Us New Zealanders pride ourselves on being innovative and ahead of the world. We are the first to see the light of a new day, we were the first to give women the vote, and now we have the dubious honour of being the first country in the world to pass into law a three strikes and you’re out approach to online copyright enforcement.
Essentially the bill states that ISP’s are now responsible for "reasonably implementing" a policy to disconnect users internet services in "appropriate circumstances". As you can see from the wording of the act it is vague to the point that ISP’s are unsure of how they are even supposed to enforce the new law. According to Telecommunications Carriers Forum chief executive Ralph Chivers, “Section 92A has achieved one thing, and one thing only, uniting the ICT sector and others who will be affected in an unprecedented show of solidarity against it”. He went on to say “The Act gives no guidance on what ‘reasonably implement’ or ‘in appropriate circumstances’ mean. This leaves the door wide open to those who seek disconnection of an alleged repeat infringer based on flimsy evidence, or worse, allegations alone.”
So… ISP’s don’t want it, consumers obviously don’t want it, as usual the only organization driving the adoption of these sorts of laws is the Recording industry MAFIAA, in this case the New Zealand equivalent, the RIANZ. In a quote that pretty much sums up his contempt for the very people who keep his industry in business RIANZ CEO Campbell Smith said that it would be"impractical and ridiculous" for copyright owners to prove the guilt of infringers in court before demanding they be cut off from the Internet.
Whatever happened to the idea of being innocent until PROVEN guilty? It seems that once again rather than reinvent their business and distribution models, in a way that benefits thier consumers, the MAFIAA would rather play the role of McCarthy, accusing us all of being
communists pirates based on frivolous and spurious allegations until we fall into line.
With elections coming up on November 8th, make repealing or reworking this act an issue and ensure that we don’t lead the world when it comes to eroding our rights to appease industry lobby groups.
…Or failing that, send a few hasty accusations of copyright infringement the RIANZ’s way, see if they like being disconnected without proof :)