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

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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  • 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
  • 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 Seriousity ( 1441391 ) <Seriousity@NOSPAm.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
  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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 Camann ( 1486759 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @03:25PM (#27125309)

    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 behind that IP address."

    So basically you just take a screenshot, edit the IP addresses to match the judges/lawmakers, and send it to ISPs. Apparently that's proof enough.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.
  • 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?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 09, 2009 @04:28PM (#27126239)

    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 ISP to reinstate their account but Iâ(TM)m guessing it wonâ(TM)t be easy.

    The bigger problem is the assumption of guilt. NZâ(TM)s legal system is founded on common law and the presumption of innocence. That concept appears to have been thrown out the window where there is money involved.

    People overseas should be vary wary of what has happened in this little country. Very few artists and copyright holders will ever suffer financially due to file sharing with NZ. Our population is only 4.5 million, itâ(TM)s a tiny market.

    But if the RIAA can get laws like this accepted here it creates a much stronger argument when they are lobbying for law change in Australia, or Canada or the UK or the US.

  • by Geof ( 153857 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @05:36PM (#27127119) Homepage

    what i believe is that there is an anglo north american culture, which canada and the usa straddle

    I agree. Though I am quite disturbed when people diss the Quebecois (or, for that matter, the French). I sometimes suspect that after Britain conquered New France, it was the anglophones who assimilated to the French culture. I can't quite put my finger on it. When I travelled in Europe and ran into Quebecois, I found there was a certain common cultural understanding or attitude that made them fundamentally more like me than the Americans I encountered (who were mostly very nice folks from a variety of places).

    There are many things I admire about Quebec (and some I don't). Their political influence has led to some quite bad decisions, but they have also saved us from time to time. A minor example is unpasteurized soft cheeses, whose import the government had planned to ban for unsubstantiated health reasons. Another example is their liberal attitudes towards sex. I recall a survey finding that most Quebecois would rather their teenaged kids had sex at home, instead of taking a hardline approach that would result in it happening elsewhere. I am also tremendously impressed that almost all their top TV shows are made in Quebec. I doubt many countries with five times their population can say that.

    There has been a huge cultural shift. My father once told me that he was taught in school (where he pledged allegiance to the flag and the Empire for which it stood - meaning the Union Jack) that Americans were emotionally flighty and unstable. This explained their intemperate rebellion, while responsible dependable Canadians remained loyal - and in the case of some of my ancestors lost their land in New England. Not that my father believes that now or is anti-American by any stretch of the imagination. But how can I judge or reject the culture to which I have assimilated? The fact is, there was something (good or bad) that Canada was trying to protect.

    There are reasons for maintaining an independent culture. Among them: It is an important bond in a country whose population is a thin line smeared along the U.S. border. The stories culture tells us hold us together - but stories from the U.S. (at least in film and TV) are always about somewhere else, as though where we are doesn't exist or is irrelevant. And we do have different political values (health care, a role for government (as in banking), etc.), which are reflected in and affected by the culture we experience. Because of TV, Canadians often confuse American laws and institutions with Canadian ones. For example, they think we have Fair Use of copyrighted works, that we elect a Prime Minister (we elect only a riding (district) representative), that we can sue for all sorts of things we can't, and so on.

  • 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 thoughtfulbloke ( 1091595 ) on Monday March 09, 2009 @10:57PM (#27130101)
    It was pointed out in the publicaddress.net (major NZ blog) forums a few weeks back that when people make submissions to parliament, they retain their copyright on the submission. When parliament makes received submissions available on its website, it may well be doing so without a licence to reproduce the material. It was also pointed out that if anyone pushed this, the government could legislate themselves an exemption.
  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) on Tuesday March 10, 2009 @12:04PM (#27135925) Homepage Journal

    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.

Today is the first day of the rest of your lossage.