"In 1986 TVNZ took all music shows off the air following a dispute with record companies, who were demanding payment for video clips that were becoming increasingly expensive to produce. TVNZ refused to pay to screen them on the grounds that this was ‘a form of sales promotion’. The dispute was resolved by the end of the year and the shows returned to air. "
That "dispute was resolved" is putting it nicely.
The record companies _begged_ TVNZ to air music videos again as sales had fallen substantially (lack of exposure, plus the record-buying public put the blame for not seeing music videos firmly on the shoulders of the music industry.)
Several weeks before the end of the dispute, TVNZ was paid full commercial advertising rates to air Michael Jackson's "Thriller" during an ad break in the 6pm news. It was subsequently aired several more times as a paid advert.
That's not just a surrender, it's a full scale crying of "Uncle!"
It's virtually impossible to have someone declared vexatious on a couple of cases, although individual cases can be declared vexatious - which normally results in the other party getting a judgement for all costs and ancilliaries.
Once someone's declared as a vexatious litigant they have to apply for and get court clearance for anything which might possibly be remotely construed as a legal threat and such orders usually bind for 20 years.
I've only ever seen one person declared vexatious and it effectively barred him from saying anything without court clearance. He was in court a few months later on contempt charges and the judge's ruled pretty much disembowelled him (it's amazing what a pissed off judge can order, even against a lawyer, if sufficiently irritated)
By doing what they have done, the New Zealand govt has elevated a fairly noxious individual to somewhat of a folk hero.
More worryingly, the fact they've demonstrated they're perfectly willing to throw away the rulebook to go after someone like Dotcom means they're equally as willing to throw away the rulebook if they decide they don't like YOU.
"They're essentially arguing that it's perfectly fine for a judge to issue a warrant without the legally required details, and that just does not strike me as a good thing."
New Zealand policy when they prosecute anyone is to seize all their assets and finances, then force them to use public defenders (with limited hours available)
The police were rubbing their hands with glee on this, as they thought they'd be pocketing the proceeds from seizures with Dotcom unable to mount an effective defence.
There have been a large number of cases of miscarrriages of justice that finally ended up out of New Zealand at the UK Privy Council where convictions were overturned and _extremely_ harshly worded comments about the behaviour of both the NZ courts and Police entered into the record.
As a direct result of these Privy Council judgements, in the 1990s the New Zealand government stripped the ability to appeal to the Privy Council and insituted a new "highest court in the land" composed of the very same judiciary whose impartiality had been fiercely criticised in Privy Council decisions.
It's worth noting that New Zealand has been singled out as the country in the world whose economy has been most crippled by growing inequality across the board - inequality which has become increasingly rampant since the late 1990s.
The problem is that NZ is a small country with everyone in power in everyone else's back pocket and a fairly pliable population who still believe that there is no way corruption could be hiding in backrooms and high offices. (That may have been true once, but it hasn't been since the 1950s at least)
New Zealand media is complicit in this and anyone who threatens to rock the boat is usually quickly gagged by threats of civil defamation lawsuits from those who stand to be exposed (New Zealand has no "public interest" or "absolute truth" defences)
"I wonder how the UK citizens like the idea of FACT running around playing copyright cops with taxpayer dollars for private companies."
My employer has recently made the decision to stop paying for FACT membership because they just keep jacking up the fees year upon year.
The first thing FACT did was threaten raids and imply legal action if they didn't get a "closure meeting" - when we told them that all such meetings would be attended by lawyers and subject to audio/visual recordings which would be published on our websites they went very quiet.
What she is, is one of the few judges in the country who are more than willing to make sure that the law applies equally in her courtroom.
Unlike the overly credulous judge who issued the original search warrants(*) based on allegations without adequate evidence. Does anyone else find it interesting that judge's name is not in the public arena?
(*) Warrants which were over-broad, and yet the police and FBI went so far beyond them that even the NZ judiciary blinked.
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