Defend copyright: Take NZ off the internet

Defend copyright: Take NZ off the internet

Summary: We're not thinking outside the box enough on the problem of copyright criminality. I would like to propose a solution to that.


Right, we've now got the new proposed Section 92A (S92A) on the table to discuss. For those who've missed the long but fairly exciting saga about little New Zealand having its virtual goolies put into a vice by the entertainment industry, we're talking about a suspended section in the new Copyright Act.

The original version of the law would have seen your internet access cut off almost instantly, if accused of file sharing.

The proposed new S92A is milder: after a few "you naughty file sharer" notices, the lunatic and incorrigible infringers are hauled in front of a Copyright Tribunal. This sounds more medieval than it is, but basically, the outcome of such a Copyright Tribunal hearing ranges from mediation to damages and fines, and of course, your internet connection potentially being cut off.

That idea, X amount of strikes and whatever and you're off the net, has been rejected elsewhere, but New Zealand seems hell-bent on introducing it. Is it fair though? I don't think it can be compared to say losing your driver's licence if you drive drunk because you're obviously not endangering anyone's life while downloading stuff you shouldn't.

We think nothing of cutting off people's phones, however; but that usually happens if you don't pay your bill. Getting the phone snipped snipped for infringing on copyright does seem a bit unusual.

So is it fair then to cut off people's internet access for copyright crimes? Is it enough even? If you're going to remove the conduit along which the alleged crime takes place, should you not forfeit the implement with which you commit the felony? That is, your computer should be confiscated, along with your iPod, iPhone and other electronic and optical storage media.

Thinking about this further, going to the root of the issue might be in order, namely the internet. Think about it: the internet is at the heart of uncontrolled copyright crime. As we all know, it's impossible to filter out illegal material (Conroy, I'm looking at you) and policing it leads to expensive bureaucracies like the proposed Copyright Tribunal in New Zealand.

Why not remove the temptation completely? New Zealand would be an ideal test case for such a brave solution. Point the IPstar satellite elsewhere, and put a backhoe through the Southern Cross Cable. There are a few more undersea cables to deal with too but they're insignificant in comparison. The government's torrents, err, communications, won't be affected because they have other means of punting IP traffic in and out of the country.

Of course, this doesn't deal with existing content being infringed upon through the New Zealand Intranet, and people smuggling in stuff using memory sticks in an unpleasant manner, but it's a start I believe. What do you think? Should I send the above to as a submission?

Topics: Piracy, Legal, Security, New Zealand

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  • Excellent work

    This is a wonderful concept in line with the best principles of the glorious revolution, Comrade Saarinen.

    I shall now order that Australia be removed from the evil capitalist internets immediately. That will ensure that nobody can hear from those opposition revisionists. It may even cheer up some of the mournful fundamentalists who only seem to be happy when they talk about banning things.

    (signed) Stephen Conroy
  • What about the real crooks?

    What is the Commonwealth, ARIA, record companies, et al, doing about those distributing the copyrighted files? They are the real crooks here. Receiving might well be a criminal offence but surely fencing is worse.
  • cut off?

    So if someone in my house is caught infringing copyright and is cut off, do we all lose the connection, or just the culprit?
    Whats to stop someone from signing up to a new ISP once cut-off?
  • Nobody knows yet

    @simon - That's not defined yet, and a major concern for organisations such as libraries or anyone e.g. on WiFi suffering bandwidth jacking.

    I guess the three phase process provides some safeguard there, but we won't know until the first case.
  • its only 2 strikes - not 3

    @Juha - if you look closely at it ,whilst "cunningly" dressed up to look like three strikes, as I read it a RH can actually bypass phase 2 and go directly to phase 3 (ask for penalty from the Tribunal) from phase 1. Phase 1 only requires one notice plus one cease and desist (i.e. 2 allegations in total).

    Now where did I put that backhoe?!
  • Yep, it's a "streamlined process" all right

    No wonder that the rights holder organisations are welcoming the new S92A...

    This is sickening,no government has the right to prop up an obsolete business model with invasive unjust laws.Do some research sheeple(ACTA's a good place to start).The government is voted in by people NOT corporations,the rights of people outweigh theirs to make even more profit.Box office is up yet again as is profit from music,the stats provided by these cartels are false and in no way reflect the truth.I have downloaded maybe 4000 movies in the last 6 years and because of that i own 500 hollywood dvd's.The consumer is sick of all the good part's of a movie being in the 45 second trailer and will not pay for crap anymore.The new way is try before you buy,it worked for me and my friends and it has obviously worked for hollywood because they have made 12k off me in that period.Then they also made 50k for all my hdtv's,ps3's,ps2's and other assorted hardware so if people aren't going to the movies it;s their fault not our's.