Digital Copyright

Russell Brown has a superb blog post on the digital copyright bill before Parliament and especially the submission from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Too long to try and summarise but worth the effort to read.

I appeared last week as part of the team, and were on just after the RIANZ. It didn’t go as well as previous submissions, and I am very worried about what the final shape of the bill will look like. I got so angry listening to the mischaracterisations of the I threw away my prepared notes for our submission, and instead spent most of the time rebutting theirs. In hindsight that was a mistake as it allowed them to set the agenda. It was hard to get across at times that bill is not just about the music industry, but has provisions that have alarming free speech ramifications. Also we failed to make clear that asking for ISPs not to be judge and jury on what is or is not a copyright infringement, is not the same thing as saying ISPs have no role at all to play.

I’m very sympathetic to the artists like Bic Runga have had CD sales decline to a third, but has happened under the current US laws anyway, so importing their laws here won’t change anything.

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