The copyright law goes global

October 13th, 2008 at 12:22 pm by David Farrar

I blogged a few days ago, quoting who attended a meeting with to discuss concerns over the new law. The law requires ISPs to terminate Internet access to repeat infringers, and there is a push on for this to mean those merely accused of infringement, as opposed to those convicted of doing so.

Colin blogged:

Judith Tizard spent 30 minutes telling us why the change had to be made. She began by strongly expressing her anger that we had complained to her at this stage in the proceedings. None of us, she said, had been to see her before this on this topic. When we protested that we had worked with the Select Committee, which had removed this provision – and balanced it with one which made licence holders liable for false accusations – she said that this was completely inappropriate of the Select Committee, because Cabinet had already decided this was going ahead. We should not have been surprised, we were told, that this provision was reinserted by the government at the last minute before the bill was passed.

Now this story has been picked up on other blogs, including Boing Boing. is one of the top ten blogs in the world for readership. Millions of people read it. And this is what they have just read:

New Zealand’s copyright minister starts screaming when asked whether it’s fair to cut people off from the Internet on the basis of three unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement.

Boing Boing further note:

Of all the unreasonable and awful proposals to come out of the entertainment industry, none is so bad as the three-strikes rule, a rule that would leave everyday people vulnerable to having the connection that brings them freedom of speech, of assembly and the press, the link that connects them to family, school, work and government, terminated because someone, somewhere made three accusations of copyright infringement, without having to offer a shred of evidence.

What I found most interesting what as the viewpoint from Judith that it was “inappropriate” for a select committee to make changes to a bill which differ from what Cabinet agreed to. This is a novel way of looking at the role of Parliament.

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24 Responses to “The copyright law goes global”

  1. dog_eat_dog (772 comments) says:

    Talk about pandering to big business…wait..this is Labour? No, no, no, this doesn’t make sense at all!

    Judith has got to go. If Kaye doesn’t take her seat, Woods will. She’s unfit for office and the sooner she’s gone, the better.

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    The left- throughout history, like all tyrants, they’ve always been frightened to death of free speech. Tizard has never been anything but a fascistic lowlife (remember, in a stark exhibition of her ignorance regarding democracy and the state, she took down the Queen’s pictures and replaced them with Helen Klark’s) and this is just a taste of what this country (and others) will be in for if they don’t remove these dangerous ignorant control freaks from power.

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  3. presspassbob (14 comments) says:

    We have copyright laws in place now that adequately cover theft of intellectual property. I’ll give that more could be done to place restrictions on those who openly provide copyrighted content for others to abuse. If any further regulation is required it should be directed at the cause of the problem, not the symptom. Pressure from global content producers should not be the basis for extra state controls governing every little piece of our lives. This is the thin end of a Labour led censorship of the freedoms the internet provides the community. They don’t like not being able to exert control as they can over the MSM, and this is one of the ways that the balance of power is gradually shifting in their favour.

    I can see this being tested in the courts and coming a cropper of the Bill of Rights.

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  4. Rick Shera (2 comments) says:

    Sorry, but I did attend the meeting that Colin blogged about and it is totally untrue to suggest that Judith Tizard started “screaming” as the boing boing quote does. The Minister has views on section 92A that I and others in the ICT community do not share and we will no doubt continue to vigorously debate those views but suggesting that the Minister was anything but professional is just not true.

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  5. insider (1,035 comments) says:

    Labour is usually very concerned about our international reputation. WOnder if they will be in this case?

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  6. getstaffed (9,189 comments) says:

    What I found most interesting what as the viewpoint from Judith that it was “inappropriate” for a select committee to make changes to a bill which differ from what Cabinet agreed to. This is a novel way of looking at the role of Parliament.

    This was the biggest revelation to me too.

    An admission the the SC processes are just there as windowdressing.

    Disgusting.

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  7. alex Masterley (1,507 comments) says:

    Agreed shows the Palmer select committee process is treated with contempt bythe current lot.

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  8. RRM (9,745 comments) says:

    “Three allegations and you’re out” is just wrong.

    But to try and make a freedom of speech issue out of this – oh please. You have a commercial arrangement with your internet service provider, i.e. you provide them with $49.95 per month and they provide your home with teh internetz. I don’t see how this impinges on my free speech, any more than (say) if my car was impounded, therby “impinging on my free speech” by making it harder for me to get to the post office…

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  9. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Oh please”

    You power obsessed lying bastards will be flat out racking up three false allegations against anyone you don’t like. That’s what is fucken well wrong with it you communist scum, and you know that well enough. Its standard socialist/ communist strategy. The purpose of every such issue is always presented as legitimate in the first instance, but the real plan is to give totalitarian swine like you the means to shut down anyone who speaks out against your stinking socialist doctrine. Don’t try the innocent act here dirtbag. You people do this kind of thing all the time.

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  10. l@wgeek (12 comments) says:

    Yes, it is enlightening to discover that simply because Cabinet has a policy therefore no-one should be surprised if changes made at SC level are simply overturned (as this one was by SOP a week before the Act was passed). Means no-one needs to waste time, money and passion on making SC submissions – back-room lobbying and dealing is now the only reliable way to influence legislative process.

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  11. dog_eat_dog (772 comments) says:

    It’s more the fact she’s routed the select committee that’s the ‘freedom of speech’ issue here, RRM.

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  12. loftus (16 comments) says:

    Freedom of speech is probably a red-herring.

    You would have a much better chance going after this law as contravening Section 25(c) (The right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty) of the NZ Bill of Rights

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  13. RRM (9,745 comments) says:

    dog-eat-dog: but we can’t decide every bill by citizen’s referendum, can we? We can, however, re-assert our freedom of speech later next month by voting them out in favour of an opposition that MAY (if they are smart) see fit to loudly promise to repeal this shocking suppression of free speech.

    Ratty:

    “You power obsessed lying bastards…”
    “That’s what is fucken well wrong with it you communist scum…”
    “…totalitarian swine like you…”
    “…your stinking socialist doctrine.”
    “Don’t try the innocent act here dirtbag.”

    Well it’s good to see that your freedom of speech is, as ever, completely uninhibited. Keep it up old buddy ;-)

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  14. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Keep it up old buddy”

    Don’t worry I intend to, and I’ll do it well enough without the encouragement of knuckle dragging gape jawed losers like you.

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  15. presspassbob (14 comments) says:

    RRM – Ok, so it might be a bit of a stretch for me to imply the gummint has a sinister hidden agenda on this.

    That said, I firmly believe that forums such as this blog will eventually have restrictions placed upon them.  The control freaks that infest this Labour government won’t be able to help themselves.

    But the point I made about creeping state controls remains valid, as does the arrogance that comes of being in power for 9 years as displayed by Tizzard’s response when questioned.

    This is a classic example of an out of touch government that has grown fat and lazy at our expense, who believe their own bullshit and have come to expect to get their way and begger anyone who challenges them. For all our sakes they need to be gone by lunchtime.

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  16. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    And National intends to repeal this change? Yeah, thought so. They love watching Labour turn our country into a dung heap, then when in power, they tell everyone: “…now, now people, just settle in and it’s actually quite comfortable! ”

    They should change their name to The Nero Party.

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  17. Ross Nixon (614 comments) says:

    So, what is Liabore’s plan?
    Get Internet access disabled for a large number of prominent National Party supporters over the next few weeks?

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  18. dave strings (608 comments) says:

    >
    >>This is a novel way of looking at the role of Parliament.
    >

    Yep. Not the end of the novelty though! Having analysed a lot of the way our Legislation Factory works, I can’t express adequately my dismay at the contempt with which our parliamentary process is regarded by today’s politicians.

    Party voting – with one person casting the votes for more than one party and a couple of independents means that Bills are being passed with less than five people in the chamber! No quorum means no need to be there. Add to that the fact that Select Committees, which were restructured in 1995 to be the power-house of legislation tuning and the change to which resulted in the removal of a Debating Chamber quorum being acceptable, now have no impact at all as Cabinet is able to unilaterally return a Bill to its original for for third reading!

    Our system of governance has been trivialised by the arrival of Helengrad. I only wish that “the people” could see and understand that.

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  19. louie (93 comments) says:

    I’m sure nobody will abuse a law like this – such as to lodge complaints against political opponents …

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  20. BR (82 comments) says:

    Most of the recent changes to copyright law have been at the behest of the film and music industries.

    These two industries have for some time been screaming for governments and lawmakers to protect them from all the evil pirates and downloaders, pointing out that jobs and entertainment opportunities are at stake. They have also been promoting the view that downloading and copying music or movies is morally wrong, and that those who do it should don the sackcloth and ashes and hang their heads in shame.

    It was about 10 years ago that an acquaintance recommended to me a film which shall remain nameless. I don’t watch many movies, so this film was for me anyway, and education as to the standards that now define the film industry. Without going into details, I will just say that almost every depravity was represented, and that no expense was spared in it’s presentation. For the most part, entertainment such as this will achieve nothing other than to encourage the perversions of the sort of people who find this stuff delicious, and make a lot of money for the industry; an industry that seems oblivious to the standard of behavior that they are promoting and encouraging.

    Rock and roll, for it’s part, has always been about rebellion. Disrespect for the law and presenting a middle finger to the establishment has for a long time been a staple of the music industry (hell, I should know, I spend the best part of my youth involved in it, albeit in a small way). When punk rock hit the stage 30 years ago, it broke new ground in raising the disapproval of mainstream society. Little did the industry know at the time that it would one day find itself in the unenviable position of having to appeal to the very morality that it had shamelessly set out to to destroy.

    The rock and roll and movie industries have for a long time, profited hansomely from their stake in society’s murky back alleys, so they should hardly have been surprised the day they looked out of the window and saw a large crowd, stretching as far as the eye can see, all with one hand raised in a middle fingered salute right back in their direction.

    One should never forget that like the laws of libel, copyright law has a place, but it is also a two edged sword that offers undeserved legal protection for the worst kind of scoundrel.

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  21. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,823 comments) says:

    It’s a crazy law to bring in and just goes to show how out of touch Labour is with the electorate.

    Is National going to do anything to correct this law, I’ll go out on a limb and guess NO.

    Nothing quite like change that isn’t change but exactly what we got last time. If you want the government to act then it’s party vote ACT.

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  22. He-Man (270 comments) says:

    Of course Nz has to suck up to the US copyright law. The trade agreement with the US comes at a price remember?

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  23. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,823 comments) says:

    Judith Tizard not making it back into parliament on 8 November is going to be no loss to New Zealand.

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  24. dowidh (1 comment) says:

    I wonder what would happen if lots of people created songs and videos, then started accusing all the mps that voted this bill in, of unauthorised use, would the mps lose their internet connection, or doesn’t the law apply to them? Or what if suddenly content creators started accusing Judith Tizard’s friends and family of unauthorised use, would they lose their connection? It’s so wrong to rob people of their connection on mere accusation alone. Baseless allegations should have to prove themselves as legitimate before taking away people’s connection. Some people earn their livelihoods on the internet, if someone didn’t like them, they could accuse them, knowing full well all their income comes for their online job, then watch their lives go to custard, as they would have no money to pay the bills and morgage. This is an immoral law that violates our bill of rights. Guilt has to be proved first, before punishing people.

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