right they will!!!

    This isn't about piracy or internet access. This is about one thing, and one thing only. America telling other countries they better start falling into line!! American businesses, senators, representatives, and others at the top of the pyramid are sick to death over other countries NOT DOING WHAT WE TELL THEM!!! Well this is the last straw... So listen up.

    Every country out there... YOU WILL DO AS AMERICA SAYS AND YOU WILL DO IT NOW!!! I don't care who you think you are or how *you* want to run your country. You can run it how you want as long as it follow's America's agenda. Three strikes laws, copyrights, patents, ALL OF IT! You will follow suit and you are going to like it. PERIOD!! Now quit the crying and the back talk.

    America is your daddy, and you will listen to every word we have to say. GOT IT?? GOOD!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    Hiiragi Kagami (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:17am

    As teh Fonze would say...

    "Aaaayyyy(t thousand deposited)"

    Royalties. What a stupid system. If this is the way they want to play the game, then someone owes me my share at having to put forth the work to watch this series, especially as it started to whine down.

    Someone owes *me* for having to work to sit through the episode the Fonz jumped the shark.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    Peter Dow (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:26am

    Re: Maybe this is good

    If a simple accusation is all it takes, then find the names and get busy accusing everyone who voted for this law, and all the people who lobbied for it, etc. Get them kicked off asap.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Dave Reed, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    I laugh!

    Senator Smith and Minister Jones can download movies day and night and they will not get cut off. They are INSIDE. We are OUTSIDE. The RIAA and the MPAA for all the arrogance will not bitch-slap a senator.

    The Senator (Minister, etc) needs to be able to say, with a straight face, "I have never been kicked off the net for infringement. It's not a problem, just pay for your music and movies!"

    You think ISPs and the MPAA don't understand this game? If the Senators, et al, got kicked off for downloads they would change the law.

    You don't think the teams in conflict are Creators and Consumers, do you? Heck, we're all on the same team. Creators want to create and get paid for it, Consumers want to consume and support the creators. The conflict is between the powerFUL and the powerLESS. Note: the RIAA, the MPAA and the Senate are ON THE SAME TEAM.

    No, I'm not suggesting back room deals or vast conspiracies. They are simply all from the same socio-economic class. The rest of aren't. It really is that simple.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    A Dan (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:34am


    Digital Economy Act, not Drug Enforcement Agency, just in case anyone else was confused.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    Planespotter (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for that...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    el_segfaulto (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 12:38pm

    Re: As teh Fonze would say...

    I think you're in the wrong thread, but I find your argument compelling nonetheless.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 2:10pm

    Probably should point out the law doesn't actually let them shut down your access on three accusations.

    I'm no expert in the new law yet but it would still take a conviction in court for them to do that (or at least once they implement the part of the law which lets them kick you off, which they havent yet).

    In court an unchallenged accusation is to be assumed to be evidence of guilt - thats the crappy part you're referring to. What's not clear to me is whether to remove that burden of assumed guilt you just have to challenge the accusation or actually disprove it.

    My gut feeling is the court will be reluctant to interpret it in a way which overly prejudices the defendants long standing rights to presumption of innocence. But a good law should never be this unclear.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Rich Cohen, Apr 20th, 2011 @ 3:22pm

    Corruption and the end of the pure play Republic.

    I was planing on moving my company to NZ given their affirmed stance on banning purely Software (idea/process) Patents. This makes me think they're not as independent as they would lead us to believe. There can be no doubt that a conspiracy is being executed in every nation which can possibly have such a law (read not the US, though circumventing the constitution via civil liability is on the table).

    If anything, this underscores the flaws in Republics or Representative Democracy. We the people MUST establish a means to veto laws passed through corruption. Buying a few political whores is cheap. The laws they impose on their alleged constitutes is anything but.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 6:17pm

    Open access won't matter, will it?

    Even if a business has closed wifi, the people with the key could still be accused of violations. Heck, even if no one uses the access point at all, copyright holders can still accuse. The only difference is that arguably you'd have a better defense if your access point was closed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Chargone (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re: Maybe this is good

    NZ gets a lot of stupid laws this way.
    also a fair number of 'see? it worked in this compleatly different place that is nothing like NZ, so surely it will work here without any modification!' type plans.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    Chargone (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:05pm


    i'd have to reword it, but if i remember rightly they managed to decouple the three strikes and the 'you get kicked off' bit.

    three strikes then it goes to arbritration, or some such, and at least some ISPs plan on being rather obstructionist about this.

    however, kicking you off requires a court order, which, as the thing was presented when i read about it, didn't actually involve the rest of the process at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    Chargone (profile), Apr 20th, 2011 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Corruption and the end of the pure play Republic.

    represenative democracy, much like the corporation, mostly provides a get out of jail free card when it comes to responcibility for screw ups. at least with a dictator one knows who to shoot to get things changed :S

    not that i'm exactly a fan of dictatorships, they're far more prone to going off the rails.... but far easier to fix too. like efficiancy, stability is not inherantly a Good thing... or at least, it has a maximum beyond which it becomes problematic. representative democracy is not at all about the will of the people. it's about preventing revolt and sudden shifts.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. icon
    Nom du Clavier (profile), Apr 21st, 2011 @ 3:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Maybe this is good

    The solution to that is to hand them a bajonet fitting lightbulb and an E17 socket and tell them not to leave the room until they see the light.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.