Posts by Rick Shera

  • Hard News: The United States of Surveillance?,

    I may have missed it, but in all the discussion around "metadata" I've not seen any mention of the fact that, presumably, an important piece of data being collected will be the IP address. Even the Wired founder guy's recanting of his "nothing to see here" initial reaction, on the basis that internet surveillance is different from wiretap, doesn't mention IP addresses.

    The Paul Revere piece (brilliant thanks David) reminded me of the analysis which many have done on what can be found out about someone from just an IP address, This potential is why privacy authorities have started to focus on IP addresses as personally identifiable information (which are therefore protected under privacy statutes).

    This blithe refutation of there being anything to worry about, because it is "just metadata" seems to me to be an attempt to avoid scaring the horses, who might otherwise be persauded to make a submission on the extraordinary expansion of GCSB powers being proposed in the GCSB and TICS Bills (submissions due Thursday 13 June although if you ask nicely you'll get an extension until Monday 17 June on the GCSB Bill at least).

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Reviews: #NZGT and the Herald,

    Interested to see the increased use of QR codes in NZH. I'd thought that these were generally a fad/on their way out but I actually find them quite useful for this sort of thing (and on billboards etc).

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mega Conspiracy,

    Further to @nzlemming's and my agreement (an unusual occurence) that there is a lot of water to flow under the bridge in this matter, a quick glance at another aspect of the Extradition Act reveals a further avenue. With the warrants having been granted, section 21 requires USA to notify Justice Minister Judith Collins, who must then consider whether to have the proceedings discontinued and the warrants quashed.

    No doubt an eminently judicially reviewable decision.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mega Conspiracy, in reply to nzlemming,

    It appeared that you needed a guide to steer you away from the cliff ;-)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Mega Conspiracy,

    Re questions about evidence standards, this may not be relevant to the bail application itself but I note that the Extradition Act provides the US with a fast track. US is an “exempted country” under the Extradition (Exempted Country: United States of America) Order 1999. That means that it does not need to comply with the prima facie case standard in section 24(2)(d)(i) of the Extradition Act and can instead present a “record of its case” (summary of evidence and copies of documents and photographs) under section 25.

    So, there’s an interlocutory argument waiting to go all the way to the Supreme Court for a start.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We are all Twitter,

    We do have High Court and District Court Rules in NZ allowing pre-trial discovery (based on the original UK Norwich Pharmacal orders) and they can be used to discover the name of an alleged infringer (defamation, copyright infringement, illegal bullying etc) from an ISP/host. But,since Twitter does not have a business presence here, those Rules won't help much.

    Can't imagine many people (incl the Electoral Commission) having the wherewithal or inclination to bring an action against Twitter in California to find the ID multiple of pseudonymous tweeters.

    Slightly OT, but this is another area where the US propoals for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are of concern. If accepted, those proposals would enable a copyright owner to require an ISP to give up a customer ID based on an allegation alone, without having to go to court at all. Since allegations of copyright infringement are already used for ulterior motives (e.g. to restrict competitors or to gag criticism), it is not hard to imagine such a process being used to gain customer IDs whenever someone has a gripe - legitimate or not.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: TPPA: It's Extreme,

    The reason why NZ producers of bubbles do not describe it as champagne has nothing to do with GIs in a Trade Mark Act sense. It is because the Champagne area producers succeeded in a passing off/Fair Trading Act case against Wineworths back in the early 90s. That is why MED (which is in charge of the IP section of the TPPA) says that NZ law already deals with the issue. So, they conclude we already comply with TRIPs and need not introduce specific GI provisions into our trade mark law. MED actually has a useful summary of the current law on GIs at http://www.med.govt.nz/templates/Page____1203.aspx (which has a citation for the Wineworths case for anyone interested).

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: TPPA: It's Extreme, in reply to Steve Withers,

    Agree - which is why those who have concerns need to find examples that resonate with the general public. Parallel import limits clearly fall into that category, as does 3 strikes internet termination.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: TPPA: It's Extreme,

    @ScottY - yes, there are major issues with patent changes as well but I wanted to focus on the copyright and TM ones. Pharmac is clearly a target although I heard Susy Frankel of VUW suggest that (as much as it might like to) US is probably not aiming to do away with pharmac altogether but to significantly curtail its buying power by restricting flow of generics. Some of the anti-patent gurus around will be looking at this I'm sure.

    @Rick Lock/Chris Bell GIs aren't actually listed and probably will not be in any final treaty. Although, aparently, Chile has some of it's GIs listed in the existing P4 treaty (which TPPA is building on). There is also some wording in the proposed US text suggesting that generic names would be excluded from GI protection. Suspect that the GI clauses are an attempt to end-game the EU which of course wants GIs for everything.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hobbit Wars,

    @Simon Bennett/@Peter Cox

    Employee vs contractor status is not quite as clear-cut as that. You can find many examples of people who work under documented service contracts, who are in fact employees (although not so much the other way).

    Things like flexible working time, control of IP/personality/publicity rights, taking on other work outside the main employment etc can be catered for in employment contracts. Conversely, subject to Commerce Act (competition law) issues, one could even contemplate some standard industry wide service contract terms by reference to a reinvigorated pink book. But, you are right that things like payment of holiday pay, ACC, PAYE (employees) vs deduction of expenses (contractors) are bright line dividers.

    For employers this is often a no-win situation - they agree to people being contractors (whiich can often have nice tax benefits for the "contractor" by way of tax deductable expenses and income splitting via companies/trading trusts) only to find that the IRD assesses the person as an employee and comes after the employer for back PAYE and penalties. Worse still, a dispute arises and the person turns around and claims they were an employee all along by filing a personal grievance via a "no win no fee" advocate.

    It's an area that IRD is hot on and this spat will no doubt have it looking closely at whatever eventuates - here's its guidance

    Auckland • Since Feb 2008 • 22 posts Report Reply

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