Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The file-sharing bill

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  • Sacha,

    Tech Liberty's brief summary of the bill is useful.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    This site may be useful to this discussion...

    http://www.techliberty.org.nz


    Craig Y

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Andre Alessi,

    A court order would seem to apply to a single ISP. There isn't any provision for a register of banned users (it might be possible for a rights holder to try and gain an order banning a user from a second ISP, but they'd need to identify them as a customer first).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4467 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Gareth Ward,

    why would they NOT just gather up those IP addresses and have the ISPs send warning letters for what will surely be a fairly small "processing fee" (what does it cost to send a letter?

    There is significant processing cost to the ISP apart from sending the letter. They would need a system to match a user to an IP-address at a specific time. Procedures would need to be put in place to deal with on-sold IP-addresses, IP-addresses belonging to companies etc etc. A register would be needed to keep track of already sent warning-letters. ISPs do this every now and then today on an ad-hoc basis, but how many of these warning will they need to process now? 10/day? 100/day? 1000/day? 10000/day?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    So what do we expect will be the processing fee applied here?

    Copyright holders spend offensive amounts of money on this - that processing fee is going to have to be pretty freakin significant to phase them, especially if the invoice arrives at the same time as their Russell McVeagh one!

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    The “termination” will be a six-month suspension, which appears to leave the infringer free to go and get another internet connection.

    OK, now that I’ve thought about it a bit, this will be the out used by the real “problem customers” (if you want to frame high-volume illegal file sharing users this way.) This is already a problem with the industry as a way of skipping out on unpaid bills, particularly since the Telecom Wholesale arrangement became the standard way for telcos to deliver services to customers.

    The way it works is that a customer signs up with a telco, doesn’t pay their bill for three months, then signs up with a new telco before they can be disconnected for nonpayment (which also be before the old telco has referred their overdue bill to a credit agency, meaning credit checks turn up nothing on the customer.) They can keep doing this, skipping from provider to provider (with no disruption of service because the physical circuit remains in place throughout) until one finally reports their ass to Baycorp, etc and the next provider they try and sign up to picks that up on a credit check.

    Now replace “overdue bill” in that scenario with “suspension for illegal file sharing”. This won’t shut down those users at all, especially if they’re still paying their bills. There would have to be an industry-wide “Do Not Connect” register to police the termination/suspension, which would be unworkable given the current fragmentation within the market. (Believe it or not, many smaller telcos will do everything they can to target these customers in the short term, because any sale is better than no sale at all.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward, in reply to Fooman,

    They're not allowed to refuse, are they?

    Legally I THINK they can't - there are a limited set of countries that let the Crown withhold Royal Assent and I don't think we're one of them?
    Regardless, practically they wouldn't as I don't believe internet copyright arguments really come close to constitutional crisis...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    A court order would seem to apply to a single ISP. There isn’t any provision for a register of banned users (it might be possible for a rights holder to try and gain an order banning a user from a second ISP, but they’d need to identify them as a customer first).

    Yeah, this is what makes me think this won't be much of an issue for the people the legislation is supposedly targetted at. It's poor Iremia in Onehunga (my stepbrother's name, not a random hypothetical) who wants to download the latest Bones or CSI: Miami who will get hit hardest if everything works the way we're told it should.

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Copyleftist discusses the fundamentally flawed nature of this law and some of its background.

    This is about control, not compensation to rights-holders. Our new law is meant to promote rent-seeking on behalf of corporate interests.

    Meanwhile, the public domain, that garden of intellectual works which we all draw upon to create new content, is steadily diminished. Instead of a rich culture, we’re left with infertile dust that excludes most any work produced in the last 50-100 years (depending on where you live).

    Ironic that copyright law originally came about as an incentive to creators to enrich the public domain. The original Statute of Anne, from the 16th century, was created as an incentive to authors to create books by protecting them from the monopolies of book printers and allowing works to add to the cultural gestalt. As written in the constitution of the United States, copyright exists to “promote the progress” of arts and science.

    There is nothing there about guaranteeing profits to corporate dynasties.

    After noting the music industry's recent bumper returns, practical implications are highlighted including this:

    Our new law is guilt on accusation with the rubber-stamp of court approval. A court hearing without the ability to defend yourself is equivalent to no hearing at all.

    3. Yes, this will be abused. The only barrier to filing an infringement notice is a fee. If you don’t like what your business competitor is doing, claim infringement. If you don’t like a blog post that offends you, claim infringement.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Is Jonathan Young reading off an iPad?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    TPPA Gore...

    If we move to comply with anything like the American position in the TPPA talks, it will be time to head to the barricades, my friend.

    ...and just to make sure. let's ensure National doesn't get back in, in November - Groser Jack and co are gagging for the TPPA to go through!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5071 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    .

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Wedde,

    I can see 9 wireless networks from my bedroom in Naenae. None of my neighbours going to take my money to hook me up with some internet when I get banned?

    Lower Hutt • Since Nov 2006 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Sarah Wedde,

    I can see 9 wireless networks from my bedroom

    Some wag last night was speculating that Melissa Lee can probably see Alaska from hers

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16794 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    As DPF was quoted:

    "Overall I’d say those on the “Internet side” got around 80% of what we wanted, and the rights holders didn’t get anywhere near what they wanted."

    Although nobody should ever be under an illusion that this is as an adequate measure of fairness and compromise. Otherwise all a petitioner needs to do is demand increasingly ridiculous changes with the knowledge that they could never be legislated in the requested form. No surprises here, in fact.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 434 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Watson, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    Made worse because they’d (Jonathan and Katrina) clearly prepared in advance (for something that’s supposedly urgent…)

    Are these two clowns list MPs or did someone actually tick a box and vote for them!?!?

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    I note with interest that cellular internet is exempt for the next couple of years. It’s still too pricey for mass torrenting, but at $150 for 12GB prepaid, it’s getting to be a viable (and anonymous) way to do some light streaming.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I'd be surprised if there was now a sudden rush of threat letters from lawyers demanding enormous amounts of cash from alleged infringers

    Why would you be surprised? It has happened in every other country that has passed this sort of legislation. Indeed, it already happens here.

    By the way, I don't see why we shouldn't criticise the act because it is less bad than before. The fact is, it is not much less bad. The language of the act still makes a presumption of guilt and termination is still on the cards.

    There is another reason to make a big fuss now...the TPP agreement where the US has made demands that far exceed most peoples' worst expectations. That is happening right now. Next round of negotiations in Vietnam end of June. If the NZ public looks like it doesn't care then our negotiators (who do try and represent) won't care and, more importantly, the politicians who will make the final compromises won't care.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Are these two clowns list MPs or did someone actually tick a box and vote for them!?!?

    Jonathan Young: MP for New Plymouth.
    Katrina Shanks: List.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Fooman,

    Technically, I think they can but OMG Constitutional Crisis!!! (think Whitlam in 1975).

    Before a bill can become law, the Royal Assent (the monarch’s approval) is required. The Governor-General acts on the Monarch’s behalf; in theory, he or she may grant the Royal Assent (making the bill law), or withhold the Royal Assent (vetoing the bill). By modern constitutional convention, however, the Royal Assent is always granted, and Bills are never disallowed

    Wikipedia

    Under the Reserve Powers assent can be withheld but the PM would have to have lost the confidence of the House etc.

    So, no, there’s not a requirement to simply assent, but it’s very unlikely that they’d do anything else. It would be tantamount to sacking the PM (see Whitlam in 1975)

    ETA Such are the joys of an unwritten constitution - very murky boundaries and lots of convention which means "this is the way we've always done it, don't rock the boat"

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    If you haven't got there Toby Manhire for the Listener has a good roundup that also quotes the attempted twitter schooling of Tau Henare, but it's worth it just for the opening line.

    Like some kind of ghastly bubonic Tetris, Twitter feeds in New Zealand were last night raining little black boxes.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    AFAI can tell this would make lawyergram demands for settlements less likely, as it provides a non-lawsuit dispute process.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Lyndon Hood,

    Don't you believe it. The lawyergrams will cite the Act for added "authority" and most people will go "Oh, yeah, I heard about that" and pay up.

    Will be watching this space very carefully...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2173 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Like some kind of ghastly bubonic Tetris, Twitter feeds in New Zealand were last night raining little black boxes.

    What, the ones that demonstrate to select committee members how computers work?
    ;)

    We had little boxes sitting along the front of the select committee and they’d explain how it takes a bit from this box and a bit from that box and a bit from this computer till you’ve got a thousand little bits and it makes up a file. - Katrina Shanks

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Lyndon Hood,

    If you haven't got there Toby Manhire for the Listener has a good roundup that also quotes the attempted twitter schooling of Tau Henare, but it's worth it just for the opening line.

    Talk about Twitter tennis. Game, set & match to the nephew.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4365 posts Report Reply

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