Hard News by Russell Brown


High Noon

Public Address reader Mark Harris has a fascinating blog post on the progress of Section 92A of the Copyright Act. He notes the way that it was restored to the amendment bill after being deleted by the select committee, with notice by Judith Tizard and approval from National's Chris Finlayson ("we support what is being done here") constituting the whole of the debate.

But the most interesting part concerns the Officials’ Report on the Copyright (New Technologies and Performers’ Rights) Amendment Bill: Clause by Clause Analysis, a summary of submissions on the bill. Noting support for 92A from RIANZ, the officials said:

Disagree. ISP standard terms and conditions generally already allow for the termination of accounts of people using the ISP’s services for illegal activity, and section 92C already provides for removal of infringing content. There is no clear need for a further requirement for termination of accounts. It is recommended that this clause be deleted.

It's a strong point, and one that has not been highlighted in the debate, so far as I'm aware. It wasn't addressed at all when Section 92A was brought back into the bill in Committee of the House stage. Tizard brought it in, Finlayson gave the thumbs-up, and that was it. Mark has followed up with a clutch of OIA requests in search of other advice.

Meanwhile, the Section 92A public demonstration in Parliament's grounds is now at noon today, having been moved from 12.30 to accommodate another protest. As luck would have it, I'll be there. I'm told there will be another question asked in the House by Labour's Clare Curran today, and you may care to write the Simon Power, the responsible minister, at <s.power@ministers.govt.nz>. I'm told staff have been taken aback by the volume of email on this issue, and more polite emails couldn't hurt.


In tonight's Media7, we discuss the economy and the media with Bernard Hickey, Herald business editor Liam Dann and Tim Watkin, making reference to this somewhat electrifying interview with Paul Keating, in which the former Australian PM calls for a fundamental re-alignment of global financial structures; one that may not be to the liking of the "debtor nations" such as Europe and the US.

Also, there's a chat about science reporting with Peter Griffin and Alan Samson and reports from Foo Camp and the Top Gear circus. That's after the 9 o'clock news on TVNZ7.

Finally, I learned overnight that Bob Munro, a member of the Public Address community, has died. He had a massive heart attack during an early-morning bike ride in the Port Hills in Christchurch. His friend Jane Pearson wrote that:

When I spoke to Ann, his partner, this evening we talked about Bob's involvement with Public Address. Bob and Ann own an art gallery and Bob would spend some of the quiet times following the on-going discussions and felt that contributing posts kept him on his "mental toes". He would sparkle with delight at the ideas and erudition that he gained from you all. Sometimes when I read his posts I would find out what was happening in their lives and it was like a personal network within a wider context.

Ann wants you to know how much enjoyment Bob had from being part of Public Address. He was a positive, optimistic and thinking person who loved a good discussion and his many friends will miss him greatly.

I'm moved to hear that what goes on here gave such enjoyment. We'll miss Bob too, and my thoughts are with Ann.

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