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New Zealand Legislature Mulls File-Sharing Bill 54

Posted by timothy
from the flee-to-australia-oh-wait dept.
bitserf writes from New Zealand: "Our overlords in government have decided to try and push through some file-sharing legislation. In the bill remains the controversial provisions for three-strikes removal of internet access, though interestingly, nothing prohibiting users from moving to other ISPs. Text of the bill can be found here. Interesting timing, considering ACTA negotiations due to be held in Wellington in April."
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New Zealand Legislature Mulls File-Sharing Bill

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  • by Mad Merlin (837387) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @05:44AM (#31295724) Homepage

    In the bill remains the controversial provisions for three-strikes removal of internet access, though interestingly, nothing prohibiting users from moving to other ISPs.

    Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

    • Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

      If have the luxury of so many ISP choices. For some, it would still be three strikes.
      Of course, if they said it only applied where the local ISP did NOT have a monopoly...

      • by adosch (1397357)

        If have the luxury of so many ISP choices. For some, it would still be three strikes. Of course, if they said it only applied where the local ISP did NOT have a monopoly...

        ...which could almost be worse. It could essentially be turned into one strike and that's it if you only have one broadband carrier in your area and the rest are dial-up or some diluted broadband wireless service that does extensive bandwidth capping unless you're willing to pay the gobs of money to use it. Just going backwards in the 'high-speed-internet' days might be enough for people to change their ways. I know how frustrated I've become just checking my e-mail out of all things on a backup dial acc

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by DigMarx (1487459)

      As a recent immigrant to Auckland, I was actually surprised that there are so many companies to choose from. Not only ISPs but power and phone as well. Of course, I pay $80 NZ for a 25 gig monthly data cap with speeds up to 10-12 mbps, but off-peak hours are free...

    • Underground ISPs (Score:5, Interesting)

      by h00manist (800926) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:59AM (#31295936) Journal
      Maybe we'll see a return to lots of small company ISP's, which will start to become the place where the censored gather and organize their net connection and other things..
      • by ascari (1400977)
        Or maybe one could do the downloading at Starbucks or some such place? A pain for sure. (I'm not referring to the coffee...)
        • by h00manist (800926)
          I just realized this thing is never going to work. They are going to start cutting off some people, then more, and soon realize they will be cutting off tons of people, and stop. They'll just go fight it in the courts, but will stop cutting everyone off. No country has done it. At most it will scare a bunch of people giving more fear of using anything at all on the net other than facebook and commercial products.
    • by holloway (46404)

      Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

      Incorrect. As far as I know the proposed law doesn't say that you can't sign up at the same ISP again. Effectively internet termination is more akin to the fine where you'd inconvenienced by the reconnection cost and the time without internet.

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @08:07AM (#31296076)
      Doesn't mean much when your choices are the local cable monopoly or the local telco monopoly. It just makes three strikes into six.

      There is no cable TV in NZ.

      I don't mind when people talk about "well, here it would be XXX." But when directly commenting on a three strikes law in NZ and talking about moving to the cable provider when "cable TV" is done only in very very limited areas (and not at all like the US) because Sky TV has the monopoly, it's just sad. I still haven't figured out why they can't just make a -1 Wrong mod. You stated a fact assuming that there exist cable providers, and that's simply wrong. It's not a troll or flamebait. It's simply a false statement, not made from malice, but ignorance. Or with an implied "I don't know how anything works outside my city where I live, but if it happened here, this is what effect it would have on me:" for a preface. But whatever the reasons, it's completely inaccurate and doesn't apply to this article at all. Those in the location they are discussing don't have cable as an option.
      • I still haven't figured out why they can't just make a -1 Wrong mod.

        You used it. It's called the "Reply" button.

      • I think you may be taking the GP out of context. There may be no cable or local telco or whatever in NZ. The point is that with no competition, moving to another ISP, in whatever form, is not possible/reasonable. He was quoting the OP to make the point. They key word being monopoly. Cable was just an adjective. There might be a wrong fact, but the concept is still right, and the type of internet access was only secondary. If there is tons of competition in NZ for ISP's, then you could use your -1 wro
      • by sirsnork (530512)
        Actually you are wrong, Telstra have cable networks in Christchurch and Wellington. Full Internet,TV and Phone
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Brian Boitano (514508)

          But who cares about those places?

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            Together, those account for less than 10% of the nation. That rounds down to zero as far as I'm concerned. And for that, I grabbed the population listed for those areas, I have no idea if they cover everyone, or if they just pick and choose smaller areas.
            • by gringer (252588)

              Together, those account for less than 10% of the nation. That rounds down to zero as far as I'm concerned.

              Auckland has a land area less than 1% of the nation. That rounds down to zero as far as I'm concerned.

    • by kramerd (1227006)

      Not exactly.

      From the bill, your third strike allows the accuser to press for charges of up to 15,000 (New Zealand) dollars (roughly 10.5k USD) as well as suspending the account of the alleged infringer for up to 6 months.

      It seems wrong to me that an alleged infringer (not a convicted one) can have their internet access suspended.

    • by shermo (1284310)

      How the fuck did this get +5 insightful?

      I googled 'new zealand isps', clicked on the second link, ended up at this page: http://www.newzealandisp.orconhosting.net.nz/new_zealand_ISP_directory.htm [orconhosting.net.nz]

      There's 7 'major' providers. 6 of which are available anywhere in the country. There are additionally about 20 smaller providers, but I have no idea how widely they operate.

      Look, just because that's the situation in America doesn't mean that the rest of the world has devolved into an effective monopoly.

  • Note that under this amended amendment a user's ISP access can only be cut off by court order. This is a far better process than was previously proposed.
    • by h00manist (800926)
      Depends on how the courts work there at any given time.
    • by BiggerIsBetter (682164) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @07:41AM (#31296028)

      Note that under this amended amendment a user's ISP access can only be cut off by court order. This is a far better process than was previously proposed.

      Would they cut of your telephone if your kid used it to harass someone? No. Buy drugs? No. Hire a hitman? No. But they want to cut off your internet connection if he downloads some MP3s.

      And lets not forget the ISPs. They now have a huge task to monitor and store large volumes of data for no benefit to them or their customers. They might lose business because people won't need their all-you-can-eat plans any more, because they stopped downloading DVDs. More importantly for the public, this makes it easier to later implement filtering, do traffic analysis, etc. This seems to tie in nicely with the "optional" ISP-level filtering coming in a few months [nbr.co.nz].

      Incidentally, The Pirate Party [pirateparty.org.nz] is starting to happen in NZ now. Well timed.

      • by holloway (46404)

        And lets not forget the ISPs. They now have a huge task to monitor and store large volumes of data for no benefit to them or their customers.

        Just to be clear, under this New Zealand bill ISPs are not asked to monitor traffic. They are expected to record which one of their customers was using a public IP address at a particular time. This is to that they can facilitate the communication between the alleged copyright holder and the alleged infringer.

        In other words ISPs are simple middlemen and they take no a

        • Just to be clear, under this New Zealand bill ISPs are not asked to monitor traffic. They are expected to record which one of their customers was using a public IP address at a particular time.

          Agreed, from the amendment bill (bold is mine):

          New sections 122C to 122H set out the system for sending notices to people who are alleged to have infringed copyright by file sharing. The system works as follows:

          New section 122C
          * copyright owners send ISPs information about infringements detected at Internet protocol addresses (IP address):
          * ISPs are obliged to match each IP address with the relevant account holder's details and to issue an infringeme

      • First you need to be able to point to a first-world country that has successfully introduced a three-strikes policy. You will not be able to. The whole idea is so flawed that any sensible JP or Judge will simply refuse to authorise a disconnection. Any judicial disconnections will instantly highlight the unintended consequence of this silly idea re. work commitments/other family members and be pilloried in the press. After that comes the interesting business of sorting out just how to give the innocent par
  • I wonder (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Superdarion (1286310) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:06AM (#31295794)
    I wonder if there is going to be some sort of unbiased, uncorrupted, unidiotic government organism regulating this. I mean, if the Industry is going to have complete control of this, it'll mean cheaper and more effective way for organisms such as the RIAA to terrorize customers. They won't even need lawyers anymore!
    • ... ok, never mind that.

      They'll still require lawyers to coerce judges to give out orders like they're candy.
    • by selven (1556643)

      6.7 billion people

      unbiased

      1.1 billion

      uncorrupted

      1.0 billion

      unidiotic

      Sorry, all you left are babies.

  • Copyright wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @06:54AM (#31295912) Journal

    Copyright = copywrong

    Maybe someone should tell the politicians that merely visiting ANY website on the internet you will download copywritten material. And that doesn't even begin to deal with "file sharing" sites like Youtube.

    When will we get politicians that actually have brains instead of them sitting on them all day long?

  • I think it's just inevitable. The Net is going to get more regulation. It only wouldn't if somehow the cables themselves became peer-to-peer, with everyone's computer running self-routing mesh networking code and having cables and or optical or radio connections to all the neighbors.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The sad thing is, thats how the *internet was always supposed to be*. The internet "backbone" is made up of peered ASes*. What should happened on Good Earth over in the Good Universe was that the internet slowly grew but remained an internetwork at all levels, not degenerated into star topology ISPs vs. peon end user "customers". The whole concept of an "internet service provider" is the wrong model.

      It's not too late! Network to thy neighbour!

      * On the plus side, AS numbers are finally 32-bit now (RFC4896)

  • by holloway (46404) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @07:37AM (#31296018) Homepage
    The NZ Herald article is really confused about the law and it talks about a protest on Monday but I'm from the Creative Freedom Foundation (quoted in the NZ Herald article linked in the story) and as there is no protest planned [creativefreedom.org.nz]. The original law that this replaced was a Guilt Upon Accusation-style law where unproven allegations of infringement could see people cut off the internet. We at the Creative Freedom Foundation (20,000 New Zealanders including 10,000 artists) protested against it. This new proposal is nothing like the original. It's a tribunal system where copyright law experts (such as people who helped set up Creative Commons NZ, and technology lawyers who are involved in DNS) will judge infringement. So people are innocent until proven guilty, and there are independent experts involved. The new extensions to New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal can only award fines, it can't kick people off the internet (that facility has been added to the courts, but court cases about copyright are rare in New Zealand). Personally I think the internet is an essential service that's only going to become more important in the coming years. We don't cut off people's power for copyright infringement, and we don't cut off phone lines or road access so the internet shouldn't be tampered with. It is however much better that it's in the courts and not in the tribunal because, in practice, it will be used rarely. The new branch of the Copyright Tribunal can award fines and the maximum they can award in the most extreme cases is $15k (US $10k) which is equal to that of New Zealand's Disputes Tribunal. Remember, this is a large scary figure for the infringement but this is the maximum and it's much less than the existing Copyright Act that New Zealand has. In practice it's still unclear how much the fine for infringement of a movie or a song will be. The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.). It also isn't clear whether hacked computers are liable. I suspect not because there have been defenses where people who didn't authorise any infringement aren't liable (not just the recent Australian iiNet case, but NZ cases too). For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable and, so far, we generally support the new law's approach which is basically this new law is like a specialised court for copyright. Court cases can be flawed and certainly evidence can be maliciously faked, but that's the same of any court case. It does need more work around the areas I've mentioned above though and we'll be lobbying hard for that.
    • by holloway (46404) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @07:40AM (#31296024) Homepage

      (sorry, here's a formatted version. I should have used preview!)

      The NZ Herald article is really confused about the law and it talks about a protest on Monday but I'm from the Creative Freedom Foundation (quoted in the NZ Herald article linked in the story) and as there is no protest planned [creativefreedom.org.nz].

      The original law that this replaced was a Guilt Upon Accusation-style law where unproven allegations of infringement could see people cut off the internet. We at the Creative Freedom Foundation (20,000 New Zealanders including 10,000 artists) protested against it.

      This new proposal is nothing like the original. It's a tribunal system where copyright law experts (such as people who helped set up Creative Commons NZ, and technology lawyers who are involved in DNS) will judge infringement. So people are innocent until proven guilty, and there are independent experts involved.

      The new extensions to New Zealand's Copyright Tribunal can only award fines, it can't kick people off the internet (that facility has been added to the courts, but court cases about copyright are rare in New Zealand). Personally I think the internet is an essential service that's only going to become more important in the coming years. We don't cut off people's power for copyright infringement, and we don't cut off phone lines or road access so the internet shouldn't be tampered with. It is however much better that it's in the courts and not in the tribunal because, in practice, it will be used rarely.

      The new branch of the Copyright Tribunal can award fines and the maximum they can award in the most extreme cases is $15k (US $10k) which is equal to that of New Zealand's Disputes Tribunal. Remember, this is a large scary figure for the infringement but this is the maximum and it's much less than the existing Copyright Act that New Zealand has. In practice it's still unclear how much the fine for infringement of a movie or a song will be.

      The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.).

      It also isn't clear whether hacked computers are liable. I suspect not because there have been defenses where people who didn't authorise any infringement aren't liable (not just the recent Australian iiNet case, but NZ cases too).

      For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable and, so far, we generally support the new law's approach which is basically this new law is like a specialised court for copyright. Court cases can be flawed and certainly evidence can be maliciously faked, but that's the same of any court case.

      It does need more work around the areas I've mentioned above though and we'll be lobbying hard for that. If anyone has any suggestions let me know, cheers.

      • The new proposal doesn't seem to deal with open wireless access points that are provided as a public service in thousands of places in New Zealand (airports, municipal WiFi, libraries, etc.).

        Few that I've seen have been free access (starting to happen more lately though), so I suspect that means they would mostly fall under this piece as businesses with members, and it would be their responsibility to monitor/restrict such activity:

        The Bill inserts a separate definition of Internet service provider into the Act for the purpose of the regime. The definition is intended to exclude universities, libraries, and businesses that provide Internet access to their members or employees but are not in the

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by wadeal (884828)
        How about get the fuck out my my interenet Got a problem with what I'm downloading? How come you even know in the first place? You're copyright lobbyists, not the police. Want to see what I'm downloading? Get the police to get a warrant and see. Nobody without a warrant can enter my house without my permission, or listen to my phone, see my bank account balance etc. So why in fuck do you think you have a right to my PRIVATE information if you're not the police? The same as the above examples only a JUDGE
      • by gemada (974357)

        For the politicians involved doing nothing wasn't politically tenable

        Please tell me why doing nothing wasn't politically tenable if no one in NZ wants a 3 - strikes law? Or is NZ not a sovereign country? Also since they do not play baseball for the most part in NZ couldn't they come up with a sports analogy related to Rugby? This also shows that this is being introduced by a baseball-playing overlord (i..e USA).

        • by shermo (1284310)

          One step ahead of you! I sent this to the MP responsible for the bill. I didn't get a reply.

          Dear Honourable Simon Powers

          I notice that our country has joined the latest international fad and is implementing our own version of the three strikes policy to deter potential file-sharers (Section 92a).

          However, as I'm sure you're aware, no one in New Zealand plays baseball. So, I propose the following changes:

          The word "strike" is replaced with the word "wicket".
          You only have one "wicket". So if you are accused of f

      • by shermo (1284310)

        I agree with you, it seems as if the rewritten bill is a much more balanced approach.

        It seems to me as if the three strikes clause is included in there simply to appease our american overlords. It's so convoluted that it will probably never be used in practice, and as everyone points out, you can just sign up with another isp.

        No, it's just there so we can say 'yes we have a three strikes policy, now gib FTA please!'.

  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Saturday February 27, 2010 @10:16AM (#31296472) Homepage Journal

    For the Kiwis, there's also the proposed software patents bill in New Zealand [swpat.org]. It's set to be discussed again in, IIRC, March (the page that had the status is 404ing now - I should have mirrored it up). I'll go search for a new source to confirm the status and timeline and will update the wiki.

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