Flying Nun on S92A

Roger Shepherd of Flying Nun writes in the Dom Post in favour of S92A. I think he has lots of things wrong:

In the current argument over Section 92 of the Copyright Act, several issues have been ignored or distorted. It seems to have been forgotten that downloading music or film without paying for it is stealing.

I don’t know of a single person who is against s92A who has argued that downloading music without paying for it should be legal. The argument is over whether s92A is appropriate and workable.

I cannot see anyone investing in digital music developments in New Zealand while illegal downloading goes unregulated and unpunished.

Here Shepherd is just flat out wrong. Illegal downloading is already punishable, and has always been punishable.

Copyright laws are a sign of a civilised society. We appreciate those in the creative industries who generate ideas, music and art and protect their work and their ability to make a living from it by giving them copyright protection.

Another red herring. No one is arguing there should be no copyright laws.

I think Section 92 is not a strong enough deterrent and should be tougher.

Losing one’s internet connection seems to me like a wimpy punishment for persistent theft. Perhaps we should be also looking at hefty fines that feed into a recording fund for our musicians.

Again Shepherd seems to be ignorant of the law. The Copyright Act allows a performer to go to Court and seek damages from an infringer. The issue for most people against S92A is that people can suffer consequences based on accusation without proof.

And remember the facts supplied by Google, as reported here.

Google says 57 percent of the takedown notices it has received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act were sent by businesses trying to undermine a competitor.

About 37 percent of the notices weren’t valid copyright claims, Google wrote.

So there is an absolute need for there to be some independent decision maker on claims of infringement.

Still, Section 92 is a belated, moderate step in the right direction and fulfils the need to educate the public regarding copyright issues.

S92 goes well beyond education.

Let’s get on and implement it and remove the doubt and confusion that currently exist. If there are faults or problems with the process, they can be ironed out as it develops.

I prefer to listen to the Auckland District Law Society who say it is a confusing crap law. The law needs to be workable before it can be implemented.

Without Section 92, the wheels will fall off our local music industry and there will be no more homegrown successes

And blatant scare mongering. No one would dispute that illegal downloads do not pose a commercial threat to soem artists. But really claiming that without S92, there will never ever again by a sucessful homegrown musician is pathethic scare mongering.

It should be given the same respect as when the Head of the MPAA told the US Congress that video recorders would destroy the movie industry.

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