An own goal

April 14th, 2011 at 8:11 am by David Farrar

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

Fierce protest erupted last night as the Government rushed through legislation that could cut off internet users.

Opponents took to social media sites such as Twitter to revive the 2009 “blackout” protest that brought about the redrafting of the controversial illegal-file-sharing legislation.

The replacement (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which aims to stamp out internet piracy, is expected to pass through its final stage today. The new law would allow owners to ask for a six-month suspension of the internet accounts of those who repeatedly infringe by sharing protected material. …

In November the select committee suggested a change to allay fears. Although the legislation still has a provision that allows for disconnection, this can only be enacted on the recommendation of the commerce minister by an order in council. It must be proved that other sanctions such as warnings taken over a two-year period had not proved effective.

Up until this week, the Government had followed pretty much a model policy process in rewriting S92A, but the decision to pass it through the remaining stages under has led to the backlash, and has in fact over-shadowed the many positive changes the bill makes to the current law. It is, to be blunt, an own goal.

It ironically happens the same day as my blog post with Grant Robertson about over-use of urgency – which the Herald has reported on.

I’m quite understanding the Government has a big legislative agenda and needs to use urgency to clear the order paper before the election. But in this case they could have avoided unnecessairly alarming people by not having included the third reading of the law in the urgency motion, and having that debated the following sitting week.

To put things in context, I want to cover the process to date on the bill, and also the policy changes from the current law which was passed by the previous Government and Parliament. The previous Parliament passed a law requiring ISPs to have policies to terminate Internet access of repeat copyright infringers. This provision was thrown out by the Select Committee, but stuck bakc in by then Minister Judith Tizard (and supported by both major parties – kudos to the Greens who voted against).

The previous law was unworkable and would have led to ISPs having to act as judge, jury and executioner and people would have lost Internet access on the basis of unproven and untested allegations. The blackout campaign (which I helped with) resulted in the new National Giovernment suspending s92A from coming into operation, and they set up a process to amend it.

As I said, the process up untul this week had been pretty first class. It was:

  1. Set up a working group to consider options
  2. Working group proposes a policy
  3. Feedback sought on proposed policy, changes made
  4. Minister releases cabinet paper on proposed policy
  5. Feedback given to Minister on proposed policy, changes made
  6. Minister introduces bill
  7. Select Committee hears submissions
  8. Select Committee makes changes and reports back
  9. Further submissions are made to Minister asking for “technical improvements” by way of SOP at Committee of the Whole stage
  10. Minister agrees and introduces SOP

As I said, up until now the process has been consultative, considered and in my opinion at every stage the bill has got better and closer to what Internet users want (but still not ideal – I will cover that later). The process has stretched out over two years, and has been far from rushed.

The bill was reported back from Select Committee on 3 November 2010. So it has been sitting them for five months waiting for a second reading. And then suddenyl we have second reading, committee of the whole stage and third reading in (almost) one day. This is what has led to the protests – the public don’t like having multiple stages of a bill gone through in one day.

As I said, Im not arguing using urgency to progress the bill – just don’t do all remaining stages in the one urgency session – that is hat has turned what should be a good news story into a bad news story.

Now let’s turn to the substance of the policy of the bill. As I said previously, it is a big improvement over the former law. And the really nice thing is that at every stage we have managed to get some further wins  but that is perhaps a reflection of how bad the old law was.

Here’s what I blogged in response to the Cabinet paper:

Good:

  • Three notices needed within 9 months to go to Tribunal
  • Users can stay anonymous and send response via ISP
  • Users remain anonymous at Tribunal stage unless they lose
  • Notices must be sent to ISPs within 20 days of alleged infringement, so a huge number can not be collated over months and then piled into an ISP
  • Rights holders will have to pay a fee per notice, to cover their admin costs in issuing the notices
  • Termination/Suspension is an option only for courts, not the tribunal (or ISPs)
  • Termination is defined as suspension of that account for up to six months so law is clear
  • A new definition of ISP to be drafted for S92A only, which will be narrower then current definition which includes employers, bloggers etc.
  • ISP given statutory protection where they comply with the Act and any court orders
  • Law not to come into effect until six months after amendments passed
  • 92A to be available for P2P infringing only, and material under 92C excluded from gambit of 92A

Not so good:

  • Time between 1st and 2nd notice can be as little as 10 working days and 10 again between 2nd and 3rd. That means you can get to strike three in a month.
  • The fee rights holders pay to ISPs is set by Govt and will not include capital costs of modifying systems
  • No sanctions on right holders for false notices
  • Termination/Suspension is still an option

Overall I have to say a huge improvement over the original 92A, and even a slight improvement over the discussion proposal.

And then in response to the select committee:

Overall the changes made by the Select Committee to the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill represent an improvement. I’m especially pleased that they have effectively shelved for now the termination provisions, as I thought that would set a bad precedent. What are the changes?

  • The definition of an ISP has been narrowly defined to cover traditional ISPs and exclude universities, busineses and the like who might provide Internet access but are not really ISPs. This is a good change
  • The definition of file sharing has been tightened so it won’t cover downloading a single file off a website etc. Has to involve using file sharing technology. Also a good change.
  • Those given notices have an extra week now to challenge them – also good.
  • ISPs are no longer required to consider whether to accept, reject or refer on challenges to rights holders – all challenges get passed onto rights holders
  • No lawyers at Copyright Tribunal hearings unless very good cause. Yay.
  • Now for the bad one – they have recommended that an allegation from a rights holder will constitute burden of proof which must be rebutted. This is dangerous. Google has given evidence that around 30% of the notices they have received in the US are false or incorrect. I think the Copyright Tribunal should be left to its own devices to decide if an infringement notice from a rights holder meet burden of proof. Different rights holders may establish different levels of reliability. I hope the Government will consider amenemdents to this at committee of the whole stage.
  • The committee have said that any damages should include a punitive element, and not merely compensation. I partially agree. Compensation only would not provide any disincentive. However any punitive damages should be linked to the level of lost revenue. I see it like the IRD with 100% penalties. If you download $100 of music then you could get fined say $200 and if you download $500 of movies then the fine may be $1,000. But if the punitive damages are unliked to the offending then you may have someone fined $15,000 for downloading one song.
  • The provisions for a Court to order an Internet account to be suspended for six months have themselves been suspended. The Minister can activate them by order in council, but only if other penalties are seen not to have worked. Not a bad compromise. I’d rather no provision at all, but this is a lightyear better than what was in the law passed by Judith Tizard and Parliament in 2008.

 In relation to the third to last bullet point, we got a further partial victory on this with the Minister introducing a SOP to clarify that you don’t need to prove yourself innocent. Rick Shera has said that the SOP may not fix the problem entirely, but it is an improvement.

I said in my last blog post:

The Greens have said they support the bill going forward, but think Internet suspension should be out of there entirely – not just held in reserve. I agree.

The Greens have consistently voted against termination being an appropriate punishment, and I support them on this issue. Over the years I’ve had several meetings with initially Nandor and then Gareth Hughes on this issue, and they have been excellent to deal with.

Chris Carter and Hone Harawira also voted to remove termination, so pleasing to see them vote with their consciences outside a party whip.

Amongst the opposition, Clare Curran deserves recognition for moving Labour from having supported the original S92A, to a policy position where Labour is against termination as a response to copyright infringement. At select committee they did a deal with the Government where the termination option was “put on ice” as a compromise and I think that’s a good example of an Opposition being constructive and gaining improvements in a bill rather than just engaging in rhetorical opposition that achieves little.

It would have been nice to get termination removed entirely. But over the last two years we got it changed from ISPs terminating upon accusation, to having a tribunal process. We then get termination removed as a “punishment” for the tribunal and restricted to the courts only. And finally got even that suspended as a punishment, so that it can’t be used unless there is an order-in-council to reactivate it.

Overall I’d say those on the “Internet side” got around 80% of what we wanted, and the rights holders didn’t get anywhere near what they wanted. Their biggest “loss” is the fact they will have to remimburse ISPs for their costs if they want an infringement notice sent to their customers. this will provide a significant economic incentive for rights holders not to file hundreds of thousands of notices.

Overall I think Simon Power has done well on this issue, with the exception of the use of urgency for the remaining stages. The policy process of the last two years was good, and the changes made to the law have overall been beneficial.

Again it is a pity that what had been a good news story for the Government has turned into a bad news story, due to the use of urgency.

Once the bill passes into law today, that isn’t the end of the issue. MED will be working on some regulations around the law, and one essential one will be setting the cost per complaint notice that rightsholders have to pay to ISPs. If it is set too low, then it would punish ISPs and encourage a huge torrent of complaints.

There is likely to be some sort of consumer guide to the new law also, so people understand what may happen if they download copyrighted material without paying for it after 1 September.

Tags: ,

78 Responses to “An own goal”

  1. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,065 comments) says:

    So how will this work in practise? A rights holder monitors file sharing activity, reports an individual to their ISP three times and then the tribunal can fine/disconnect them?

    [DPF: Broadly yes but the Tribunal can only fine them. Also there is a very precise process so that the three infringements must be arund a month apart. IE you can't get referred to the Tribuanl for three downloads on the one day. You can only be referred if you receive a first warning notice, carry on downloading, a month later receive a second notice, carry on downloading and then a month later receive a third notice. The third notice will be able to have you referred to the Tribunal.

    If people wish to game the law, you can download as much as you want up to the second notice, and then if you stop downloading for (off memory) nine months, then the first two strikes get reset to zero.

    I'll blog on all this in more detail close to 1 September]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    On the radio this morning was the deranged Luddite Gareth Hughes stating that “in the modern world the internet is a human right”. Since when? How more stupid can he be?

    This Green clown is a prime example of someone elevated to MP only because of the disgraceful MMP system.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. petal (705 comments) says:

    A torrent of complaints?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    I’d like to know why the government is making a law like this. What’s in it for them?

    It’s obviously unpopular, and doesn’t really help any New Zealander. There are far worse crimes that people are doing which just get completely ignored, but they pick on downloading MP3s?

    Now in France the Hollywood crowd may be buying their pollies with models and prostitutes, but I can’t see that happening in New Zealand. And I don’t really see why the US should care NZ citizens are doing. It just seems like a stupid move.

    John Key is too scared to muck with pensions or student allowances, but he’s happy to make every NZer with a computer into a criminal?

    [DPF: This is amending a current law, not creating a new law. Downloading without payment copyrighted material has been an offence since at least 1994. What is being debated is more around the penalties]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Inventory2 (10,161 comments) says:

    @ Manolo; the irony there is that the company that Hughes despises, McDonalds, leads the way in providing free WiFi to it’s punters. Time for Hughes to burn his Ronald McDonald costume?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. thomasbeagle (78 comments) says:

    One serious problem in the bill is that it makes the account holder responsible for any actions of someone who uses that internet connection. Businesses will be found liable for their workers, flatmates for the people they live with. Sharing your internet will become very risky.

    As for internet being a human right – the internet is increasingly becoming the place where we exercise our rights to freedom of speech and freedom to associate. It’s also becoming increasingly entwined with our modern lives, to such an extent that losing internet access cuts you off from civil society. Read more about why we should reject internet disconnection here: http://techliberty.org.nz/internet-disconnection-is-not-an-option/

    P.S. Great summary David.

    [DPF: Ta. I agree about the risks with sharing your Internet, and it is a pity. In an ideal world without data caps, I'd encourage everyone to share their wireless to create wireless cities as has happened in some parts of Canada I think]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    So instead of using Bittorrent everyone will be moving to file locker sites (rapidshare?) and streaming sites (youtube) to watch the latest TV shows?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. nasska (10,821 comments) says:

    Manolo @ 8.30am

    Leaving aside the man’s political beliefs which are not with the real world I can see the point he is trying to make. Removing someone’s internet access could be compared with banning them from posting a letter, using a telephone or entering a library.

    Fortunately it seems from DPF’s post that commonsense has prevailed but it is worth reflecting on how bad things could have been had the “compel & ban” merchants of the last government held sway.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. berend (1,664 comments) says:

    What I don’t understand is why doesn’t this law exclude material which you cannot download otherwise. Surely, you don’t want to punish people for illegally downloading videos/books/etc which simply aren’t being offered legally.

    The industry needs to get off its ass first and start offering legal options.

    [DPF: I agree, and I have often said that the best way to decrease "piracy" is to make content available legally for purchase as easily as possible]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    tristanb – “happy to make every NZer with a computer into a criminal?”

    That is one of the weakest comments I’ve read in a long time. “Everyone NZer with a computer” is downloading illegally? Ludicrous exaggeration. And how does this “make them a criminal” – it doesn’t make anything illegal that wasn’t illegal already. This law didn’t invent copyright. All it does is provide a slim possiblity of the law being enforced in extreme cases.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. berend (1,664 comments) says:

    tristanb: John Key is too scared to muck with pensions or student allowances, but he’s happy to make every NZer with a computer into a criminal?

    John Key was already happy to turn every parent who smacks a child into a criminal, so don’t you worry what else he has in store.

    What won’t be in store is smaller government, and less government control over every aspect of your life.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. berend (1,664 comments) says:

    @Put it away, tristanb is right: if someone uses your computer (hacks your wifi network) you will be punished. tristanb didn’t mean that everyone is a criminal or is doing criminal things (downloading mp3s is not a criminal activity, I’m sorry), but that in the eye of the law everyone potentially can be considered a criminal.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Time for Hughes to burn his Ronald McDonald costume?

    Yes, and I’d suggest while wearing it. :D

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. toad (3,671 comments) says:

    @Manolo 8:30 am

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_access#Access_as_a_human_right

    The United Nations has proposed that Internet access should be a human right. This push was made when it called for universal access to basic communication and information services at the UN Administrative Committee on Coordination. In 2003, during the World Summit on the Information Society, another claim for this was made.

    In some countries such as Estonia, France, Finland and Greece, Internet access has already been made a human right.

    Um, who’s the Luddite?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Nonsense berend, if someone else hacked your wifi you can argue in the Copyright Tribunal that you’ve been falsely accused. Why are the opponents so determined to pretend they’re living in a parallel reality where none of them are illegally downloading copyright files, it’s always these mysterious “other people” who hack your wifi, or malware or whatever, and pretend that the vast majority of people are using filesharing exclusively to download linux distros, free mp3s given away by artists no one’s ever heard of, and lame student films someone’s put on the net free because no one would ever pay for it. Can’t help but be suspicious of a self proclaimed “righteous cause” where none of the campaigners is being honest about what they’re actually doing and why they dislike the law. Can we get some honesty please?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    tristanb didn’t mean that everyone is a criminal or is doing criminal things

    To be honest, I probably just threw up an emotive statement that I subconsciously learnt from watching the news. But I like your interpretation better! :-D

    I don’t think that think saying “everyone downloads copyrighted material” is much of an exageration. At least not with anyone computer literate. I know very few people under 30 who have never downloaded mp3s themselves, and probably no-one who has not watched pirated movies or TV shows. Except for the most computer naive, all those ipods you see people wearing on the street are full of torrented albums.

    If you’re pedantic ignore my bit about “making a law”, but I still don’t see why the government is doing this.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. wreck1080 (3,779 comments) says:

    The man acknowledged as inventing the world wide web, has stated that internet access should show be a human right.

    http://www.techspot.com/news/43285-world-wide-web-inventor-internet-access-is-now-a-human-right.html

    I tend to agree.

    Would we ban convicted drug growers from using electricity for the rest of their lives? (because they used electricity to grow drugs).

    I’m just about to file my tax return over the internet. The use of the internet is pretty much critical for me, I work via the internet too.

    If I downloaded 3 songs over one month and got caught each time – I’d lose my job, and be unable to do many of the day-to-day chores . I’d be unable to communicate with online retailers, unable to buy goods from overseas among other things.

    And, from what I understand , this ban is for the rest of my life?

    This seems to be an extremely draconian punishment for what is theft of about $12 cost.

    [DPF: I agree with you on why Internet access termination should never be an judicial option. Worth pointing out though that the termination is for six months not for life.

    Also the Tribunal will not have the power to terminate. Only if a rights holder goes to court, could the court sanction a six month suspension. The cost of going to court is a magnitude larger than the tribunal, and is likely to only be contemplated for cases with masses of infringing]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. dime (9,606 comments) says:

    so umm those using fileserve, rapidshare, hotfile, filesonic should be sweet! :D

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    I’m very sorry I offended the delicate sensibilities of some Luddites, but I cannot call internet access as a right to every human. The fact that a few European countries and that bastion of enlightment, the United Nations, have expressed such opinion means little.

    Clean water, shelter, and food to prevent starvation are fundamental human rights. There are far too many tasks to achieve before internet access can be considered a right.

    Keep dreaming, comrade toad.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. AM (8 comments) says:

    DPF: Imagine this, someone at you office downloads an mp3. You get a notice. Next month the same, you get another. You crack the whip around the office, removing software laying down the law. But a laptop comes in and it happens again.

    You are a high profile target, the money is thrown at you as a problem to set an example, Curia and your personal internet access is shut down.

    It’s fine, you can live for 6 months without internet… ??? downloading 3 songs is illegal, the punishment fits the crime!

    It’s a crap law, just like the smacking one.

    [DPF: If someone at my office downloaded an MP3 and I got an infringement notice, then I would tell staff to stop and also tell them that it would be misconduct to do so again. I would also point out that I will access the server logs to see which staff member downloaded.

    Also termination is not an option for the Copyright Tribunal. Only the Court will hold this power if it is activated by a future Government. ]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. bazzarra (37 comments) says:

    I watched the proceedings on Parliament TV last night and the most impressive speaker was Gareth Hughes. He was the only member showing a comprehensive knowledge of the subject . Most others seem to have formed their impressions with a quick peek at P2P For Dummies. The whole session, with the exception of Hughes would have made a great comedy, if the subject was not so serious.

    [DPF: Gareth is very well informed on this issue, and made excellent points in his speeches]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. decanker (222 comments) says:

    It appears Manolo doesn’t understand the definition of Luddite.

    You only need to see the gulf in access to information between wealthy children and poor children to accept that home access to the internet will soon be as critical as free education.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. wreck1080 (3,779 comments) says:

    While food/shelter should be the most basic human rights, I’d argue, information can also be critical for human rights. Just look at North Korea and other highly controlled societies where information is locked down. People ‘disappear’ and starve in such societies.

    Imagine, if Nth Korea suddenly allowed people to share information with each other. The country would not last long.

    Information and openness should surely be a human right. The internet is an information delivery tool so by default it should also be a human right.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. labrator (1,799 comments) says:

    To me this is a disgraceful abuse of process. I spend a certain amount of time defending National amongst my socialist friends from the howls of “corporate mates” and “NZ for sale” but things like this make it hard for me to defend. There is no crushing problem that needs to be solved. Well, there is no crushing problem to be solved other than the one Hollywood is inventing to try and keep alive their dying business model based on a hardware and distributive monopoly. As such, there is no need for urgency. Own goal indeed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. FatTory (1 comment) says:

    @Manolo
    Internet access is a human right as an extension of free speech, or freedom of expression as it is commonly known now. However I note you don’t list that in your “fundamental human rights”, in fact all your rights seem to provide is a base for a sustenance lifestyle.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    Some light relief

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/4887073/Copyright-law-Net-parodists-target-Nat-MPs

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Gerrit (105 comments) says:

    Technical question.

    How does an ISP recognise an MP3 file is being transferred from one computer to another via its portals? Is it purely on the file name extention?

    If so, if you want one of my MP3 files I simple change the file extention to a .txt from the .mp3. As long as you know to change it back to a .mp3 extention no one will be the wiser.

    The whole control meme off preventing illegal file downloading is unstopable.

    Sure the commercial backyard filesharing websites are going to get shutdown, but private filesharing will flourish as it has to date.

    [DPF: ISPs will not be looking at what you are doing. They will merely be working out who was assigned a specific IP address as a specific date and time]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. moaningmoa (68 comments) says:

    The simple reality is that anyone who is actively file sharing can take easy steps to avoid the impacts of the law change, so the people most at risk are those not perhaps aware of what other users of their connection are doing (i.e. parents, employers).

    As others have stated; VPNs, file lockers (rapidshare, etc), and services such as seedboxes; mean that serious file sharers will only expose their own IP address at the end of the chain (and potentially after crossing multipe legal jurisdictions). Well away from the IP harvesters.

    Own goal indeed….

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    Someone from Stuff.co.nz doesn’t like this law.

    Look at the web link (not the story, but the actual link:)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/4882838/government-is-totally-fucked

    [DPF: People are just having fun. You can put any words at the end of a stuff URL and it will work. The story number is what brings up the story]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. reversespin (68 comments) says:

    Katrina Shanks, list MP and intellectual heavyweight of the National Party, chips in with her insight into the complex issue:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4886708/Katrina-Shanks-on-internet-law-parody/

    Can someone please save us from list MPs?!?!? She doesn’t even live in Ohariu………..

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. xy (163 comments) says:

    DRHILL: they’re watching you too! http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/4882838/hi-there-dr-hill

    (this kind of joke URL is easy to create since it’s very common for sites to ignore components of the URI they don’t expect, eg http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/04/an_own_goal-2.html?here-is-some-extra-content)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    Thanks for that XY – I didn’t know that!

    /shame………

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. justinian (21 comments) says:

    Greetings
    I really feel that there are a few things that need to be addressed.
    First – David – excellent account of the tortuous process of this legislation
    Secondly – the internet as a human right. Sweden and Finland recognise access to the internet as a human right and before contributors start kicking the concepot for touch there are a few things that need thinking through.
    a) – the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights state that there is a right to free expression and importantly to receive and impart information. Read widely that would include access to systems that allow the exercise of that right and that being so it is the duty of the State to facilitate such exercise.
    b) – as we move further and further into the digital paradigm we find that there are certain activities required of us by the State that cannot be performed OTHER than by on-line means. One example is the filing of annual company returns which can no longer be done in hard copy. If the State is going to require interaction by and with citizens in a specific manner – on-line – then it cannot do therwise than facilitate access to on-line systems
    c) – given those two examples (there are others as noted above) to do other than to treat access to on-line systems automatically discriminates against sections of society and allows classes to develop based on access or non-access to information. (yes I know that it is already there but in the print paradign there is\was a free puiblic library system)
    Thirdly – the legislation does not criminalise file sharing – rather it creates a form of civil liability in the same manner as that provided for in the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act (although Amendment does not characterise it as such). You can only be a criminal if you commit a crime. The Copyright Act does not characterise file sharing as such.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. mawm (211 comments) says:

    AM has it right:-

    It’s a crap law, just like the smacking one.

    There is absolutely no need for any government involvement, let the recording and film industries fight their own battles in a civil court. However I feel that this is just the thin edge of the wedge as our government (with UN guidance) pass law after law taking away more and more of our civil liberties, and taking away our ability to disseminate information without of their being able to control it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. berend (1,664 comments) says:

    Put it away: Nonsense berend, if someone else hacked your wifi you can argue in the Copyright Tribunal that you’ve been falsely accused.

    Very well put. With this law you are guilty unless YOU can prove otherwise. Most people wouldn’t even have a clue they have wifi at home, or have no clue what their kids are doing, and kids think because you can download it, it is legal.

    Thanks again National, you bowed to our overlords from Hollywood.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. queenstfarmer (750 comments) says:

    @toad, there is nothing suprising nor new about the UN promoting new “human rights”. Doesn’t mean it’s a valid idea – in fact, if the UN supports something it usually means the opposite.

    And as it’s the UN, don’t be surprised if half the countries involved are quasi-dictatorships with severly limited freedom of speech.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Toad said…
    Um, who’s the Luddite?

    Toad, I’m surprised that such comment coming from you because you should know or understand better if you’re a Union lawyer. The UN definition of rights is bullshit.

    Here is what rights should be from Not PC.

    Rights

    Well, why that definition is more fundamental is that you won’t encounter any contradictions. If you don’t define rights objectively as Not PC has summarized, then you’re vulnerable to attack by whims of politicians & mystics because they can say that your property is to be seized because someone else has rights to its use but cannot afford to get one.

    Someone has a right to get access to the internet? You don’t get access to the internet just by tuning your brain directly to contents that are hosted on various servers from around the world. You do so, by using someone else’s properties (ISPs & Telecommunication networks). The rights to those properties do belong to the owners and their shareholders and not the potential customers. Where is your rights to internet access if you don’t own an ISP or telecom networks? The answer is that you don’t have a right to what is theirs one single iota. Don’t you see that UN bullshit definition is redundant & bullshit?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    reversespin (26) Says:
    April 14th, 2011 at 11:57 am
    Katrina Shanks, list MP and intellectual heavyweight of the National Party, chips in with her insight into the complex issue:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4886708/Katrina-Shanks-on-internet-law-parody/
    Can someone please save us from list MPs?!?!? She doesn’t even live in Ohariu………..

    Christ on a bike! – The house sits under urgency so MPs like Shanks can make a speech like that? Oxygen thief.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    decanker said…
    You only need to see the gulf in access to information between wealthy children and poor children to accept that home access to the internet will soon be as critical as free education.

    Getting access to the internet helps but it is not the main factor that can lift kids’ learning capabilities. If that’s the case, then you definitely expect that the education achievements of kids today have increased multiple folds than kids from 2 decades ago or so (in same level).

    In fact I would encourage parents not to let their kids get access to the internet while they’re still at primary school because it is timewasting.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. labrator (1,799 comments) says:

    Wow, that Katrina Shanks video is hilarious. I must watch more parliament TV because that’s a howler. How’d she ever get high enough up the list to get into parliament on the National ticket? She is awful.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Hopefully Melissa Lee is the first to be prosecuted for her illegal K-pop compilation!

    http://twitter.com/melissaleemp/status/57764856488669184

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    I wouldn’t steal a car but i would download one if i could.

    Who is this law really targeted at anyway? people who use public P2P networks? pffft …. it doesn’t seem very solid at all when it comes to combating piracy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi, your Rights link has some very dubious connections, like:

    For further reading as to what rights are and aren’t, readers are recommended to the Bill of Rights in the proposed Constitution for New Freeland here.

    Do you belive in this sort of stuff?

    The Bill of Rights

    Article II – Right to Self-Defence Against the Initiation of Force or Fraud

    The right of an individual to preserve, protect and defend his life, liberty and property, or that of any other party subject to the initiation of public or private force or fraud, and to organise himself into private militia for these purposes, shall not be infringed.

    Article VII – No Compulsory Taxation

    The government shall extract no compulsory tax or involuntary contribution of any kind from any citizen for any purpose whatsoever.

    Article VIII – Free Trade, Investment and Migration

    The government shall make no law regulating commerce, investment or migration; but the government may regulate the immigration of any individual who has aided or given comfort to the enemy in any war or revolution respecting the establishment of the Constitution.

    Article X – Rights Held in Trust

    The age of independence shall be deemed by law, but the courts may deem an earlier age on application of the child, if the child can demonstrate its independence.

    I didn’t realise you liked the idea of anarchy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Pete George, in which part is anarchy there? State specifically which one, then explain.

    Try and use your brain rather than your narrow preconceived ideas.

    I’m awaiting your reply.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Where do you think no tax, no regulations and militias would end up? Maybe you haven’t heard of Somalia.

    Anyway, although you seem to have own goaled yourself, and this would lead to something much worse than over controlling a bit of illegal downloading, it’s getting a bit off topic .

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Once again the NZ people punish themselves and create a law to appease overseas interests, bending their lifestyle to fit in with something that is a problem overseas and has no impact on us. Classic

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Illegal downloading does impact on us. It is a real problem for copyright owners. It’s also a real problem coming up with a suitable way of dealing with the “if I can steal a copy I should be free to do it” arrogance.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Fuck that. Problem for copyright owners my ass. Old geezers like you would have put people in prison for making mix tapes of songs off the radio if you had the chance. As long as there is internet people will always find a way to beat ‘The man’. I’ll just download from protected sites.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    If so, if you want one of my MP3 files I simple change the file extention to a .txt from the .mp3. As long as you know to change it back to a .mp3 extention no one will be the wiser.

    I have never worked at an ISP, so correct me if I’m wrong, but I understand that an ISP’s logs tend to just contain the IP address that you visited. This IP address can be reverse looked-up to find the name of the website.

    So my ISP can see (if they keep logs) I’ve visited 203.114.129.100, which looks up to kiwiblog.co.nz.

    They don’t see the actual URL i’m looking at. That requires them to inspect the data being sent. Which should be illegal without a warrant. If the ISP/netcops are going to the trouble of examining all the data being looked at, they’ll probably look at more than just the filename. They may look for the MP3 (or JPEG) header within the data itself.

    The thing is that the ISPs shouldn’t be doing this. What’s more likely is that Sony Inc will put a fake P-Money album on a torrent, and record the IP addresses that try to download this. For all those in the countries Sony/etc have convinced to make these stupid laws, they’ll use a program that automatically writes a letter with the date/time/alleged offence and IP address, which is posted to the ISP.

    The ISP will have to then identify the account holder.

    The whole thing is pretty horrible. It’s sad our government has agreed to help large multinational companies at the detriment of our population.

    [DPF: ISPs will not be looking at what data you were looking at (if they even keep it). The rights holder will say I allege IP address infringed my copyright on 11 Oct at 2028. The ISP will look up whom it had allocated that IP address to at that time, and send the complaint onto them. It will not identify you to the rights holder. If you get three of these notices then you can get taken to the Copyright Tribunal]

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. immigant (950 comments) says:

    ISP can also see the type of traffic you have. If you are bittorrenting for example they can see that. They don’t know exactly what you are downloading, but they know that you are pumping data in a certain way that is symptomatic of bittorents for example. they can even choke out your download traffic if it fits the profile. They can see all the websites you go to if they need to. So downloading from unsecured bittorent sites is just dumb. This law is dumb because people will just create a technology that sidesteps current monitoring and keep doing it. They shut down Napster and Limewire about 10 years ago and bittorents were invented, there will be something new soon enough. For a country who’s economy is in no significant way impacted by this this is just rolling over for the USA. So weak.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    immigant 2:54 pm

    Remember when they bleated that Casette tapes and VCR’s where going to ruin the entertainment industry.

    lol.

    If these Tards had their way you would require a permit to have a piece of tech with read/write capability.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Illegal downloading does impact on us. It is a real problem for copyright owners.

    That’s only because they were used to shafting the population.

    People here talk about “productive members of society”. How is a lazy rockstar receiving millions in royalties productive? How is a child-rapist director getting money for nothing a benefit to society? Why do we make laws to make cocks like Bono a billionaire? Fair enough if they make it from touring (i.e. actual work) but they expect to be paid for a copy of a recording – which costs nearly nothing!

    There are very few copyright holders in NZ who deserve anything they get. Terrible artists like Annabel Fay receive government funding for their albums and wanker promos. They pay radio stations to play their shit songs constantly. Then they get pissed off if people want to download their music? What a terrible sense of entitlement.

    If they want to make money, go on tour or get a proper job. They’re just lucky the government has these laws protecting the worthless, unproductive music “industry”.

    Finally, it’s been said a million times: “Copyright violation is not stealing, it is copying.” If I steal something, I deprive someone else of that thing. Copying allows both people to have an item.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Banana Llama

    Exactly!!!
    I say fight the power! Burn Buses. Riot in the streets. I think It is BS enough that any private company can in theory access my browsing and that ISPs prioritize traffic. If the founding fathers of the internet were dead and saw what the internet turned into they would be spinning in their graves. Watch my words, next thing traffic will be prioritized depending on if it is profitable or not for the ISP.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    I’ve compiled tapes of the radio, I’ve downloaded a bit of music off the ‘net, I’ve copied and used software, I’ve ripped and copied CDs. But I’ve been aware that when I do things like that I am cheating others. Simply because I can easily do it doesn’t make it fair, right or moral.

    It’s a tricky problem and it’s tricky coming up with reasonable solutions. And it’s probably too late to expect younger generations to give a toss about anyone else as long as they can get away with ripping people off. It’s not much different to people thinking it’s fine as long as they can get away with ripping off benefits and taxes. We are becoming a very selfish world. The example shown by the families in the next topic seems to be mostly a thing of the past.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Yes, Katrina Shanks is a true waste of space. And worst of all, very likely to be returned to Parliament wearing the Labour lite jersey.

    On the other side we have the polished Parakura Horomia to counter balance her.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    look you are ripping no one off Pete George so long as you don’t make a cent off what you copy.

    It’s that simple.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. Sector 7g (237 comments) says:

    “Countries fucked”
    “Quick, lets fix the issue of downloading”
    “Great idea, what for again?”
    “Not sure, but some may see it as important if we rush it through”
    “Great idea, plus, it will take the attention off us while we steal from taxpayers”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. immigant (950 comments) says:

    It’s not about ripping people off. It’s about sharing you Dinosaur Pete George.

    By the way ripping and copying is the same thing.

    What is the difference between me sharing mix tapes and sharing my albums online? Does it make it a difference if it is between people who know each other or not? So now the government will frame who are my ‘friends’ and who are ‘strangers’?

    Old wheezing geezers like you just want to keep the status quo and don’t want society to change despite the fact that it obviously is. I pitty you. Sitting back in your armchair, sipping cognac, and lamenting how selfish the youth is.

    Yet it is the young who shape society and get worked to death .

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    It all belongs belongs to everyone and should be shared, the socialist way. Funny.

    Yet it is the young who shape society and get worked to death .

    That’s even funnier. You may see the joke when you grow up.

    I think society changed just a tad before you came along.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Like talking to a Dinosaur

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Blame all the rich film makers and musicians and authors for pushing property values up so much.

    Why don’t you just rip a house that no one’s using? You won’t have stolen it because it will still be where it was. As long as you don’t try and make money by selling it you should be ok. That’ll stick one up “the man”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Rawwww I worked harder. Rawwwwrrr. Nothing has changed in the last 30 years! Rawwwwwrr people are still the same! Rawwwwwrr interest and society is the same Rawwwwrrr!! The young don’t work as hard or as long and all social and economic opportunities have remained the same as when I was your age Rawwwwrrr. Now to retire to my nest of rental properties and laugh at the young ones tryng to fight against obstacles created by those who came before them Rawwwww!!!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. Concentrate (29 comments) says:

    Thanks for this DPF good read.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Let’s cut everyone’s privacy and human rights so those who are already wealthy can become even more so, especially overseas. Digital data and houses are so similar, you trilobite.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    tristanb (315) Says:
    April 14th, 2011 at 3:22 pm
    ..Why do we make laws to make cocks like Bono a billionaire? Fair enough if they make it from touring (i.e. actual work) but they expect to be paid for a copy of a recording – which costs nearly nothing! …”

    The only reason Bono & U2 has a lot of money is because they write music that many people want to pay money for.
    It’s not his fault! – You seem to forget that the recording company takes the Lions share of these revenues
    If an artist got 15% then they were exceptionally lucky.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. Kermadec (22 comments) says:

    Instead of disconnecting the internet for file sharing offenders, they should only block bittorrent protocols.

    That would leave families with access to ports 80/443 so they could still do their internet banking etc online.

    Yes, ISPs can do that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. wreck1080 (3,779 comments) says:

    yeah, this government cannot keep their promises about important stuff like catching up with Australia economically, so instead they target crap that is within their minimal intellectual ability.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. dion (95 comments) says:

    This will be FIGJAM’s legacy. That and his justice “reforms”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    Kermadec – how dare you make such a sensible suggestion.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. Fletch (6,093 comments) says:

    I download the occasional album but if I really like it, I tend to buy it (just bought Norwegian band Donkeyboy’s latest album off iTunes after having illegally downloaded and listened to it for a while). I totally think that there’s not much music worth listening to these days. I downloaded Paul Simon’s new album ‘So Beautiful Or So What’ and didn’t think much of it, really, so won’t be listening to it again or (of course) buying it. Same with Brian Wilson’s Gershwin album. I’m a huge Brian fan (and am looking forward to the Capitol SMiLE sessions finally being released this year!) but didn’t really like his Gershwin thing.

    I don’t think the snippets of songs provided on iTunes or Amazon is enough really to tell if you like an album or not. In other words, there should be a better way to try before you buy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. James (1,338 comments) says:

    There is no such thing as a right to the Internet…or anything else another human must act to provide you with.The net didn’t exist 20 odd years ago…what “right” to it existed then? Its stupid,thoughtless leftist nonsense to claim the net..or even food,water,jobs,housing,medicine etc as rights…they are not.Its certainly “right” for a person to seek and legally acquire these things on an open market in free trade with others but there’s no right TO them…big difference.

    Anyway how would you ban someone for life from the net? Walk into any public library and pay as you go there….Wifi anonymously from Maccas…the options are endless.

    As for the UN….they have as much credence on Human rights as the Catholics have on combating child sex abuse.Go read their awful Declaration of Human rights and note the glaring contradictions from article 21 onwards…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Pete: I didn’t realise you liked the idea of anarchy.

    Anarchy is without Government….the piece clearly refers to a Government…just limited to the protection of individual rights.Just what should Government be doing besides this role Pete?…..and by what justification?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  73. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Pete: Where do you think no tax, no regulations and militias would end up? Maybe you haven’t heard of Somalia.

    Every-time some dickhead uses Somalia as a supposed example of a free society I despair at the stupidity of some members of the Human race.So Somalia has a small but strong rights protecting state does it Pete? Its citizens rights to life,liberty,property and pursuit of their own happiness are defended from violent aggression and respected are they Pete? Somalia is now what the US was aiming in 1776 is it..? If you piss off now and find a rock to hide under we might stop laughing at you eventually…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  74. Pete George (23,131 comments) says:

    Check the dictionary James.

    an·ar·chy
    1. a state of society without government or law.
    2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.
    3. a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.
    4. confusion; chaos; disorder: Intellectual and moral anarchy followed his loss of faith.

    Somalia is used more as an example of a country without an effective government, where armed militia have a large influence, and their society has gone to crap.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  75. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    James you may be the stupidest person on the planet.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  76. deej (4 comments) says:

    Now, I’m a software engineer and if there is one thing I know that is that for every block put in place, there is a way to get around it.
    I would imagine that if there is a law placed down, then there will be ways to obfuscate the data so that no one actually can find out what you are downloading.

    For instance, SSH tunnels with full encryption. If the torrents start to use things like this, there may be no way to track who is downloading what.

    They are seriously easy to use if built into a program (i.e. you wont even know you are using them) and (almost) completely untrackable.

    Resistance breeds innovation.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  77. voice of reason (491 comments) says:

    deej (3) Says:
    April 15th, 2011 at 1:21 am
    …I know that is that for every block put in place, there is a way to get around it….”

    That will be the back door IT thingy Katrina Shanks refered to in her speech, so dont dont worry I’m sure the legislation will prevent that.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  78. gr8barrier (14 comments) says:

    I would not be as nice to the ISP’s or show the level of concern that you have. They have made an absolute fortune via the huge volume of data they have effectively sold to people who are downloading illegally. What has in effect has happened is that there has been a transfer of wealth from ISP to copyright holders. While nobody wants a system where users are spammed with copyright notices it was unlikely to happen. What will happen in respect of the movie industry at least is that users who have downloaded recently released movies will be targeted as that is where the major problems are. I have also found it interesting that the level of public acceptance for copyright theft is quite high. If say a major retailer was having a large quantity of stock pinched it would be considered a serious problem which would concern most people but there is a different threshold for IP products.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.