Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


A bleak day for NZ internet users
April 13, 2011 4:09 AM   Subscribe

Just over a year ago New Zealand's parliament debated, passed and then scrapped a law which would in effect withdraw internet access from those accused of illegal filesharing. Today, the New Zealand government is using "urgency" (ostensibly called in order to pass Christchurch earthquake emergency legislation) to pass a new version of that controversial law.
posted by chairish (67 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's like how former plagiarists aren't allowed in libraries anymore because freedom for some is the best kind of freedom.
posted by DU at 4:23 AM on April 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nice to see other supposed democracies picking up that classic dictatorial trick perfected by Bush II and carried forward by Obama I, namely, declare an emergency, use it to pass whatever bullshit anti-democratic police state shit you can get through while people are scared and/or distracted.

Sick of it. It's enough to make one a follower of Ron Paul.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:33 AM on April 13, 2011


Outraged Twitter users have begun calling for the protest to be revived.

Outrage. Twitter. Protest. It's been done to death. Don't these file sharers have any original ideas?
posted by three blind mice at 4:35 AM on April 13, 2011


In fairness, it's a temp ban of six months on the third strike and they're holding back the sanction for a couple of years to see what the effects of the warning + extra warning notices are, but it's still bad legislation pushed through on the back of a tragedy.

In the UK, proposals for a similar system are currently being subjected to a judicial review.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 4:40 AM on April 13, 2011


Sick of it. It's enough to make one a follower of Ron Paul.

Speaking of turning a pseudo-emergency (budget) and turning to your own nefarious ends (ending the FDA)...
posted by DU at 4:46 AM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Don't these file sharers have any original ideas?

Why bother? They're all on bitttorrent...
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 4:55 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus, look at this:

"Currently, copyright owners lack an effective enforcement measure against illegal file sharing," Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said tonight, speaking in Parliament on behalf of Commerce Minister Simon Power.

So ministers are talking with a straight face about giving law enforcement powers to corporations. This is unbelievable.
posted by sleepcrime at 5:07 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not really unbelievable. I don't see file sharers banding together to donate millions of dollars to elect representatives in any government. Pretty much believable for me.
posted by efalk at 5:12 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't understand what copyright holders have over legislatures to get this ridiculous shit passed.
posted by empath at 5:16 AM on April 13, 2011


Outrage. Twitter. Protest. It's been done to death. Don't these file sharers have any original ideas?

What's the point, really. They're winning the battle, and they're barely trying.
posted by empath at 5:17 AM on April 13, 2011


I don't understand what copyright holders have over legislatures to get this ridiculous shit passed.

You catch more flies with money. I mean honey.
posted by No-sword at 5:24 AM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't see file sharers banding together to donate millions of dollars to elect representatives in any government.

If representatives put PayPal tip jars on their sites, this could change....
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:25 AM on April 13, 2011


There are hosting and vpn providers that accept anonymous bitcoin payments. Bittorrent doesn't work over Tor, btw.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:29 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what copyright holders have over legislatures to get this ridiculous shit passed.

You've never heard of money?

Disney is widely understood to have outright purchased the last several copyright extension acts.
posted by DU at 5:33 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's fair to describe this as pushing through legislation on the back of a tragedy - this Government has used urgency a lot and, in my opinion, far more than is reasonable over the last two years (see this article with charts! for a detailed analysis), and I'm surprised it hasn't triggered more than a murmur from constitutional scholars, etc. It'll be interesting to see what they do before the election.

Anyway, my point is, this is more about a controversial law being pushed through without adequate consultation considering the technical nature of internet copyright infringement. The following is an excerpt from the Bill - (struck out text is the previous version). I should note that Parliament just finished for the night and I wasn't watching so there may have been changes in the Committee stage that aren't reflected here.
file sharing is where material—
“(a) is downloaded from the Internet; or
“(b) is made available on the Internet by a user in a form in which the material may be downloaded by 1 or more other users; or
“(c) is transferred, directly or indirectly, via the Internet from one user to another user


file sharing is where—
“(a) material is uploaded via, or downloaded from, the Internet using an application or network that enables the simultaneous sharing of material between multiple users; and
“(b) uploading and downloading may, but need not, occur at the same time

infringement means an incidence of file sharing that involves the infringement of copyright in a work, or part of a work, by a user
My uninformed interpretation of the provision is that it's vague and unduly broad; I feel like a Court could easily go either way on including or excluding certain types of transfer from the definition of "file sharing" (and what is a "network"?), meaning there is significant uncertainty for users and ISPs. Notably, uncertainty and high compliance costs were one of the reasons ISPs didn't support the original Bill in the first place. I believe these concerns have been answered by a cost-sharing regime of some sort - though I haven't read the entire preamble.

I did see this cost estimate, however, which I thought interesting:
We received costing information from a number of ISPs, with the estimated “notice processing fee” ranging between $14 and $56 per notice; the variation depended on the size of the ISP, and whether their system would be manual or automated.
A disappointing feature (uh, more disappointing than the rest of this whole shitstorm) is the lack of protection for public organisations such as libraries and schools. As far as I can tell, this will only lead to such organisations removing internet access to avoid lawsuits.
We also recommend the insertion of new section 122N(4A) allowing the tribunal to decline to make an order of payment if it was satisfied that making an order would be “manifestly unjust” to the account holder. We considered carefully whether some account holders—for example, libraries and universities—should have an exemption or defence on the grounds that they did not have control over an infringer. We rejected such an approach as we consider it important that all account holders take measures to ensure that infringing file sharing does not occur on their account. However, we accept that there will be some circumstances in which the order of a payment would be manifestly unjust
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
empath: I don't think it'll come as a big surprise to you that a lot of people believe copyright infringement to be a bad thing. In this case, New Zealand's economy is heavily dependent on tourism and the rest of the world not seeing a BSOD. We're also trying to nurture a pretty fragile film industry. A few years ago, a film called Sione's Wedding lost something like half a million dollars in lost revenue after a crew member sold pirated copies of the film at the markets. Obviously that's not internet piracy but that was a pretty uncontroversial high profile case of piracy hurting filmmakers.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
sleepcrime: Why shouldn't copyright owners be able to enforce their legal rights? The problem is the granting of those rights in the first place.
posted by doublehappy at 5:37 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


sleepcrime: Why shouldn't copyright owners be able to enforce their legal rights? The problem is the granting of those rights in the first place.

Property owners don't have enforcement tools. They have rights, and if those rights are being violated they can request that the government punish the person violating them. This is one of the reasons that police services are referred to as "Law Enforcement."
posted by verb at 5:48 AM on April 13, 2011 [16 favorites]


“infringement means an incidence of file sharing that involves the infringement of copyright in a work, or part of a work, by a user

Seems to me that just watching youtube would qualify.
posted by empath at 5:56 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, say I search for 'lady gaga mp3'

The top result is to a shared file on 4shared or rapid share, maybe the 3rd result is itunes. How am I supposed to know that the person sharing the file on 4shared isn't authorized to distribute it?

Or, let's say not lady gaga, but some unsigned artist?

What if it's a bootleg mashup that gets uploaded by a DJ. How am I supposed to know that whether they got the necessary license to re-distribute it?

It sounds like all of those things would qualify under that definition of file sharing.
posted by empath at 5:59 AM on April 13, 2011


Denying somebody internet access is a strange sort of penalty.

It's like saying "If you shoplift, you won't be allowed to buy anything, from any shop, anywhere"
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:04 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


(of course, all they'd have to do is go to the black market; in this case known as an internet cafe)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:05 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


...those accused of illegal filesharing...

Not sure precisely how this law reads or even how the legal system in New Zealand works, but taking this phrase at face value and given the number of spurious accusations and takedown requests out there (the SFWA demanding that Scribd take down academic papers on the use of thus and such symbolism in the works of Isaac Asimov, etc.) what’s to stop me from disconnecting all of New Zealand (or at least their entire government) from the internet over the weekend some time?

OK, other than them sending one million billion trillion dollars to my skull shaped island fortress?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:35 AM on April 13, 2011


Is this some kind of denial-of-service attack against New Zealand?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:37 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


what’s to stop me from disconnecting all of New Zealand

Nothing, except that I wouldn't be surprised if "Anonymous" replaced you with a very small shell script.
posted by DreamerFi at 6:38 AM on April 13, 2011


SyntacticSugar writes "In fairness, it's a temp ban of six months on the third strike and they're holding back the sanction for a couple of years to see what the effects of the warning + extra warning notices are, but it's still bad legislation pushed through on the back of a tragedy."

That's not fairness, it's implementation evil incarnate. For the first couple years after the law is enacted they can whine "It's just a warning" to anyone complaining and after the grace period they can dismiss all complaints with "This has been law for years, why are you complaining now?".
posted by Mitheral at 6:42 AM on April 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Nice to see other supposed democracies picking up that classic dictatorial trick perfected by Bush II and carried forward by Obama I, namely, declare an emergency, use it to pass whatever bullshit anti-democratic police state shit you can get through while people are scared and/or distracted.

Seems ever so close to The Shock Doctrine or disaster capitalism ( previously )
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:43 AM on April 13, 2011


New Zealand is a common law jurisdiction, so it's not that different from most countries English speaking MeFites live in. (Jarpies and Jocks excluded).

Urgency just means Parliament is sitting longer, not that bills are being pushed through without proper scrutiny. (Having said that, there are no select committees and bills can go through more than one stage in a day, so it's not quite business as usual either, there's certainly going to be less scrutiny). But it's pretty much a Furphy to suggest that this is some sort of sneaky "let's get this through while we're dealing with the Christchurch quake" move.

The law itself is not that different from the UK's Digital Economy Act which, as SyntacticSugar points out, might not be going anywhere anyway.

In short, they're not using urgency to pass the law, urgency just happens to be in effect.

And sleepcrime, I think Mapp meant "remedy", though I'm sure he'd like the tools of law enforcement to be available as remedies. Though if he's giving the second reading speech on behalf of Power, then you Chaps are Flipped.
posted by GeckoDundee at 6:57 AM on April 13, 2011


That's not fairness, it's implementation evil incarnate
The set of fairness includes all negative values of 'fair', but it's a poorly written comment, I agree.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 6:58 AM on April 13, 2011


> Sick of it. It's enough to make one a follower of Ron Paul.

FINALLY. Nice to see the rest of the country starting to catch up.
posted by davelog at 7:04 AM on April 13, 2011


It's also enough to make one a follower of Ralph Nader.

Suck it, libertarians!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:23 AM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Given how essential internet access is to contemporary life, a total ban on internet access could be problematic. I wonder how long until some international organisation drafts a standard for restricted/probationary internet access, which copyright violators have to be restricted to in signatory nations. Perhaps it will involve a narrow whitelist of sites matching certain criteria (the sites provide essential public information, or are essential to functioning, i.e., online bill payment). User-generated content will be prohibited from whitelisted sites. Email facilities wishing to provide a service to blacklisted users will have to implement a locked-down mode, which will disable the sending or receiving of attachments and throttle the total number and size of messages sent/received. Allowing blacklisted users access to the open internet will be a criminal offense, with ignorance not being an excuse (internet cafes will need to check ID, as they do in Italy and China).

Perhaps a committee is working on such a plan right now?
posted by acb at 7:28 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's also enough to make one a follower of Ralph Nader.

Actually, I think regulatory capture is a refutation of Naderism: if GM/Ford/Chrysler/Disney is pulling the strings, any sufficiently complicated law is going to be written to their benefit and it's impossible to build public outreach on technicalities: "but, if you just read Bill 10123.B17 Article IIX you will see the violence inherent in the system."

Not that the answer to regulatory capture is to limit regulation... it's that there's no path forward without political ideology. But, hey, I have an idea, let's call our movement the "Shining Path."

Technocratic progressivism sets up political problems while abdicating explicit political solutions. Ralph Nader never had any interest in building a political party.
Suck it, libertarians!
posted by ennui.bz at 7:40 AM on April 13, 2011


I think the parents of a lot of teenagers are going to get cut off, and people who leave their wireless open. Their are a lot of ways to get the internet without having an account.

I also wonder if this will lead to ISPs setting up limited internet service featuring sites which are considered safe, and leading to the problem of sites being asked to pay for the service, so that they can sell that to people concerned about a ban or who have been banned.

I think this idea is badly thought through on many levels.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 7:49 AM on April 13, 2011


Not that the answer to regulatory capture is to limit regulation...

No, of course not. The answer is to regulate the corporations such that they are unable to regulate us.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:49 AM on April 13, 2011


I think the parents of a lot of teenagers are going to get cut off, and people who leave their wireless open. Their are a lot of ways to get the internet without having an account.

These can be sealed if there is sufficient motivation (i.e., money) and insufficient resistance. Eventually, the open internet may just give you a few public information sites and a login page which accepts your biometric internet user licence ID and checks what restrictions apply to your access. Which, of course, will be sold as a way of keeping children safe from pornography and/or protecting our homeland from terrorists.

I also wonder if this will lead to ISPs setting up limited internet service featuring sites which are considered safe, and leading to the problem of sites being asked to pay for the service, so that they can sell that to people concerned about a ban or who have been banned.

There could be a lucrative industry there, much like prison phone service providers. Those blacklisted will probably be stuck paying a surcharge for the service.
posted by acb at 7:59 AM on April 13, 2011


No, of course not. The answer is to regulate the corporations such that they are unable to regulate us.

The problem is that regulation is more like Nomic than chess. Rewriting the rules has always been one of the rules, and one which disproportionately benefits the powerful.
posted by acb at 8:00 AM on April 13, 2011


For those of you wondering about
Jarpies and Jocks excluded.
I found the following
I believe that the politically correct politically incorrect term is ""yarpies" ;)

"Yarpie" is a derogatory term for white South Africans, believed to originate from the Afrikaans word 'Jarpie', meaning 'farm-boy'.
"Jocks", I'm guessing, is Scots.

[Boy, are there a lot of rugby and cricket discussion boards out there on the internet.]
posted by benito.strauss at 8:16 AM on April 13, 2011


The problem is that regulation is more like Nomic than chess. Rewriting the rules has always been one of the rules, and one which disproportionately benefits the powerful.

So you depose the powerful. Obviously, that's no easy task when faced with corporate omnipotence, but there you go.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:23 AM on April 13, 2011


Urgency just means Parliament is sitting longer, not that bills are being pushed through without proper scrutiny. (Having said that, there are no select committees and bills can go through more than one stage in a day, so it's not quite business as usual either, there's certainly going to be less scrutiny).

Assuming the Stuff article is right, though, the Bill is going through its Third Reading tomorrow, straight after the Second Reading. Which seems somewhat hasty, and it's not going to the Committee of the Whole House (see Standing Orders 292-301) (PDF). Especially hasty as nothing has happened with this Bill for quite a while, then all of a sudden we go through two readings in two days.
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:40 AM on April 13, 2011


Berners-Lee: Web access is a 'human right'

It appears the pirate parties should get cracking on adding internet access to the European Convention on Human Rights.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:43 AM on April 13, 2011


So, reading through that bill, it seems that there is no actual burden of proof, but that people merely have to be accused of sharing copyrighted files in order to have their internet access taken away? I see no provision for a hearing or anything in the law. And a section of the law that puts ISPs in between the copyright owner and the infringing party, acting as go-between in any infringement disputes?

Maybe I'm not good at reading legal documents, but this whole thing kind of smells from where I'm sitting.
posted by hippybear at 8:46 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be very surprised to find out the supports of the minority political party frequently pirate intellectual property and this is the best bet to get those criminals off the internet.
posted by fuq at 8:47 AM on April 13, 2011


Sick of it. It's enough to make one a follower of Ron Paul.

Install a demagogue over emergency decrees? Reichstag fire something something.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:05 AM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


It appears the pirate parties should get cracking on adding internet access to the European Convention on Human Rights.

The time for this may have passed. If Big Copyright are alert to it, there's no way that they'll let it happen.
posted by acb at 9:11 AM on April 13, 2011


Ron Paul never struck me as the demagogue type. If the bank bailout failed to win him the presidency, well internet freedoms won't either.

It's vaguely possible that some North African nations will recognize internet access as a human or civil right, what with people like Slim Amamou gaining limited power. If they did so, Europe might be shamed into following suit.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:10 AM on April 13, 2011


It's vaguely possible that some North African nations will recognize internet access as a human or civil right, what with people like Slim Amamou gaining limited power. If they did so, Europe might be shamed into following suit declaring them to be hotbeds of piracy, paedophilia, online crime and terrorism and imposing "regime change".

FTFY
posted by acb at 10:41 AM on April 13, 2011


I only use bittorent programs.I pay only a montly fee but I gain access to all the files I need.
I the purpose of internet is to give information to the people.
posted by iustinu10 at 11:03 AM on April 13, 2011


fuckers. Call your legislator and assure them you will vote them out.
posted by theora55 at 11:25 AM on April 13, 2011


Seems like Ron Paul would be pretty strongly on the side of copyright holders. Isn't protecting owners from people that want to steal from them the only legitimate use of state power in the Libertarian world view?

Is Paul nuanced enough to see that copyright is a government created (and thus bad) ownership right that is itself an act of theft like taxes? I haven't researched, but I'd be surprised to learn that was the case with him.

He may not love regulation on ISPs, so he may think other remedies like civil law suits are better than state imposed remedies.
posted by willnot at 11:52 AM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what copyright holders have over legislatures

I'm afraid US lobbyists are at the root of this. New Zealand lives and dies economically on the export of agricultural products. Therefore we covet trade agreements with jurisdictions that normally impose high tariffs on our export products. US corporations meanwhile want to enforce draconian copyright regimes worldwide, and their wishes end up embodied in treaties like ACTA and the TPPA. A copyright regime like this is required to comply with the treaty requirements proposed by US negotatiators. If we want lower US tariffs on dairy and lamb, we have to accept 70 years after the death of the artist and criminalising copyright infringement.

What you see here is actually a delicate balancing act. In form, it looks harsh enough to placate a corrupt American senator, but in practise, the implementation is being suspended in the hope that we can get a better deal later and everyone will forget about it in the meanwhile.

There's a further indignity in that once we have our free trade agreements, the US farming lobby will then force exemptions for agricultural products -- the bit that was really important to us -- and we'll be switcherooed having been baited into ceding more sovereignty to Disney.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:32 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


it seems that there is no actual burden of proof, but that people merely have to be accused of sharing copyrighted files in order to have their internet access taken away? I see no provision for a hearing or anything in the law.

It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.

In Australian Administrative Law (basically, the law that applies to governmental bureaucratic decisions) that lack of "hearing or anything" would probably amount to a denial of natural justice.

"Denial of natural justice" is a phrase you hear quite often in media soundbites, but usually incorrectly - when people mean that a decision was simply unjust.

It actually has a specific legal meaning, which is that if an administrative decision is made adversely affecting you, you have a right to hear the 'charges', state your case & challenge that decision. If you are not given this opportunity, the decision is not legally made, as it is a denial of natural justice under the common law.

A simple example is that if you're caught speeding too many times & the government wants to cancel your drivers licence, you are given an opportunity to state your case in court, or specifically waive that hearing, before the cancellation can take effect.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:12 PM on April 13, 2011


Local links:
Tech Liberty NZ's rundown of what's been improved in the newer bill, and all the crumminess that remains.

No right turn - "The return of guilt by association".

What bugs me about the idea of access being cut off - especially as third parties like flatmates, parents, and libraries could be affected - is that I like to think of the internet as a public utility, something that's just there and people grab a bit of it off one another when they need it. You're at someone's place and feelin' thirsty, grab a glass of water (assuming you ask politely, of course).

Stuff like this is motivation to lock down access, for everyone to have their own discrete connection. And to get a bit slippery slope for a moment, for everyone to have their own licenced connection, which proscribes a heck of a lot of what's possible in terms of integrating internet access into our day to day lives.

People always get antsy about the negative edge cases of open net access and sharing, but there's very little thought about either the vast majority of what people do online, or the positive edge cases that make it all worthwhile.
posted by roobot at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is terrifying. The Internet is ESSENTIAL, especially in a place as isolated as NZ. Once this is passed what's preventing the govt from slowly turning off everyone's acess and using that as a smokescreen for who-knows-what?
Dosen't matter if it's Ron Paul or Ron Swanson - if I was in NZ I'd follow anyone who'd fight this. If it gets bad someone like the US should intervene.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:47 PM on April 13, 2011


And how soon before this comes to Aus?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:48 PM on April 13, 2011


Eighteen months.
posted by hippybear at 4:17 PM on April 13, 2011


Lovecraft in Brooklyn, I suspect the main problem has been the US's intervention in the first place.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:19 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Someone needs to sneak in and install unsecured wireless access points in the houses of members of parliament.
posted by the_artificer at 4:31 PM on April 13, 2011


three blind mice:
Don't these file sharers have any original ideas?
Two problems with that statement. Blanket statements about "these file sharers" aren't really that helpful, so here's a breakdown:
  1. You assume that everyone accused/protesting is a file sharer or doing something illegal. Most estimates of piracy figures are deliberately overstated by everyone from the MPAA to the US government. And many people calling for protests are just afraid of being abused by powerful corporate interests.
  2. Not all file sharing is illegal (or morally/ethically wrong). In fact, file sharing encompasses a broad range of legal uses, like using BitTorrent to download Ubuntu or save an indie developer some bandwidth by avoiding direct downloads and using the provided torrent links instead. File sharing is also a way to prevent files that are no longer hosted by the original host to remain available, and those files can just as easily be legal to share.
I hope I haven't misconstrued your statement.
posted by willhopkins at 5:01 PM on April 13, 2011


it seems that there is no actual burden of proof, but that people merely have to be accused of sharing copyrighted files in order to have their internet access taken away? I see no provision for a hearing or anything in the law

I think matters have to go to the Copyright Tribunal, which can fine people. The suspension of internet access can only be ordered by a District Court and only under a provision that can be enacted in two years time at the discretion of the Commerce Minister.

This is still an outrage though. People will have to defend themselves from claims made by rights holders where the burden of proof is on them to show that they're innocent. It places a burden on ISPs, who shouldn't have to be dealing with this. It also makes account holders liable for the actions of others.

The Kiwis have a Bill of Rights and similar legislation is being challenged in the UK. It will be interesting though. The Bill of Rights isn't a real Bill of Rights; it's just another Act, so it doesn't necessarily prevent other Acts infringing on any of the "rights" it sets out. The challenge in the UK is largely based on European Union laws which obviously don't apply in NZ. NZ got rid of the Privy Council as a final court of appeal a few years ago too, so even if the UK scrap their law on relevant grounds, the Kiwis don't have to follow them.

There are relevant differences in the two laws too. The NZ law protects the identity of the account holder from the rights holder whereas the UK law requires that information to be handed over.

On the positive side I fully expect the Kiwis to come up with a killer secure file sharing application in a few months.
posted by GeckoDundee at 8:50 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is terrifying. The Internet is ESSENTIAL

It's not quite as bad at that. There is a lot wrong with this legislation, not the least of which is the craven kowtowing and arse kissing of corporates and the US.

However, what this legislation proposes is 'account suspension or termination', which must go before a court [no more guilt by accusation only], and furthermore there is absolutely nothing to stop your spouse/kid/dog/dead uncle/evil twin from having their own internet access.

This does highlight the silliness of this whole business. Smart copyright infringers will simply have throwaway accounts which they won't care about the termination of, or do their filesharing via offshore hosts. The only people who will get burned by this are not serious infringers, it'll be the parents of clueless teenagers who download the latest tunes.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 9:59 PM on April 13, 2011


furthermore there is absolutely nothing to stop your spouse/kid/dog/dead uncle/evil twin from having their own internet access [...] Smart copyright infringers will simply have throwaway accounts

Which is why the next step will be the introduction of internet user licences, tied to your physical self through mandatory in-person identity checks.

Don't worry; it'll only be to ensure you don't illegally fileshare, or access kiddyporn. If you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:28 PM on April 13, 2011


"A few years ago, the producer of a film called Sione's Wedding pulled the claim of 'half a million dollars in lost revenue' out of his ass after a crew member sold pirated copies of the film at the markets."

FTFY
posted by fartknocker at 11:58 PM on April 13, 2011


Last night's television coverage of the Parliamentary debate arround this bill showed the serious lack of technological understanding by our elected leaders. They made precious little jokes about their kids' knowing more than they did and gave facical explanations of file-sharing. Many of the speakers debating this bill parroted corporate lines about the dire straits of creatives because people file-share music and movies.

I am saddened that I am represented by people who show so little desire to think critically about the evidence that is presented to them. My local MP voted against this bill but I don't think it was out of any sense of understanding but more because he is a lost cause who has been thrown out of the political party he used to represent.
posted by chairish at 12:37 AM on April 14, 2011


If you saw the story on the stuff.co.nz website earlier today, the URL to it was "http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/4882838/government-is-totally-fucked" (links to a cached page. I guess some editor disapproved and changed it to the current, more innocuous URL.
posted by lollusc at 4:39 AM on April 14, 2011


)
posted by lollusc at 4:39 AM on April 14, 2011


Let's get some perspective on this by looking at a side-by-side comparison of our informed legislators and a beauty queen.

With an election coming up in November, I'm thinking the Greens will have an interestingly increased share of the votes. Including mine.
posted by arzakh at 5:48 AM on April 14, 2011


If it's any consolation to our friends across the ditch, the Australian parliament is equally clueless when it comes to technology.

The current government has been into this idea of compulsory filtering at the ISP level, eg to screen for kiddyporn. Everybody who knows anything about technology has pointed out that this is just security theatre, as the pervs will still get their fix by other methods, eg encrypted transfers, that the ISPs will be powerless to detect or prevent. The result? A massive slowdown of the internet & a heavy burden on ISPs to churn through all data, with the costs being passed on to consumers.

One of the major ISPs volunteered to take part in a trial, with the express intention of demonstrating exactly all the various ways in which it wouldn't work. I think they were excluded from the trial. Heads in the sand, all round.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:51 AM on April 14, 2011


From a tweet by Melissa Lee (National Party MP, which means she voted for the Bill):

"Ok. Shower... Reading ... And then bed! listening to a compilation a friend did for me of K Pop. Fab. Thanks Jay."

Thank God our lawmakers are so on top of this issue.

Via a thread on Public Address, which is worth reading.

Also, David Farrar has a roundup of the issue (he's involved (former head?) with Internet NZ, and is also a National Party activist, so his criticisms are worth reading).
posted by Infinite Jest at 8:29 AM on April 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older 700 kids in rural Chongqing dance to Michael Jacks...   |   Fruit of the poisonous tree is... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments