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New Zealand Legislature Mulls File-Sharing Bill

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the flee-to-australia-oh-wait dept.

The Internet 54

bitserf writes from New Zealand: "Our overlords in government have decided to try and push through some file-sharing legislation. In the bill remains the controversial provisions for three-strikes removal of internet access, though interestingly, nothing prohibiting users from moving to other ISPs. Text of the bill can be found here. Interesting timing, considering ACTA negotiations due to be held in Wellington in April."

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54 comments

Moving to other ISPs (4, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295724)

In the bill remains the controversial provisions for three-strikes removal of internet access, though interestingly, nothing prohibiting users from moving to other ISPs.

Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295758)

Yesterday was fun. Me and my girlfriend had sex more then 12 times. well, I had sex with myself twice and she had sex with 10 different guys, one time each. but it all evens out to 12. We did it in less then 20 min. I wonder if that's some kind of world's record.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295806)

Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

If have the luxury of so many ISP choices. For some, it would still be three strikes.
Of course, if they said it only applied where the local ISP did NOT have a monopoly...

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296484)

If have the luxury of so many ISP choices. For some, it would still be three strikes. Of course, if they said it only applied where the local ISP did NOT have a monopoly...

...which could almost be worse. It could essentially be turned into one strike and that's it if you only have one broadband carrier in your area and the rest are dial-up or some diluted broadband wireless service that does extensive bandwidth capping unless you're willing to pay the gobs of money to use it. Just going backwards in the 'high-speed-internet' days might be enough for people to change their ways. I know how frustrated I've become just checking my e-mail out of all things on a backup dial account on a land-line. It's nauseating to the point where I just say, "I can wait the weekend".

So it's really forcing the end user who gets stifled by the law, and fall under a circumstance such as that, to try and do the same file sharing pilfering with VERY less-than-desirable internet and bandwidth service conditions. Even piggy backing off of open wifi will only last for so long too... if that's the hidden agenda, it sounds plausible, but it's not the catch-all for people with a multitude of options once they get dumped by their current carrier.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (2, Informative)

DigMarx (1487459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295934)

As a recent immigrant to Auckland, I was actually surprised that there are so many companies to choose from. Not only ISPs but power and phone as well. Of course, I pay $80 NZ for a 25 gig monthly data cap with speeds up to 10-12 mbps, but off-peak hours are free...

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295990)

There are a few companies to choose from it's true. You pay for the choice through the nose though.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

DigMarx (1487459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304042)

Remarkably, yes. Coming from a couple years in Bangkok, where 2.5 mbit, unlimited access is around $40 NZ (25-30 US) from a monolithic turd of a monopoly. Despite blacklisting anti-monarchy sites, True Internet doesn't give a tinker's cuss how much bandwidth you use file-sharing. I was routinely over 200 gigs/month. 25 gigs/month here in Auckland is crippling!

Re:Moving to other ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31296330)

That may be true in Auckland, but its not in the smaller provincial towns, where Telecom has a monopoly (of broadband at least) I don't think file sharing is a problem with dialup.

Underground ISPs (4, Interesting)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295936)

Maybe we'll see a return to lots of small company ISP's, which will start to become the place where the censored gather and organize their net connection and other things..

Re:Underground ISPs (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296288)

Or maybe one could do the downloading at Starbucks or some such place? A pain for sure. (I'm not referring to the coffee...)

Re:Underground ISPs (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31304742)

I just realized this thing is never going to work. They are going to start cutting off some people, then more, and soon realize they will be cutting off tons of people, and stop. They'll just go fight it in the courts, but will stop cutting everyone off. No country has done it. At most it will scare a bunch of people giving more fear of using anything at all on the net other than facebook and commercial products.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

holloway (46404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296066)

Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

Incorrect. As far as I know the proposed law doesn't say that you can't sign up at the same ISP again. Effectively internet termination is more akin to the fine where you'd inconvenienced by the reconnection cost and the time without internet.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (5, Insightful)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296076)

Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

There is no cable TV in NZ.

I don't mind when people talk about "well, here it would be XXX." But when directly commenting on a three strikes law in NZ and talking about moving to the cable provider when "cable TV" is done only in very very limited areas (and not at all like the US) because Sky TV has the monopoly, it's just sad. I still haven't figured out why they can't just make a -1 Wrong mod. You stated a fact assuming that there exist cable providers, and that's simply wrong. It's not a troll or flamebait. It's simply a false statement, not made from malice, but ignorance. Or with an implied "I don't know how anything works outside my city where I live, but if it happened here, this is what effect it would have on me:" for a preface. But whatever the reasons, it's completely inaccurate and doesn't apply to this article at all. Those in the location they are discussing don't have cable as an option.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31296088)

There is no cable TV in NZ.

This is generally true but TelstraClear do offer cable TV [telstraclear.co.nz] .

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296696)

I still haven't figured out why they can't just make a -1 Wrong mod.

You used it. It's called the "Reply" button.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

rattaroaz (1491445) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296956)

I think you may be taking the GP out of context. There may be no cable or local telco or whatever in NZ. The point is that with no competition, moving to another ISP, in whatever form, is not possible/reasonable. He was quoting the OP to make the point. They key word being monopoly. Cable was just an adjective. There might be a wrong fact, but the concept is still right, and the type of internet access was only secondary. If there is tons of competition in NZ for ISP's, then you could use your -1 wrong mod.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31298044)

Actually you are wrong, Telstra have cable networks in Christchurch and Wellington. Full Internet,TV and Phone

Re:Moving to other ISPs (2, Funny)

Brian Boitano (514508) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299250)

But who cares about those places?

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299708)

Together, those account for less than 10% of the nation. That rounds down to zero as far as I'm concerned. And for that, I grabbed the population listed for those areas, I have no idea if they cover everyone, or if they just pick and choose smaller areas.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31302540)

Together, those account for less than 10% of the nation. That rounds down to zero as far as I'm concerned.

Auckland has a land area less than 1% of the nation. That rounds down to zero as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31303892)

Well, I'm on Telstra Cable. If I lost the cable, I'd also loose my phones as I have moved to VoiP ofr personal and business use. All would take is three accusations (without any burden of proof or arbitration) and my livelyhood, and ability to communicate with my clients is put at risk.

If some company things I've pirated their suff, then sue me and I'll see you in court.

Now I'm thinking, that all this push to give everyone access to broadband to the home, while simultaneously removing any reason to have it.

Now I cant move to DSL, because even though I can look out my window at Wellingtons harbour, and I can even see the windmill in Brooklyn peaking up above the hills, I'm so far from the exchange that the best DSL rate I get is 2-3MB on a good day. At primetime, it is usually less than 1MB. Upstream is hopeless, and my VoIP would be unuseable. So for me I only have one broadband option.
Now if Telecom had to unbundle the phone lines to offer any ISP access to ADSL, how come Telstra doesn't have to unbundle the Cable? I'm paying less now for 20GB/Month of Telstra cable at 10Mb/sec and 2000 minutes of VoiP with two voice lines through Kiwilink than I was for a single Phoneline and 3Mb (was supposed to be 7Mb - max speed my arse!) DSL from Telecom/iHug

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296384)

Not exactly.

From the bill, your third strike allows the accuser to press for charges of up to 15,000 (New Zealand) dollars (roughly 10.5k USD) as well as suspending the account of the alleged infringer for up to 6 months.

It seems wrong to me that an alleged infringer (not a convicted one) can have their internet access suspended.

Re:Moving to other ISPs (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31309168)

How the fuck did this get +5 insightful?

I googled 'new zealand isps', clicked on the second link, ended up at this page: http://www.newzealandisp.orconhosting.net.nz/new_zealand_ISP_directory.htm [orconhosting.net.nz]

There's 7 'major' providers. 6 of which are available anywhere in the country. There are additionally about 20 smaller providers, but I have no idea how widely they operate.

Look, just because that's the situation in America doesn't mean that the rest of the world has devolved into an effective monopoly.

Three strikes provision (1)

lizardb0y (149142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295726)

Note that under this amended amendment a user's ISP access can only be cut off by court order. This is a far better process than was previously proposed.

Re:Three strikes provision (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295944)

Depends on how the courts work there at any given time.

Re:Three strikes provision (4, Informative)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296028)

Note that under this amended amendment a user's ISP access can only be cut off by court order. This is a far better process than was previously proposed.

Would they cut of your telephone if your kid used it to harass someone? No. Buy drugs? No. Hire a hitman? No. But they want to cut off your internet connection if he downloads some MP3s.

And lets not forget the ISPs. They now have a huge task to monitor and store large volumes of data for no benefit to them or their customers. They might lose business because people won't need their all-you-can-eat plans any more, because they stopped downloading DVDs. More importantly for the public, this makes it easier to later implement filtering, do traffic analysis, etc. This seems to tie in nicely with the "optional" ISP-level filtering coming in a few months [nbr.co.nz] .

Incidentally, The Pirate Party [pirateparty.org.nz] is starting to happen in NZ now. Well timed.

Re:Three strikes provision (1)

holloway (46404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296046)

And lets not forget the ISPs. They now have a huge task to monitor and store large volumes of data for no benefit to them or their customers.

Just to be clear, under this New Zealand bill ISPs are not asked to monitor traffic. They are expected to record which one of their customers was using a public IP address at a particular time. This is to that they can facilitate the communication between the alleged copyright holder and the alleged infringer.

In other words ISPs are simple middlemen and they take no active role other than to pass messages along. This is how it should be.

Re:Three strikes provision (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296116)

Just to be clear, under this New Zealand bill ISPs are not asked to monitor traffic. They are expected to record which one of their customers was using a public IP address at a particular time.

Agreed, from the amendment bill (bold is mine):

New sections 122C to 122H set out the system for sending notices to people who are alleged to have infringed copyright by file sharing. The system works as follows:

New section 122C
        * copyright owners send ISPs information about infringements detected at Internet protocol addresses (IP address):
        * ISPs are obliged to match each IP address with the relevant account holder's details and to issue an infringement notice to the account holder: ...

Just so we are clear about this too, there is NO evidence required at this stage. It's not until RIANZ or NZFACT or similar have made 3 accusations that they have to prove anything. God help us if an IP address and a letter from Bay TSP or Peer Media Technologies is all it takes in court.

Re:Three strikes provision (1)

Therefore I am (1284262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31302188)

First you need to be able to point to a first-world country that has successfully introduced a three-strikes policy. You will not be able to. The whole idea is so flawed that any sensible JP or Judge will simply refuse to authorise a disconnection. Any judicial disconnections will instantly highlight the unintended consequence of this silly idea re. work commitments/other family members and be pilloried in the press. After that comes the interesting business of sorting out just how to give the innocent parties at that address their full rights while nailing an extremely wicked and intransigent file-sharer to his well deserved crucifix ;( . . . . . . Get a grip N.Z.---- This idea will work exactly as well as the equally idiotic U.S. alcohol prohibition laws!

And the next step... (0, Troll)

n00btastic (1489741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295750)

"They just said to hold it in my mouth, they never said they would pull the trigger!" -n00b

I wonder (3, Insightful)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295794)

I wonder if there is going to be some sort of unbiased, uncorrupted, unidiotic government organism regulating this. I mean, if the Industry is going to have complete control of this, it'll mean cheaper and more effective way for organisms such as the RIAA to terrorize customers. They won't even need lawyers anymore!

Re:I wonder (1)

Superdarion (1286310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295804)

... ok, never mind that.

They'll still require lawyers to coerce judges to give out orders like they're candy.

Re:I wonder (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295950)

6.7 billion people

unbiased

1.1 billion

uncorrupted

1.0 billion

unidiotic

Sorry, all you left are babies.

Copyright wrong (3, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295912)

Copyright = copywrong

Maybe someone should tell the politicians that merely visiting ANY website on the internet you will download copywritten material. And that doesn't even begin to deal with "file sharing" sites like Youtube.

When will we get politicians that actually have brains instead of them sitting on them all day long?

Re:Copyright wrong (-1, Flamebait)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295942)

copywritten

Nigga please.

Re:Copyright wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31327388)

Maybe someone should tell the politicians that merely visiting ANY website on the internet you will download copywritten material. And that doesn't even begin to deal with "file sharing" sites like Youtube.

Note how the bill says that the regime applies only to infringement of copyright thrpugh "file sharing", then goes on to define "file sharing" to include everything that involves downloading terial from the Internet. Malice or ignorance, I wonder?

The Net will get more censored, controlled, restri (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31295916)

I think it's just inevitable. The Net is going to get more regulation. It only wouldn't if somehow the cables themselves became peer-to-peer, with everyone's computer running self-routing mesh networking code and having cables and or optical or radio connections to all the neighbors.

Re:The Net will get more censored, controlled, res (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31295960)

The sad thing is, thats how the *internet was always supposed to be*. The internet "backbone" is made up of peered ASes*. What should happened on Good Earth over in the Good Universe was that the internet slowly grew but remained an internetwork at all levels, not degenerated into star topology ISPs vs. peon end user "customers". The whole concept of an "internet service provider" is the wrong model.

It's not too late! Network to thy neighbour!

* On the plus side, AS numbers are finally 32-bit now (RFC4896). On the minus side, how much hardware supports that yet? But if you're not a transit AS you're damn near nothing on the net.

Re:The Net will get more censored, controlled, res (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300550)

RFC4893...

What does NZ produce to make any of this worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31296010)

What does NZ produce to make any of this worth while? It sounds to me like somebody has been offered a few "gifts" to get this policy where it is right now. Could I just make bogus claims that somebody had pirated something of mine and have them banned? What are the consiquences of a neighbour downloading something off your wireless AP? (assuming you only have WEP setup by the ISP when it was installed). In theory you should know after the first strike but what if you just changed your key not realising it is not enough. Or your AP doesnt support WPA, etc. What about business connections where a potentialy large group is sharing a single connection? And who exactly was behind this sudden interest in protecting what really is a majority of overseas owned copywrite? Is it this new IIPA that I've only just herd about?

Re:What does NZ produce to make any of this worth (3, Informative)

holloway (46404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296062)

What does NZ produce to make any of this worth while?

Well we did most of the graphics for Avatar and all of the graphics for the Lord of the Rings movies. The copyright for those is, as I understand it, partly owned by New Zealanders.

We don't tend to have many successful international music artists though (Crowded House, The Datsuns etc. were a while ago now).

Oh yeah and the Flight of the Conchords doing computer songs [youtube.com] .

Could I just make bogus claims that somebody had pirated something of mine and have them banned?

No, you'd have to prove it in the tribunal or in a court.

What are the consiquences of a neighbour downloading something off your wireless AP?

It's unclear what happens to open wireless points under the new law. I suspect that people won't be responsible if they didn't authorise the infringement because there have been defenses like that before (not just the recent Australian iiNet case, but NZ cases too).

What about business connections where a potentialy large group is sharing a single connection?

A good way of thinking about this is to consider the business to be an ISP itself that connects to an ISP. Basically the ISPs pass the buck down the chain until it reaches a customer, so the business would be expected to identify the individual who did it.

This does mean that there may be significant business compliance costs involved in recording who used a public IP address at a particular time. We've asked the government for estimates, and we're working with several groups to get independent estimates for this.

And who exactly was behind this sudden interest in protecting what really is a majority of overseas owned copywrite?

To a large degree it was probably the US and Japan via ACTA.

Re:What does NZ produce to make any of this worth (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296102)

What does NZ produce to make any of this worth while?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy, for one. I could name more, but if you haven't heard of that one, there wouldn't be any point. Whether *you* think that's an NZ production is irrelevant (since I'm anticipating such a complaint) but whether those that are in NZ consider it such is the only question that matters, as they are the ones making and living under this rule.

What are the consiquences of a neighbour downloading something off your wireless AP?

Considering how the only unlimited plans in NZ are so heavily throttled that you can't do anything over it other than browse web pages (and poorly at that), WPA is everywhere. I've pulled over in a nice neighborhood in the US suburbs and gotten multiple WAPs to choose from to pull down a map when I was lost. And that was "normal" there. In NZ, I've tried the same in multiple areas, and I've never seen an open WAP that didn't have a paywall. So, feel free to open your connection up. Your neighbors will latch on it so they don't hit their cap. When you get hit with $500 in overages, you'll reconsider your open WAP policy.

What the law actually is... (2, Informative)

holloway (46404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296018)

The NZ Herald article is really confused about the law and it talks about a protest on Monday but I'm from the Creative Freedom Foundation (quoted in the NZ Herald article linked in the story) and as there is no protest planned [creativefreedom.org.nz] . The original law that this replaced was a Guilt Upon Accusation-style law where unproven allegations of infringement could see people cut off the internet. We at the Creative Freedom Foundation (20,000 New Zealanders including 10,000 artists) protested against it. This new proposal is nothing like the original. It's a tribunal system where copyright law experts (such as people who helped set up Creative Commons NZ, and technology lawyers who are involved in DNS) will judge infringement. So people are innocent until proven guilty, and there are independent experts involved. The new extensions to New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal can only award fines, it can't kick people off the internet (that facility has been added to the courts, but court cases about copyright are rare in New Zealand). Personally I think the internet is an essential service that's only going to become more important in the coming years. We don't cut off people's power for copyright infringement, and we don't cut off phone lines or road access so the internet shouldn't be tampered with. It is however much better that it's in the courts and not in the tribunal because, in practice, it will be used rarely. The new branch of the Copyright Tribunal can award fines and the maximum they can award in the most extreme cases is $15k (US $10k) which is equal to that of New Zealand's Disputes Tribunal. Remember, this is a large scary figure for the infringement but this is the maximum and it's much less than the existing Copyright Act that New Zealand has. In practice it's still unclear how much the fine for infringement of a movie or a song will be. The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.). It also isn't clear whether hacked computers are liable. I suspect not because there have been defenses where people who didn't authorise any infringement aren't liable (not just the recent Australian iiNet case, but NZ cases too). For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable and, so far, we generally support the new law's approach which is basically this new law is like a specialised court for copyright. Court cases can be flawed and certainly evidence can be maliciously faked, but that's the same of any court case. It does need more work around the areas I've mentioned above though and we'll be lobbying hard for that.

Re:What the law actually is... (5, Informative)

holloway (46404) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296024)

(sorry, here's a formatted version. I should have used preview!)

The NZ Herald article is really confused about the law and it talks about a protest on Monday but I'm from the Creative Freedom Foundation (quoted in the NZ Herald article linked in the story) and as there is no protest planned [creativefreedom.org.nz] .

The original law that this replaced was a Guilt Upon Accusation-style law where unproven allegations of infringement could see people cut off the internet. We at the Creative Freedom Foundation (20,000 New Zealanders including 10,000 artists) protested against it.

This new proposal is nothing like the original. It's a tribunal system where copyright law experts (such as people who helped set up Creative Commons NZ, and technology lawyers who are involved in DNS) will judge infringement. So people are innocent until proven guilty, and there are independent experts involved.

The new extensions to New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal can only award fines, it can't kick people off the internet (that facility has been added to the courts, but court cases about copyright are rare in New Zealand). Personally I think the internet is an essential service that's only going to become more important in the coming years. We don't cut off people's power for copyright infringement, and we don't cut off phone lines or road access so the internet shouldn't be tampered with. It is however much better that it's in the courts and not in the tribunal because, in practice, it will be used rarely.

The new branch of the Copyright Tribunal can award fines and the maximum they can award in the most extreme cases is $15k (US $10k) which is equal to that of New Zealand's Disputes Tribunal. Remember, this is a large scary figure for the infringement but this is the maximum and it's much less than the existing Copyright Act that New Zealand has. In practice it's still unclear how much the fine for infringement of a movie or a song will be.

The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.).

It also isn't clear whether hacked computers are liable. I suspect not because there have been defenses where people who didn't authorise any infringement aren't liable (not just the recent Australian iiNet case, but NZ cases too).

For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable and, so far, we generally support the new law's approach which is basically this new law is like a specialised court for copyright. Court cases can be flawed and certainly evidence can be maliciously faked, but that's the same of any court case.

It does need more work around the areas I've mentioned above though and we'll be lobbying hard for that. If anyone has any suggestions let me know, cheers.

Re:What the law actually is... (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296144)

The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.).

Few that I've seen have been free access (starting to happen more lately though), so I suspect that means they would mostly fall under this piece as businesses with members, and it would be their responsibility to monitor/restrict such activity:

The Bill inserts a separate definition of Internet service provider into the Act for the purpose of the regime. The definition is intended to exclude universities, libraries, and businesses that provide Internet access to their members or employees but are not in the nature of a traditional ISP such as Telecom. Only traditional ISPs are in a position to perform evidence matching and notice functions.

I'll be interested to see what happens when a Starbucks gets hit up...

Re:What the law actually is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31296320)

(sorry, here's a formatted version. I should have used preview!)

The NZ Herald article is really confused about the law and it talks about a protest on Monday but I'm from the Creative Freedom Foundation (quoted in the NZ Herald article linked in the story) and as there is no protest planned [creativefreedom.org.nz] .

The original law that this replaced was a Guilt Upon Accusation-style law where unproven allegations of infringement could see people cut off the internet. We at the Creative Freedom Foundation (20,000 New Zealanders including 10,000 artists) protested against it.

This new proposal is nothing like the original. It's a tribunal system where copyright law experts (such as people who helped set up Creative Commons NZ, and technology lawyers who are involved in DNS) will judge infringement. So people are innocent until proven guilty, and there are independent experts involved.

The new extensions to New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal can only award fines, it can't kick people off the internet (that facility has been added to the courts, but court cases about copyright are rare in New Zealand). Personally I think the internet is an essential service that's only going to become more important in the coming years. We don't cut off people's power for copyright infringement, and we don't cut off phone lines or road access so the internet shouldn't be tampered with. It is however much better that it's in the courts and not in the tribunal because, in practice, it will be used rarely.

The new branch of the Copyright Tribunal can award fines and the maximum they can award in the most extreme cases is $15k (US $10k) which is equal to that of New Zealand's Disputes Tribunal. Remember, this is a large scary figure for the infringement but this is the maximum and it's much less than the existing Copyright Act that New Zealand has. In practice it's still unclear how much the fine for infringement of a movie or a song will be.

The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.).

It also isn't clear whether hacked computers are liable. I suspect not because there have been defenses where people who didn't authorise any infringement aren't liable (not just the recent Australian iiNet case, but NZ cases too).

For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable and, so far, we generally support the new law's approach which is basically this new law is like a specialised court for copyright. Court cases can be flawed and certainly evidence can be maliciously faked, but that's the same of any court case.

It does need more work around the areas I've mentioned above though and we'll be lobbying hard for that. If anyone has any suggestions let me know, cheers.

Well, at the end of it all what you are suggesting is, you know three strikes at the court and you are without access internet.
It's like stating, you know the guy on the street next to us has had three drunken driving mishaps. You know what, we will put him in jail the first two times.
The third time we will put him in prison and make sure we take away his car and remove the street to his house !!!
He better not be able to walk out of his house too or use his by-cycle to get his groceries. Oh and btw he is banned from the nearest supermarket too.

The 3 strikes law is irrational. Have you ever heard of justice ? It's the thing that states punishment should be proportional to the crime. Fines are the only thing legitimate. Stop there.
If he does that 50 times you might as well prosecute him 50 times !!! If you think it is not worth policing. Maybe it is not worth protecting !!! Economics 101. State protection of copyright law is just a criminal waste of public resources better utilized to provide other economic commons !

You know internet is also about banks, phones, bills, information. I wonder, if information is not available who wins? The politicians ? Gee that's a surprise.
What will the creative freedom foundation creatively support next ? Capital punishment for copyright infringement ?

Re:What the law actually is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31300300)

The CFF is hardly opposed to these laws. They're so middle-of-the-road.

That might be typical of NZers, but remember we're battling US laws. When the US does it, it does it X-treme.

We need militant anti-copyright activists to battle these assholes.

Re:What the law actually is... (2, Interesting)

wadeal (884828) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296324)

How about get the fuck out my my interenet Got a problem with what I'm downloading? How come you even know in the first place? You're copyright lobbyists, not the police. Want to see what I'm downloading? Get the police to get a warrant and see. Nobody without a warrant can enter my house without my permission, or listen to my phone, see my bank account balance etc. So why in fuck do you think you have a right to my PRIVATE information if you're not the police? The same as the above examples only a JUDGE or someone similarly impartial should have anywhere near a right to decide if I'm guilty of something. IE. Fuck Off.

Re:What the law actually is... (1)

gemada (974357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31299694)

For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable

Please tell me why doing nothing wasn't politically tenable if no one in NZ wants a 3 - strikes law? Or is NZ not a sovereign country? Also since they do not play baseball for the most part in NZ couldn't they come up with a sports analogy related to Rugby? This also shows that this is being introduced by a baseball-playing overlord (i..e USA).

Re:What the law actually is... (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31309218)

One step ahead of you! I sent this to the MP responsible for the bill. I didn't get a reply.

Dear Honourable Simon Powers

I notice that our country has joined the latest international fad and is implementing our own version of the three strikes policy to deter potential file-sharers (Section 92a).

However, as I'm sure you're aware, no one in New Zealand plays baseball. So, I propose the following changes:

The word "strike" is replaced with the word "wicket".
You only have one "wicket". So if you are accused of file-sharing once, you are 'out'.
You don't actually go to jail until 9 of your good friends have also been accused of file sharing.
There is a neutral party which can review any decisions. (I think this may have been called a 'judge' at some point, but I would rename it to 'third umpire').

Hopefully you agree that these changes satisfy the intention of writing laws based on popular sports rules, but they add a nice "kiwi" touch.

Yours Sincerely....

Re:What the law actually is... (1)

shermo (1284310) | more than 4 years ago | (#31309250)

I agree with you, it seems as if the rewritten bill is a much more balanced approach.

It seems to me as if the three strikes clause is included in there simply to appease our american overlords. It's so convoluted that it will probably never be used in practice, and as everyone points out, you can just sign up with another isp.

No, it's just there so we can say 'yes we have a three strikes policy, now gib FTA please!'.

break up those giant icebergs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31296070)

& then put them back where they belong. then, clean up that big clump of plastic in the pacific. turn off those combustion engines, etc...

better to not leave a big mess. it may count for something.

as always, never a better time to consult with/trust in your creators. the lights are coming up all over all the time now.

And software patents legislation! (2, Informative)

H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) | more than 4 years ago | (#31296472)

For the Kiwis, there's also the proposed software patents bill in New Zealand [swpat.org] . It's set to be discussed again in, IIRC, March (the page that had the status is 404ing now - I should have mirrored it up). I'll go search for a new source to confirm the status and timeline and will update the wiki.

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