New Zealand piracy laws three months away, still not finalized

You may recall a few months ago, the New Zealand government forced through new anti-piracy laws overnight pushing them through with urgency, essentially shortening the process required to make a law down to less than 24 hours. Those laws are a mere three months away now -- due to come into effect in September -- yet, no-one is exactly sure how they are going to work, if at all.

Not only is there drama surrounding the actual passing of the law, it turns out that the US government coerced the New Zealand government to create the law in the first place, with the country offering to develop and fund the IP law and enforcement. In addition to this, Ars Technica recently revealed that a UN report that is signed by the US, Sweden and New Zealand condemns the "three strikes" law regimes, which states clearly that "All users should have greatest possible access to Internet-based content, applications and services," and goes on to say "cutting off users from access to the Internet is generally not a proportionate sanction." It also called network neutrality and Internet openness "important objectives."

Fast forward to today, and the law is due to come into effect on September 1, 2011. Yet somehow no-one is exactly sure what is going to happen on that date. The law "requires internet companies to issue warning notices, at a right holder's request, to customers suspected of illegally distributing copyrighted content" according to the NZ Herald, and even allows for a fine of up to $15,000 if a third infringement takes place. The first infringement will trigger a warning, with the second infringement causing the customer to be disconnected for up to six months, a move the UN says goes against a basic human right.

Internet Service Providers in New Zealand are scuttling to build systems to handle these types of complaints, yet the government has not determined how much it could cost for a copyright holder to lodge a notice, and how many notices they actually are going to receive. Similar laws overseas have seen up to 3000 notices a day, and with a country the size of New Zealand, those numbers would be a challenge.

The NZ Herald reports that ISPs are saying that the "go-live date is less than 12 weeks away" and that the ISPs need up to a year to implement such systems. Mark Callander, Chief Executive of Slingshot (a large New Zealand based ISP) said "With only three months to go, the Ministry of Economic Development still hasn't provided the details of a format notice or how the systems work." Other ISPs, including Vodafone, Orcon and Slingshot have said that their systems will be partially manual until they can understand how many notices will be sent through.

It appears that ISP's themselves have to foot most of the bill for customers involved in piracy, as they will have to build central systems that track infringements (and works between all ISP's in case of disconnection) and allows for customers to make inquiries into the accusations. The New Zealand government is staying quiet about the law since it passed, and is yet to make any further comment to the public, let alone ISPs themselves.

Image Credit: The IT Crowd (via Yobi.tv)

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23 Comments

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I submitted this under "report a problem" on the day the article came out but got no reponse, so here it is again:

Two issues with this article:
1. The effective live date for internet users (rather than ISPs) is less than two months away, 17 August, since notices can be sent on 1 September for alleged infringements happening up to 14 days earlier.
2. Internet disconnection is not, and never has been, a penalty for a second infringement. It would only happen on the second warning notice, which is to say, after the third infringement, the same as the fine. Also, it would not happen without a court order. So it is by no means an automatic penalty for infringement.

Someone made a nice flowchart recently to clarify the process: http://claudius.sitharus.com/~sitharus/copyright.xhtml

I'd love to see the arab spring occur all around the world to finally rid us of governments, debt based monetary economies, and the inherent corruption, greed, and inequality they perpetuate.

The sooner we all come together in a resource based economy where everyone is equal, and the resources of the world belong to us all, instead of the 3% elite, the better off we will all be.

If i get a warning i'll just endeavour to download as much copyright patent infringing stuff repeatedly to dedicated servers in all major data centers till the main internet trunk line is blocked just to prove how **** this law is.

I am millen i say that the in this time the people can open the paper read the font page headline that through the dost pin.
=================

There is a difference between state of emergency and pushed through with urgency. Much as I opposed to the law, I oppose wrongful use of terminology, perhaps deliberate to push through an article's point even. And I looked back at the old thread, LCA is right. It wasn't anything to do with Christchurch per say. You may say is unethical to pass such a law while Christchurch thing is happening, but it wasn't "pinned" on the lives lost. Some Christchurch based laws use urgency, but the fact a law used urgency has nothing to do with Christchurch.

Quote from Stuff.co.nz article:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/technol...net-file-sharing-law-passed
"Fierce protest erupted last night as the Government used *urgency* to rush the bill through its final stages. "
This is not the state of emergency, which itself is a law but aren't involved in law making. Big big big difference that you failed to clear up. If it was passed using "state of emergency", you don't even need a parliament vote.

Large proportion of the law is passed under urgency, something like 30% or so my lawyer friend says, figures uncertain due to bad memory. It actually means MPs work overtime, current National government spend 28% of all parliament time under urgency. Like I said before, is not subject to public consultation which ultimately should be the thing you concern about. Not misinformation and playing on the grieve of Christchurch to make your article more compelling. The biggest question you need to ask is whether it is appropriate use of the motion, where it is technically for laws that require immediate attention. I say no, is not appropriate, but so are many other things but again, it is not a blatant exploitation of Christchurch as you had claimed previously. This provide a quick read on what is urgency:
http://www.nzfvwo.org.nz/local...2%80%93-how-fast-can-it-go/

And whether it was the US coercing the NZ government is questionable at best if the leaks are actually investigated thoroughly. Far as rumour mill goes, is not unreasonable to assume but to state it as fact is unethical journalism.

Eddo89 said,
There is a difference between state of emergency and pushed through with urgency. Much as I opposed to the law, I oppose wrongful use of terminology, perhaps deliberate to push through an article's point even. And I looked back at the old thread, LCA is right. It wasn't anything to do with Christchurch per say. You may say is unethical to pass such a law while Christchurch thing is happening, but it wasn't "pinned" on the lives lost. Some Chritchurch based laws use urgency, but the fact a law used urgency has nothing to do with Christchurch.

Quote from Stuff.co.nz article:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/technol...net-file-sharing-law-passed
"Fierce protest erupted last night as the Government used *urgency* to rush the bill through its final stages. "
This is not the state of emergency, which itself is a law but aren't involved in law making. Big big big difference that you failed to clear up. If it was passed using "state of emergency", you don't even need a parliament vote.

Large proportion of the law is passed under urgency, something like 30% or so my lawyer friend says, figures uncertain due to bad memory. It actually means MPs work overtime, current National government spend 28% of all parliament time under urgency. Like I said before, is not subject to public consultation which ultimately should be the thing you concern about. Not misinformation and playing on the grieve of Christchurch to make your article more compelling. The biggest question you need to ask is whether it is appropriate use of the motion, where it is technically for laws that require immediate attention. I say no, is not appropriate, but so are many other things but again, it is not a blatant exploitation of Christchurch as you had claimed previously. This provide a quick read on what is urgency:
http://www.nzfvwo.org.nz/local...2%80%93-how-fast-can-it-go/

And whether it was the US coercing the NZ government is questionable at best if the leaks are actually investigated thoroughly. Far as rumour mill goes, is not unreasonable to assume but to state it as fact is unethical journalism.


Thanks for the comment. For future reference, issues like this are usually referred to the "report" button. I've changed the urgency thing. Either way, CHCH was used as a cover to rush it through.

Owen W said,

Thanks for the comment. For future reference, issues like this are usually referred to the "report" button. I've changed the urgency thing. Either way, CHCH was used as a cover to rush it through.

OK

I still saying it was passed under the cover of Christchurch is a bit dodgy and far too assuming, considering it wasn't the only thing passed at the time. Like with American coercion, not unlikely but too little evidence to state it as a fact.

Eddo89 said,

OK

I still saying it was passed under the cover of Christchurch is a bit dodgy and far too assuming, considering it wasn't the only thing passed at the time. Like with American coercion, not unlikely but too little evidence to state it as a fact.


Yeah. Really appreciate the comment anyway, its good to be corrected when not quite there

djesteban said,
I really hope LulzSec teaches a lesson the N-Z gov by hacking the **** out of their sites

Agreed. NZ is just another corrupt government that needs to be overthrown democratically by its own citizens. Sneaking in a bill during a time of emergency, come on! Tsk, tsk, NZ...

PlogCF said,

Agreed. NZ is just another corrupt government that needs to be overthrown democratically by its own citizens. Sneaking in a bill during a time of emergency, come on! Tsk, tsk, NZ...

There is a study that claimed NZ is in top 5 in the least corrupt governments in the world along side several of the Scandinavian countries. Don't speak things out of your donkey about a country you know nothing about.

If there is an accusation, it is that the MPs are naive. Not that you get to watch what they said in debating chamber. You can tell easily they know nothing about what they are talking about. But hey, your opinion from across the Pacific Ocean surely must be more accurate than someone who live and breathe in the country that probably have press freedom equal if not better than yours. Surely.

Edited by Eddo89, Jun 21 2011, 12:37am :

Eddo89 said,

There is a study that claimed NZ is in top 5 in the least corrupt governments in the world along side several of the Scandinavian countries. Don't speak things out of your donkey about a country you know nothing about.

If there is an accusation, it is that the MPs are naive. Not that you get to watch what they said in debating chamber. You can tell easily they know nothing about what they are talking about. But hey, your opinion from across the Pacific Ocean surely must be more accurate than someone who live and breathe in the country that probably have press freedom equal if not better than yours. Surely.


I wouldn't say they're corrupt at all, I'd definitely agree they're naive, and they often exploit the system and make laws that don't really make sense or they've been advised against...

Owen W said,

I wouldn't say they're corrupt at all, I'd definitely agree they're naive, and they often exploit the system and make laws that don't really make sense or they've been advised against...

I love to blame MMP, but it was both Labour and National voting for it.

You don't need to bribe the NZ government, all you need to do is give a little "encouragement" and we will follow in willingly, money or not.

Eddo89 said,

I love to blame MMP, but it was both Labour and National voting for it.

You don't need to bribe the NZ government, all you need to do is give a little "encouragement" and we will follow in willingly, money or not.


I guess my point is that we really have no options for a "good" party to vote for here anymore. They all essentially want the same old rubbish.

PlogCF said,

Agreed. NZ is just another corrupt government that needs to be overthrown democratically by its own citizens. Sneaking in a bill during a time of emergency, come on! Tsk, tsk, NZ...
WTF are you talking about ! there isnt a corrupt government here ! just one that fell for crap US company's wanting more money!!

PlogCF said,

Agreed. NZ is just another corrupt government that needs to be overthrown democratically by its own citizens. Sneaking in a bill during a time of emergency, come on! Tsk, tsk, NZ...

You two just better hope LulzSec doesn't start hacking trolls.