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New Zealand's Recording Industry CEO Tries to Defend New Draconian Law 269

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the embrace-your-customers-instead dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Campbell Smith, CEO of the RIAA equivalent in New Zealand, has written an opinion piece for one of New Zealand's largest daily papers, in which he tries to justify the new 'presumed guilty' copyright law. This law allows recording industry members to watch file-sharing activity and notify ISPs of users who are downloading material. The copyright holder can then demand that an ISP disconnect that user — without the user ever having a chance to demonstrate their evidence."
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New Zealand's Recording Industry CEO Tries to Defend New Draconian Law

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  • What a coincidence (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:50PM (#27124761) Homepage

    I presume politicians are corrupt until proven honest.

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:54PM (#27124787)

      I presume politicians are corrupt until proven honest.

      I presume CEOs aren't really politicians, although they usually own a few ;-P

    • by Kranerian (1427183) on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:58PM (#27124877)

      I presume politicians are corrupt until proven honest.

      I presume all politicians are corrupt until... actually, forget the "until" part.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:04PM (#27124975)

      The data-transfer capabilities of the Internet weaken the foundation of the artificial scarcity upon which we have built our cartel. Without the ability to forcefully stop people from sharing their resources directly with one another, we will not be able to stand as a distributive barrier between those who have talent and those who want to enjoy that talent, which in turn means we will no longer be able to create and artificially inflate revenue streams from other people's creative efforts.

      In order to ensure our continued relevance in the face of technological advances which displace us, and to ensure our continued ability to extract large sums of money without contributing anything of value (or even doing anything hard), we need laws that prevent people from capitalizing on their own resources.

      Any technology which threatens our gravy train must be made illegal, and those who use it must be punished.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Brian Gordon (987471)
        Are you secretly laughing at slashdot?
      • by icebike (68054) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:43PM (#27125591)

        A very succinct statement of the entire industry.

        But those with the faulty business model are not the record labels. They are simply
        doing what anyone handed an insanely lucrative monopoly would do. Milk it and Preserve it by all means possible.

        No, it is "Those who have talent" (allegedly) who have the flawed model. It hasn't been working for them for 20 years, most bands see mere pennies from each CD sale. Young, penniless, and desperate, they sign ridiculous contracts only to be raped for the rest of their lives.

        In the digital age, this failed model should break first, then the labels will disappear on their own.

        I fervently hope the labels DON'T wake up to the true potential of digital distribution. That would merely condemns another few generations of musicians to enslavement.

        New talent has to do what Doctors, Lawyers, Office Workers, Factory Workers, cops, and bus drivers have done. Embrace the technology.
         

        • by gillbates (106458) on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:03PM (#27128005) Homepage Journal

          But prior to the invention of technology which allowed widespread distribution of music and dramatic performances, the best an artist could hope for would be a kingly sponsorship. A musician couldn't make a living without actually performing, nor could an actor make a living without constantly acting.

          There's nothing today preventing artists from making their money the old fashioned way. They could simply tour to bring in revenue, if they so chose. But they want to continue to make money on performances long after they've put their instruments away. And this is what the likes of RIAA-member companies promise them. Are they getting exploited? Perhaps in a few cases, yes. Are they exploiting the public at large? Yes, every time. The creative arts are the only discipline in which the workers and those who exploit them expect to make profit long after the work is done.

          If you're not paying for live performances, you're contributing to this condition. Buying CDs, music/movie downloads (legal or not) - these all contribute to the notion that an artist deserves to be compensated multiple times for work they've done only once. But then again, when you buy that CD, you get to enjoy content indefinitely without paying the artist any further royalties.

          If you don't like the copyright model, then do something about it. I suspect, however, that most people would rather put up with copyright than live in a society without it. Without copyright, every artist would simply resort to live performances, and we'd have a situation where hearing our favorite music was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and paying a hefty cover charge, *every time*.

          • by icebike (68054) on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:30PM (#27128283)

            Without copyright, every artist would simply resort to live performances, and we'd have a situation where hearing our favorite music was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and paying a hefty cover charge, *every time*.

            I don't believe that for a second. And deep down, neither do you I suspect.

            The problem isn't copyright.

            Other than a few Cathedral/Bazaar types, few people advocate for the total abolishment of copyright. We don't mind paying a reasonable price for good recordings. We wouldn't even mind paying per-Listening if any suitable billing system could be contrived.

            Music did not spontaneously arise upon the invention of copyright. People did, and still would, gladly pay the artists either directly OR for recordings. But we need not return to pre-copyright era to achieve a balance.

            This is my only point. The sooner the artists "grow up" and take control of a modern private electronic distribution chain, the better for all concerned.

            As for the "few" that get exploited, I think you would be surprised at the candid opinions of virtually every major recording artist on this issue. Yet, to date, they have had no real choice but to sign, sign, sign.

            • by garett_spencley (193892) on Monday March 09, 2009 @09:31PM (#27129391) Journal

              "The problem isn't copyright.

              Other than a few Cathedral/Bazaar types, few people advocate for the total abolishment of copyright. We don't mind paying a reasonable price for good recordings. We wouldn't even mind paying per-Listening if any suitable billing system could be contrived."

              The problem with copyright is that it benefits the distributors, which has never been the artists. Even with the Internet, copyright is never going to benefit the artists.

              To provide some context to my opinion, I am an artist. I own the copyright to lots of works. I've recorded an album. I've written short stories. I've created many paintings. You know how much copyright has benefited me ? None.

              In fact, WITHOUT copyright I would have the potential to benefit much more. Why ? Because if a radio station or a distribution company did not have to worry about copyrights and royalties I could get much more exposure, in theory. Of course it all boils down to whether or not my creations are any good. But copyright can not force people to pay money for bad music (all opinions about Britney Spears aside).

              The fallacy with the concept of copyright is that it confuses the creative genius with the entrepreneur. The VAST majority of artists do not create for the sake of profiting from their work. Sure, there is always the dream. The dream that we will "make it" and be famous rock stars playing for sold out shows and having hoards of hot groupies wanting to have sex with us and die at a young age from a drug overdose. But the minute you start talking business and economics with artists you destroy the entire process of "creating" for them.

              I'm in a unique position because I happen to be self-employed as well. But that hasn't enabled me to make lots of money from my work. Nor has the ability to maintain a monopoly on the distribution of my work ever been an incentive to create. The two have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Business and art are worlds apart. While I can not speak for all artists, I know that this is true for every single musicians that I have ever had to pleasure of creating with. Some of them are pretty good at making money playing shows or doing studio work for hire, but when it comes to writing their own material, to creating, the business side of it never enters into the equation (unless they're under contract, and that has arguably destroyed more creative minds than has helped - inspiration can not be turned on with a switch and trying to do so often results in writer's block which can financially ruin an artist who is under contract).

              The argument for copyright (for the artists' sake) usually boils down to this: morally speaking we don't want "greedy fat-cat rich capitalists" to be able to profit from our work without compensating us. While I can certainly understand this principle, I think that it would actually be in every artist's best interest to allow those entrepreneurs to do so. Why ? Because if the artist is lucky enough to get "picked up" and distributed, and the venture does well enough to earn the entrepreneur a profit, the artist is now famous. Without having to do a damned thing. Now, having the fame, the artist has been given a gift and can do with it as he/she pleases. They can package all of those songs that the entrepreneur is distributing sans-royalty, add a couple of new creations (one song, or some behind the scenes stuff or whatever) and then out-compete the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur has made a profit, the artist can now make a profit that he/she could not have made prior etc. Yet as long as the entrepreneurs has to worry about copyrights and royalties they will only concern themselves with those artists who are willing to enter into ridiculously one-sided contracts because the artist wants to get famous, nothing else matters.

              The Internet changes very little. Yes, it is WAY easier for an artist to earn him/her-self exposure on the Internet now. However, copyright does not help that at all. It hinders it. No website can put up music without the artist's permission. So exposure for new artists is still entirely limited by how business-savy and/or lucky the artist is.

              • by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @05:46AM (#27132153)

                Very interesting point of view you have here, it outlines a quite different business model than I am used to. A business model though that makes sense: about ten years ago I was quite involved in the local pop scene, and learned that many bands while under a record label were barely making any money from album sales. And quite some considered albums (and certainly singles) as pure promotion, not something you make money off.

                They made money off concerts fees, and merchandise sales during the concerts (t-shirts with the band logo usually).

                Some made money from albums, but even the better selling ones barely got an income out of it. It went all to the record company that made the investment in recording the album. Most bands even didn't care about it: they got famous, they got the gigs, made a reasonable income out of it (almost none would get rich). When Napster came along some bands even started promoting the use of this network, but that caused friction with the record company of course.

                The problem without copyright is how to make sure you can get back your investment on a recording. Studio time is still expensive, even though it's falling rapidly, recording an album is still quite an investment. Having copyright on the recording would guarantee a limited time (5-10 years is more than enough I think) to make up for your investment. Without copyrights the making of recordings I think will become really hard, and thus hurting the exposure of a musician. No recordings means no exposure.

                Where the business model should change is the freedom of the artist. I think it's kind of what you mean, but it's not written explicitly. The artists should not sign for a record label - they could create a song, and then sell/license the song to the record label: the record label then invests in the recording and promotion of the song (or complete album), and the artist is free to arrange their own gigs. Or maybe have the record company help with that, or a separate booking office.

                This won't work of course because of greed: artists will happily sign a seven-album contract because they think they will really make it. Only to be dumped after the first flops, and being unable to make more albums because they are still under contract. Greed - from the record label side but at least as much if not more from the artist's side - is why we have the current situation. And that won't change soon.

                • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                  "The problem without copyright is how to make sure you can get back your investment on a recording. Studio time is still expensive, even though it's falling rapidly, recording an album is still quite an investment. Having copyright on the recording would guarantee a limited time (5-10 years is more than enough I think) to make up for your investment. Without copyrights the making of recordings I think will become really hard, and thus hurting the exposure of a musician. No recordings means no exposure. "

                  But

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mcgrew (92797)

              Other than a few Cathedral/Bazaar types, few people advocate for the total abolishment of copyright.

              True. And if copyright were reformed, giving it a truly limited time like patents have (and I would opine that the 20 year length of patents would be a good length for copyright), if the DMCA were abolished (or even better, if one lost copyright for encrypting works) I think even fewer (far fewer) people would advocate total abolishment of copyright.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by zobier (585066)

            Without copyright, every artist would simply resort to live performances, and we'd have a situation where hearing our favorite music was a matter of being in the right place at the right time and paying a hefty cover charge, *every time*.

            Nice logical fallacy there. No, without copyright there would likely still be recordings of works (even if just live performances) which we could listen to whenever we damn pleased.

        • by greenbird (859670) * on Monday March 09, 2009 @07:05PM (#27128019)

          No, it is "Those who have talent" (allegedly) who have the flawed model. It hasn't been working for them for 20 years, most bands see mere pennies from each CD sale. Young, penniless, and desperate, they sign ridiculous contracts only to be raped for the rest of their lives.

          You don't seem to understand. The "industry" is having their paid pets in government pass laws making any business model they don't control illegal. Did you know that if you stream your own music on the internet you have to pay a fee to one of the incumbents puppet companies created by the government? The money is supposed to be distributed to the artists but they get to keep any of the money for artists they can't seem to find. So you know they look REAL hard.

    • by jesterzog (189797)

      In New Zealand's case (and as a New Zealander), I think it's more just a case of some politicians being ignorant and/or misinformed. Until quite recently, I don't think many NZ Members of Parliament saw copyright as much of a priority for consideration in the face of some of the other things.

      • by bpkiwi (1190575) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:37PM (#27126371)
        Sorry, but this was blatent corruption.

        Section 92 of the copyright ammendment act was written at the prompting of the entertainment industry. It was then widely criticised during public review of the proposed law, and removed. But, surprise suprise, it was magically re-inserted after the public consultation period ended.
    • No, sir. It's totally objective to put "Draconian Law" in the headline. There's no way it's an attempt to direct the discussion. Not one bit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by holloway (46404)
        Further, our Prime Minister John Key called it "draconian" on the radio.
  • Right to... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anenome (1250374) on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:52PM (#27124777)
    Apparently the law also specifies you have the right to confess your guilt, and pay your fine with a smile, also.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Apparently the law also specifies you have the right to confess your guilt, and pay your fine with a smile, also.

      There. See? Nothing at all to worry about. Everyone's rights are being respected.

      Nothing to see here people. Move along.

    • I will be interested to see how sue your customer works for them.
  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Monday March 09, 2009 @02:57PM (#27124855)
    1) Officially copyright your own material
    2) Contact ISP's of all lawmakers and Judges you can find
    3) Get their internet cut off
    4) Watch the media and political storm
    ...
    ???
    Profit?
    • by PIBM (588930)

      In this case I presume you would upload the content toward the judges& lawmakers, thus they would not be caught downloading but being uploaded to. Does it still count ? :)

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:19PM (#27125199)
        What do you mean "caught"? It no longer matters whether they're actually guilty.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Camann (1486759)

        Okay, from a quick perusal of TFA:

        "What would happen is simple. Right holders could log on to public file-sharing sites, just as anyone can, and note which IP addresses are being used to upload pre-release music or films or large amounts of copyright-infringing material.

        They would then prepare evidence, complete with details of the names of the copyrighted files being uploaded, exact timestamps and the protocol used, and send it to the relevant ISP. They would never see the personal details of the person b

        • by PIBM (588930)

          I should have RTFA, but I expected them to move parts of the proof process so that they have to validate the logs provided, at least. IE, has the user reported as infringing actually ever downloaded from there.

          • by Zerth (26112)

            How? The ISP doesn't keep track of that, from lack of storage space if nothing else. Anything the accuser could provide is trivially forged, by either the accuser or a 3rd party.

            • by PIBM (588930)

              Well, that totally depend on where you live. One of my friend here received such a letter. They had the packet size, had the content of some of them (too bad he had not used any encryption on that connection) showing that he had downloaded a movie.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by M-RES (653754)
                No, it showed that somebody using that IP address had downloaded a movie. It doesn't prove who it was. It COULD be you, or your spouse, or a child in your household. Or it could well be your neighbour or someone parked outside your house - they're not proving that the bill payer downloaded the file or even willingly provided a service to do so.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Camann (1486759)

            Going to the source now: Source [legislation.govt.nz]

            The whole of "section 92A":

            92A Internet service provider must have policy for terminating accounts of repeat infringers
            (1) An Internet service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer.
            (2) In subsection (1), repeat infringer means a person who repeatedly infringes the copyright in a work by using 1 or more of the Internet servic

            • by zonky (1153039)
              And there is nothing to stop you immediately signing up with another ISP. in short, the law is utterly pointless.
        • by russ1337 (938915)
          anyone know how I can grep torrent trackers to find what is being shared from here?:

          IP address: 202.41.139.3
          Host name: www.rianz.org.nz
          Alias:
          www.rianz.org.nz
          202.41.139.3 is from New Zealand(NZ) in region Oceana
    • Better use: 1) Same step 2) Contact ISP's of New zealand's recording industry and their "security" professionals 3) Get their internet cut off 4) No more stupid laws bought and paid for by the NZRI because they haven't a clue what is going on in the tubes ... 5) Oh and profit
    • by jonnythan (79727)

      From what I've seen, most judges and lawmakers have no idea what the internet even is.

      Presumably they won't even notice if it gets cut off!

    • by russ1337 (938915) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:45PM (#27125619)
      I've just been checking out the New Zealand Recording Industry Association website hoping to find some images that they are unlikely to own. I'd go so far as to spend hours searching for their owner and press them to inform the RIANZ ISP to have them cut off.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is not an option - apparently only members of the RIANZ and affiliates can make the request. Indie artists are not protected by the new law.

      • by Fluffeh (1273756)
        Where did you get this little bit then eh?

        And don't go modding it Informative unless you see it's actually true, rather than just stirring the pot more.
    • by TheMCP (121589)

      Don't forget to submit complaints about the copyright violations you suspect of the recording industry and all its corporate officers and its investigators too. Remember, you want them to run screaming to the legislature to beg for the repeal of the law themselves. It won't take them long after their internet gets cut off and they're unable to sell any music online or transact any business online or spy on anyone any more.

  • Presumed guilty (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:00PM (#27124907)

    One wonder what precautions there are in the law against abuse?

    I mean, If I complain that I saw Mr. Smith sharing stuff copyrighted by me, what would be the consequences?

    • by Jurily (900488)

      One wonder what precautions there are in the law against abuse?

      Most probably none whatsoever.

    • by PhilHibbs (4537)

      So you would look at Mr. Smith's torrents and claim that they were your content? I guess the ISP would want to take a look at the file, but that would involve them risking violating your copyright... I guess you have to provide evidence of guilt, and I guess that (as with the DMCA and other such laws) there are penalties for lying about that kind of thing. So, you'd probably end up in jail.

      • by bpkiwi (1190575)
        Ahh, but the great thing here is, any original work you do is copyright. All you have to do is create something suitably awww-ish, and then email it to someone you don't like. Include the usual 'this email is copyright' footer that companies add, and that everyone ignores.

        The chances are that person will forward the email to friends and bingo, you can make a complaint.
        • by PhilHibbs (4537)

          How are you going to detect that they forwarded it? The ISP is only going to take action if you provide something substantial such as an IP address attached to a torrent. Yes, technically you can make a complaint, but it would be treated with the contempt that it obviously deserves.

    • Well, if the NZ system is anything like the US system -- money. I'm sure that it seems to completely miss the point of your question, but it doesn't. Money buys "justice", the rest of us simply bask in the "benevolence" of the gracious people like Mr. Smith.
    • by jesterzog (189797)

      With the incoming NZ law, it would be up to the ISP to decide if there's a breach of the law, and then cut the connection accordingly. The biggest issues that ISPs and the NZ Internet community have with this law isn't that it tries to stop copyright infringement on the 'net. It's that it's using a very blunt, inaccurate and disproportionate instrument to do it.

      It's disproportionate because people could have their whole connection cut if someone using it might have violated a copyright, even though the In

  • by Seriousity (1441391) <[Seriousity] [at] [live.com]> on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:01PM (#27124929)
    So far, it's been delayed from Feb 29 to March 29. (approx) due to the overwhelming controversy surrouding the legislation. It is blatantly clear that the politicians that pushed this bill were simply cracking under pressure from lobby groups; our parliament is a joke, albeit not a very funny one. If it isn't stopped or postponed further then I submit that I won't be posting for a while after some time around March 29 :)

    Take heed, our small Aotearoa is owned by globalists; they may well seek to implement such policies elsewhere. (see the Opal file and judge for yourselves)

    Peace, from a New Zealander
  • Heh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by castorvx (1424163) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:01PM (#27124931)

    The recording industry has transformed its business models, making music available online and on mobile through a variety of different partners. Yet the widespread availability of unlicensed music on the internet acts as a disincentive to those considering setting up legal services.

    I don't think New Zealand is on the same internet I am.

    • Re:Heh. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by w0mprat (1317953) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:40PM (#27125553)

      I don't think New Zealand is on the same internet I am.

      It isn't, or at least it hangs on by a few tenuous undersea cables.

      NZ is one of the worst places in the developed world to file-share. Our pipes out to the big interweb are pretty narrow and our local bandwidth is pretty average. Here you can have a 10mbps cable line into fibre optic infrastructure and have low quality videos stall and buffer on youtube, just because it's 8pm and everybody else is doing the same thing. Most (affordable) internet plans charge you more or slow you down if you go over 10-20gb. P2P is not only very slow here but such capped usage doesn't really encourage anyone going nuts with file-sharing.

      And they claim downloading copyrighted works is a problem in NZ?

      We already share alot by swapping portable hard drives (I call them slut drives coz they get around) in this country, now it'll get worse.

      • by Firehed (942385)

        I don't get why NZ and Australia have such crappy connections. Japan also happens to be an island, and they have some of the best home connections in the world.

  • by mangu (126918) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:02PM (#27124955)

    The recorded music industry has been working hard to find proportionate and reasonable solutions to tackling online copyright infringement. In some countries, labels have taken legal action against users who have uploaded infringing music to the internet without permission for millions to download without payment. We believe section 92A is a better solution for everyone.

    I, OTOH, am able to do simple math. Multiply the $0.99 price that's typically charged per on-line song by the 15 tracks one finds in a typical CD and you get the same $15 one pays for the CD. Add the hassle of burning and dealing with DRM.

    If people don't want to buy CDs at $15, then why do they think people would be willing to pay the equivalent of $15 for a CD online?

    Charge reasonable prices and the world will beat a path to your door.

    • by DomainDominator (1493131) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:07PM (#27125013)
      They're a monopoly, and are gouging the consumer. If anywhere we need the DOJ antitrust working overtime it's against the RIAA.
    • by oodaloop (1229816) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:14PM (#27125109)
      Mod parent up. I had an economist friend years ago who calculated what songs would cost on the radio per airing, and it came out to $.05USD. At that price, I would buy large quantities of music. As it is now, CDs are too expensive and so are mp3s on iTunes. Not that I would ever pirate music. On a completely separate subject, I like limes.
      • I had an economist friend years ago who calculated what songs would cost on the radio per airing, and it came out to $.05USD. At that price, I would buy large quantities of music.

        If you were dealing with 15-20 songs an hour, 24 hours a day I would expect the record companies would happily do business with you.

        But truthfully if you're paying a nickel per play like the radio stations then you'd be renting, not buying, large quantities of music. For any music that you expect to play more than nineteen times you'd be better off going to iTunes.

      • by Zerth (26112)

        Is that the per station cost or the per person listening cost?

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Your argument doesn't work on all levels - for one, buying per song allows you to purchase only a portion of a CD. If you want to buy the whole CD as you do in a retail setting, the price is never $.99 per song - it's normally $10 or so per CD.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:03PM (#27124965) Homepage

    The copyright lords don't need to get a court involved to impose sanction. Their firm allegation is all that is needed under this system. The commoner is punished, and then must go to a court to prove that the nobility were mistaken.

    People who like quick solutions and big government involvement don't like the rule of law and due process because they get in the way of accomplishing the "greater good." Ironically, the greater good is generally a myth, and if you look behind one group asking another to sacrifice its rights for the "greater good," you'll usually just find some selfish, self-centered individual who profits.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The "greater good" is whatever the men with guns decide it is. :-)
      • Baltar: "All we need is strength! Strength that comes from within!"
        Head 6: "And guns..."
        Baltar: "And guns! More guns! Bigger guns! Better guns! And when we have those, we will win!"
  • by tonyreadsnews (1134939) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:05PM (#27124995)
    Not that I'm for this or anything, but the guy does mention the 2 checks in the system:

    The ISP would then contact its user and warn them that they were breaking the law, advise them not to do it again

    I agree with the proposition that users should be able to flag to an independent adjudicator anything they regard as mistaken evidence

    also, he mentions that it is the 'right holder' that identifies IP addresses through the filesharing system, not the governement or anything so I'm not sure how its "Big Brother".

    Having said that, I don't think its the appropriate way to handle copyright infringement.

    • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:38PM (#27125523)

      The guy makes it sound all common sense. [Artist] checks out (say) The Pirate Bay and sees their latest hit available. They run a client, jot down IP addresses, and report to the appropriate ISPs. Bad pirates get disconnected for stealing the work of [Artist]. Who could complain?

      The trouble is - we know that's not how it'll work. It won't be [Artist] feverishly protecting their livelihood. It'll be [script], executed by an "IP protection" service acting as an agent for an Industry representative, running a drag-net search and spamming cease-and-desist letters. The ISP will be running [script2] to parse those emails and notify / disconnect users. The dragnet script will make mistakes. Often. Only the end users will be paying for those mistakes by trying to re-establish their (increasingly important) connection after being victim of said script.

      How do we know this? We can study from history [cnet.com].

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rhizome (115711)

        The dragnet script will make mistakes. Often. Only the end users will be paying for those mistakes by trying to re-establish their (increasingly important) connection after being victim of said script.

        Not to mention that there is no provision in the proposed law that would define, much less punish, abuse of this regime. The word "impunity" comes to mind.

    • by Kindaian (577374)

      So basically they (RIAA equivalent), just posts ALL their music online in the p2p nets, and then starts to grab the IPs of everyone that touchs those files...

      Nice move...

      BUT, i've a simple question... how do you know that the file "madonna.mp3" is copyrighted or not, before you listen to at least a segment of it? ;)

  • by Tsar (536185) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:06PM (#27125003) Homepage Journal
    So how long will it take for some Kiwi IP-freedom-fighter to:
    1. Make a few original MP3 recordings,
    2. Copyright them (is that necessary in NZ?),
    3. Post them with names similar to upcoming releases from RIANZ members,
    4. Publicize their location,
    5. Watch for RIANZ-member IPs in the server logs, and
    6. Issue take-down demands to their ISPs?

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    • by PhilHibbs (4537)

      If you are sharing your own content, how could you complain that someone downloaded it? I don't think you'd have any case at all.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:09PM (#27125037) Journal

    The ISP would then contact its user and warn them that they were breaking the law, advise them not to do it again and provide details of where to enjoy music legally online.

    If the user kept breaking the law the ISP could close the internet account.

    Extra emphasis on "could"
    So is Campbell Smith saying that there is nothing requiring ISPs to cut off internet users?
    If not, why would ISPs ever do so?

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Extra emphasis on "could"
      So is Campbell Smith saying that there is nothing requiring ISPs to cut off internet users?
      If not, why would ISPs ever do so?

      I wouldn't read too much into it. The "could" was his words and not necessarily the wording of the law itself, which is what counts.

      I think they will have to use government/legislative force for stuff like this though. If it's voluntary a few ISP's will undoubtedly jump on board because some of them are always stupid and naive, but eventually they'll realize that their subscribers are paying the bills, not the *AA's of the world.

  • a large country like the usa, or a confident one like the uk, the business infrastructure of distribution can wither and die in the face of the internet, and there's no perception of a threat to the very existence of british or american culture being wiped out in the adjustment period

    but places like canada, or new zealand, there is a strong legal entrenchment of cultural protectionism, because there is already a perception that everyone watches american television and movies, or listens to british music, such that if "native" culture were to lose its protection, it would wither and die

    i actually don't believe this, i hardly believe anything stops an artist from creating art. its not like a kiwi won't write songs again just because kelly clarkson is on the radio. it seems to me to be some sort of lack of confidence on the part of canucks and kiwis. or rather, enough canuck and kiwi politicians can be persuaded of this scare tactic by captains of dying media industries in the face of the internet

    • by Geof (153857) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:07PM (#27125953) Homepage

      places like canada, or new zealand, there is a strong legal entrenchment of cultural protectionism, because there is already a perception that everyone watches american television and movies, or listens to british music, such that if "native" culture were to lose its protection, it would wither and die . . . it seems to me to be some sort of lack of confidence on the part of canucks and kiwis. or rather, enough canuck and kiwi politicians can be persuaded of this scare tactic by captains of dying media industries

      This is not the driving force for extremist copyright in Canada. The Conservatives, our current governing party, is not friendly to the arts, but they are happy to go along with American demands. Many Canadian industry and arts organizations (and many, many Canadians) are opposed to the changes, but it is largely American officials and organizations representing American interests who pay the lobbyists and get the face time with our politicians.

      Now in Quebec it is true that culture is of central political importance. The large arts organizations there are in favor of extreme copyright laws. Quebec's approach to copyright is much closer to the moral imperative of authorial control in France, les droits d'auteur, than to the pragmatism of Anglo-American copyright. And I believe there is a tradition in Quebec (as in France) of seeing large organizations as important forces for the preservation of society. Those traditions are likely to support copyright extremism regardless of what tools are at their disposal - though preservation of French culture is always one of those.

      I shouldn't open up a can of worms, but don't mock what you call "cultural protectionism". The United States followed a similar course in its early days (hence American spelling and the lack of respect for foreign copyrights). Though it has largely failed in Canada, and though it is used to justify ridiculous proposals (e.g. Canadian content quotas for web sites), the concern that originally drove it are legitimate. Canadian culture *has*, to a large extent, failed to thrive in the face of American imports. Americans own our movie distribution network, sell TV series cheaper than we can produce them but won't themselves buy material set in Canada, and so on. Americans tend to see this in terms of free markets for a cultural product. Many countries and peoples see culture as a matter of national identity. Canadians have long supported a greater role for government in the production of culture and information. The lack of confidence you describe does exist among some in Canada, but before you jump on "small countries" as being special in this regard, take a look at the culture wars in the United states (over prayer in schools, flag burning, prudishness about depictions of sex but not violence, and so on).

      Also, the "small country" stereotype doesn't work. Before you slot France in with Canada, keep in mind that it has a larger population than the U.K. (I believe surveys have found Brits suffer from lower national confindence). The U.S. has five times the population of the U.K. Canada has a tenth the population of the U.S., and about ten times the population of N.Z. English speaking countries have fewer barriers to influence by American culture, and Canada is right next door.

      The copyright war is not driven by small countries or cultural inferiority complexes. It is conducted mainly by the United States (with collaboration with allies, including Canada) at the behest of a handful of huge transnational companies like Disney, General Electric, Viacom, Fox, Time-Warner, Sony, Microsoft, a few others. Almost no countries are sufficiently powerful or independent to put up effective resistance.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:19PM (#27125203) Homepage

    The copyright holder can then demand that an ISP disconnects that user

    And the language in the article the implies that is...?

    without the user ever having a chance to demonstrate their evidence.

    Mmm hmm. "users should be able to flag to an independent adjudicator anything they regard as mistaken evidence" [nzherald.co.nz]

    Of course, I'm making the mistake of Reading The Fine Article, and trying to make evidence-based comments, rather than commenting on what I imagine the law will be like. I'm clearly The Man's bitch.

    • by tacarat (696339) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:40PM (#27125543) Journal

      "users should be able to flag to an independent adjudicator anything they regard as mistaken evidence"

      "Should" is an interesting word, though. RIAA's problem with it's American cases is meeting evidence criteria that a crime was committed. And that's with so called experts helping them. What will the threshold be for proving your innocence? More to the point, what will have to be done to make sure it's brought to an independent adjudicator? If the adjudicator isn't sympathetic or sufficiently technical, then a "well, you did download/share and only deleted it off your computer after the fact" argument will be sufficient to force the person to have to pay the fine or whatever. And that's assuming the person actually knows enough or has the resources to bring about a good case of innocence. If they don't and are innocent, then they're being forced to pay for a crime that they didn't even get to commit!

      Nope, don't like it.

      • > RIAA's problem with it's American cases is meeting evidence criteria that a crime was
        > committed.

        The RIAA is filing civil lawsuits, not criminal complaints.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You are reading the article correctly, but sadly how the law actually works has been understated greatly (probably in an attempt to spin it).

      Section 92A makes it clear that ISPs MUST cut off any account where the copyright holder makes a repeated accusation of infringement. The user has no ability to protest this.

      There is no independent adjudicator which has been established and there is no ability in the law for a person to protest before they are cut off. Sure, eventually they may be able to convince the

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by corrie (111769)

      You're making the mistake of believing the article. If you weren't someone's bitch, you would've found the actual law:

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2008/0027/latest/DLM1122643.html [legislation.govt.nz]

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by holloway (46404)

      Mmm hmm. "users should be able to flag to an independent adjudicator anything they regard as mistaken evidence"

      Of course, I'm making the mistake of Reading The Fine Article, and trying to make evidence-based comments, rather than commenting on what I imagine the law will be like. I'm clearly The Man's bitch.

      The TCF code isn't released yet. The draft code had either the ISP judging it or the rights holder (yes, the accuser becomes the judge!). There is no established independent body of qualified experts (we

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jason Pollock (45537)

      It's important to know the actual text of the legislation:

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2008/0027/latest/DLM1122643.html [legislation.govt.nz]

      92A Internet service provider must have policy for terminating accounts of repeat infringers
      (1) An Internet service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:30PM (#27125385) Homepage Journal

    that says 'it is god given right of aristocrats to rule and peasants to obey'. sometimes elitist people need a hard, cold beating to get some sense beat into them. some kind of people try to suck your blood as long as you let them. this person is one of them. we should presume him guilty and execute his punishment.

  • Could there be a more Kiwi sounding name than "Campbell Smith"?

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:52PM (#27125741)
    They were tired of engineers having all the fun. The fact that there are no legal repercussions for false accusation is a giveaway.

    Fun night in:
    1. Get (student) friends together
    2. Drink beer
    3. Send accusation letters to ISPs accusing high-profile/celebrity New Zealanders of copyright infringement.
    4. Drink more beer and wait for media frenzy
    5. Drinksh more beers *hic*
    6. Repeath!
  • So let's do this... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by purpleraison (1042004) on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:18PM (#27126081) Homepage Journal

    Those of us who do not live in New Zealand can easily (or relatively) file motions to have lawyers, judges, politicians families etc, cut off due to our claims that they have downloaded copyrighted material.

    Since we don't live in New Zealand, even 'if' we are incorrect and they didn't... they have no recourse. However, the families of New Zealand politicians et al are just as 'guilty' as the next person-- we all know that, just as their kids do.

    The only question will be how to find their IP addresses... but it will be a hop, skip, and a jump before NOBODY in NZ has internet... how do you think the internet providers (and the population) will feel about the law then?

  • Treat live shows and pre-recorded material in the same manner.

    The only control a creative artist has is over the initial release of new material. Once its out there, there isn't anything anyone can do to limit its distribution.

    A successful business model works with the grain, as opposed to trying to impose artificial barriers.

    If I want to see a live show, I buy a ticket to attend. I am basing fair value on the artist's past performances and accumulated goodwill. There is no guarantee any particular pe

  • by Jason Pollock (45537) on Monday March 09, 2009 @05:04PM (#27126757) Homepage

    There was a slashdot style Q&A with Mr Smi on a New Zealand IT forum:

    http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=95&topicid=30765 [geekzone.co.nz]

  • Quote by John Key, Prime-Minister of NZ:

    "If New Zealand was to sign a free-trade agreement with America for instance, we would need an equivalent of Section 92A,".

    Thanks America!

    On the bright side, America is instituting protectionist policies due to its financial difficulties.

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