Saying no to Hollywood

February 8th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

David Fisher at NZ Herald reports:

John Key went to meet Hollywood bosses with a briefing from officials saying studio bosses were looking for easier ways to target New Zealanders who downloaded and shared films illegally.

Officials told the Prime Minister Hollywood objected to the $25 fee it had to pay each time a notice warning against infringement was issued and wanted to pay less.

Yep, they hate it. They say it should be zero or at best a few cents. They think ISPs should act as their delivery agents for no charge at all, and that they should be able to send tens of thousands of infringment notices per month via ISPs at the ISPs expense.

What they also hate is that the NZ charge may set an international precedent of reasonable reimbursement of costs for ISPs.

The briefing stated the support came through the ’s New Zealand arm – the Federation Against Copyright Theft – which saw the regime as becoming a “gold standard” for similar schemes around the world. Despite the support, Mr Key was told the studios behind the did not use it because the $25 fee paid to internet service providers to send warning notices was too high.

Yep, they threw their toys out. I give RIANZ credit that they are at least using the system they lobbied for.

A recent review of the scheme kept the fee at $25 because lower costs would hurt ISPs, who were forced to pay up to $100 to send each notice. Mr Key was told the MPAA’s involvement would lead to an increase in the number of warning notices sent to people and give a “critical mass” that would bring the cost down.

Opponents of the fee change warned cheaper costs could lead to a rise in vexatious complaints.

As reported, the Government recently decided to not give in to the demands from the MPAA and kept the fee at $25. What is also not widely known is that when the scheme was set up, the (then) MED recommended the fee be only $20 and it was in fact Cabinet that increased the fee to $25.

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27 Responses to “Saying no to Hollywood”

  1. Harriet (4,495 comments) says:

    Well they are right David – it’s fraud – and that should come from the police budget!

    Why arn’t the police policing it, afterall they do spend about half an hour writing out infringment notices on the side of roads!

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  2. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (338 comments) says:

    The other Hollywood demand … interesting it comes up the same day

    Warner Bros’ New Line unit is warning an Ombudsman’s ruling that the Government needs to release Hobbit-related documents jeopardises future film-making in New Zealand.

    The Ombudsman ordered the Government to release documents about the deal it struck to ensure the Hobbit movies were made in this country …

    The Ombudsman declined to order the release of a 2010 Crown Law opinion which formed the legal justification for the Government’s decision to weigh in on the side of the studio and Jackson, and against the union, New Zealand Actors Equity, which was trying to organise local actors on The Hobbit.

    Ministers must hand over the documents on or before March 1 unless the Cabinet overrules McGee by invoking a veto which was introduced in 1987 but has never been used …

    Prime Minister John Key said production generated 3000 extra jobs and New Zealand gained priceless tourism publicity.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8278612/Hollywood-Hobbit-threat-to-Government

    Does the New Zealand Film industry have to be fucked up just so that Shearer can get in a shot at John Key – a comment from Shearer that will be forgotten in hours of him making it, if it is ever noticed by the general public.

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  3. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    Look, over there…

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  4. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    What is also not widely known is that when the scheme was set up, the (then) MED recommended the fee be only $20 and it was in fact Cabinet that increased the fee to $25.

    Gee, what a couragous step.

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  5. Manolo (13,315 comments) says:

    Labour lite is showing here the balls that does not have in any other area. :D

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  6. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    Wow. Holding their ground on a few dollars while with the other hand they force the NZ public to bend over and take it from Warners. Colour me unimpressed.

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  7. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    “Opponents of the fee change warned cheaper costs could lead to a rise in vexatious complaints”

    Like happened in the UK
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACS:Law#Action_against_suspected_copyright_infringement

    ACS:Law first started claims against suspected copyright infringement through peer-to-peer file sharing in May 2009.[9][10] In November 2009, they announced plans to initiate claims against a further 25,000 individuals;[11] a batch of 10,000 dunning letters were sent out in the first two weeks of January 2010.

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  8. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    @ m@tt – I am one of the NZ public and I never bent over.
    You’re speaking like someone who is a net beneficiary rather than a net taxpayer. Like someone who thinks they own shares in “state assets” rather than being jointly liable for billions of dollars of debt.

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  9. Sb (58 comments) says:

    @RightNow

    ” I am one of the NZ public and I never bent over.

    Well said from another Net Taxpayer

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  10. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    If it costs ISPs $100 to send a notice (which seems reasonable, for a couple of hours of investigation to prove the allegation first) then the studios should pay them $100, not $25.

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  11. AJC (14 comments) says:

    I understand that a significant percentage of the data carried by ISP’s is illegally copyrighted material. As ISP’s earn income from selling data they are directly profiting from piracy. There is in effect a transfer of wealth from copyright holders to ISP’s. A charge to copyright holders from ISP’s is fair enough but it should be offset to some extent by the additional income they are genertaing from data sales.

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  12. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    AJC – using that logic, since some cars are used by robbers and thieves in the commission of crimes then car manufacturers and petrol companies earn income directly from crime. There is in effect a transfer of wealth from the public to petrol and car companies. Which of course is bullshit.

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  13. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Hollywood: “We want to you make a law that enables us to spy on internet users, contact them with just their IP address, consider them guilty based on what we say, allow this for a civil (not criminal) matter, and have your legal system pay for the court procedures. We don’t want to pay ISPs anything for this.”

    ISPs: “That will cost us about $100.”

    Government: “We’re standing our ground. We’ll make a law that enables you to spy on internet users, contact them with just their IP address, consider them guilty based on what we say, allow this for a civil (not criminal) matter, and have your legal system pay for the court procedures. But you’ve got to pay $25 for it.”

    What a brave government we have. Nice to know they’re on our side.

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  14. Reid (15,912 comments) says:

    As ISP’s earn income from selling data they are directly profiting from piracy.

    Only in the same sense someone who provides a road profits from those who drive on it for nefarious purposes. What should they do? Not provide the road to everyone because some people do that sometimes?

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  15. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    As ISP’s earn income from selling data they are directly profiting from piracy.

    Not to mention those damn rape crisis counsellors directly profiting from rape.

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  16. Reid (15,912 comments) says:

    Government: “We’re standing our ground. We’ll make a law that enables you to spy on internet users, contact them with just their IP address, consider them guilty based on what we say, allow this for a civil (not criminal) matter, and have your legal system pay for the court procedures. But you’ve got to pay $25 for it.”

    I don’t know why Hollyweird is worried quite frankly because the NSA vacuums all the traffic and stores it in giant data centres and if a person’s name is called up their software collates a complete profile of that person’s activities at any given moment or they can view the whole thing in time sequence slices, if they like. At some point they will pass a law allowing that to be mined and used in court. Why not wait till then?

    BTW, I wonder what the TPP is going to say about this? I bet it won’t be good.

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  17. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    Just to chuck a dose of reality in here, the ISP is only required to match an IP address with the customer it was allocated to for a specific time-stamp. $25 will usually cover it, $40 would roughly equate to how much you’d bill it for as a service to a customer (e.g in 15 minute blocks), $100 is more like charging a minimum of half an hour for doing a 5 minute job.

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  18. Reid (15,912 comments) says:

    $100 is more like charging a minimum of half an hour for doing a 5 minute job.

    So you’re saying we should charge them $200 RightNow? I agree. They’re Americans from Hollyweird. If they can’t afford it, who can?

    But seriously, imagine how many copyright violations they’d pore over before they decided to “invest” their eventual say $700 as an upshot of a likely worldwide fee revolt, inspired by us! Hurray! We’ll become the interweb’s Norway. Ha! Take that, Norway, you Norwegians you.

    If we play this right, this could be much more fun than the nuclear ships row. This isn’t just the poofy little US govt with its diplomacy and tact, this is them plus Hollyweird, in full plummage.

    Let battle commence!

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  19. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    AJC: “a significant percentage of the data carried by ISP’s is illegally copyrighted material. As ISP’s earn income from selling data they are directly profiting from piracy”

    An ISP could put filters on their network to prevent torrent traffic (as an example) – they would then have to charge more to cover the infrastructure cost, and their network would be slower due to the filter overhead.

    Using a similar analogy to tristanb’s, imagine public roads with checkpoints at every intersection to ensure all vehicles travelling on the road, and their occupants and cargo, are legal.

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  20. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    reid, plummage? Interesting picture.

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  21. slijmbal (1,210 comments) says:

    RN
    “An ISP could put filters on their network to prevent torrent traffic (as an example) – they would then have to charge more to cover the infrastructure cost, and their network would be slower due to the filter overhead”

    Some do throttle P2P traffic as a relatively small number of very heavy users gobble up a lot of bandwidth. More common in Oz than here.

    I really don’t get what the concern is about a $25 fee – they just need to get, say 10, convictions and show that people can get caught when they pirate then it will stop a lot of it.

    Of course, it’s not that hard to use a torrent downloader which hides one’s IP address anyway.

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  22. Reid (15,912 comments) says:

    reid, plummage? Interesting picture.

    That’s Hollyweird, RightNow.

    Disgusting, isn’t it. :0

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  23. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    RightNow:

    Using a similar analogy to tristanb’s, imagine public roads with checkpoints at every intersection to ensure all vehicles travelling on the road, and their occupants and cargo, are legal.

    Actually, it was Reid with that sensible analogy.

    I just said something stupid about rape. I wouldn’t try following my analogy any further!

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  24. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    oops, reid and gazzmaniac with analogies, sorry sorry everyone.

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  25. RightNow (6,642 comments) says:

    edit – yours was pertinent too tristanb :)

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  26. jakejakejake (134 comments) says:

    I’d be happy if cabinet had instead of charging an extra $5 to swallow a mouthful of Obama’s finest, they had implemented similar law to USA where you get 6 strikes and instead of fines you only suffer 3 days of being throttled to 256kbps (which you may delay for up to 14 days!)….

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  27. UglyTruth (3,929 comments) says:

    Only $20 to ignore the possibility that downloading copyrighted content may fall within the bounds of fair use? Faust got a way better deal.

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