Hard News by Russell Brown


On receipt of a not-so-nastygram

In this gig - that is, trying to earn at least part of my income blogging - I do sometimes sit at my desk about 5pm and wonder what I'll lead with tomorrow. As it was yesterday, until Andrea Haggit, Legal Counsel for Air New Zealand, came through for me.

At 4.48pm, she sent me the following message via the reply button on the blog:


I am Legal Counsel for Air New Zealand. I would be grateful if you could provide me with a contact email address so that we can formally request the removal of Air NZ's copyrighted material from your website, namely the parody of the Air NZ commercial located at


Kind regards,
Andrea Haggitt

To save you the bother of cutting and pasting, that's a posting in OurTube, here.

Anyway, fair enough, she's just doing her job, and the "Hi" salutation was a friendlier touch than "Dear Mr Brown" or "To whom it may concern". I replied promptly:

Hello Andrea,

This is my email address.

I would first like to state that I don't believe this to be copyright infringement. Your imagery is clearly being employed for satirical purposes and there is no suggestion of passing off.

Secondly, you don't appeared to have noticed that the allegedly infringing material isn't on our website. I have simply linked to a YouTube video.

Do feel free to communicate further with me on this.


Russell Brown

It seems they haven't grasped the difference between me hosting content and me linking to content (or, rather, a reader linking to content via a part of the site that allows users to post links). Anyone with a legal insight on this kind of copyright dispute should feel free to chip in with an opinion.

I'd also appreciate a little help for a query from a Listener reader: "why are some websites .com and .co?" I know a bit about the domain name system, TLDs and ccTLDs, but it would be nice to offer a detailed answer (it'll appear in the Listener's Any Questions column). Specifically, what was the process around the creation of .nz? I recall that we followed the British convention (with a .co 2LD) while the Australians went for .com, and that we plumped for .govt rather than .gov, and .ac rather than .edu. But why and when?

Something I forgot to do yesterday was direct you to a bunch of podcast items from Saturday's Public Address Radio programme on Radio Live (we're back atcha 2pm this Saturday), including reports on the Wellington Flickr Group and a night with the Wellingtonista, as well as a further 180 Seconds With Craig Ranapia and a report from Keith Ng. If you want to subscribe to the podcast, the feed is here.

And, finally, the second half of this excellent video rant from Bill Maher, and this column by Paul Krugman go together. When you're choosing US administration officials on the basis of their professed godliness rather than their competence, you really are asking for trouble.

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