Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: High Noon

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  • Don Christie,

    Sad gits or not, they tend to regard connectivity as the stuff of life.

    Well, nowadays this is more and more true. Much of our comms infrastructure is based on IP. There are even power co.'s that will give you internet connectivity down the power line. Things do get interesting when one realises we are not simply talking about browsing youtube and cutting off spam.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    play out in the next few weeks when this law is active but with no code of practice

    Unless I've read it wrong, this law does not say a code of practice is compulsory - it just happens to be the response of one group of affected stakeholders to meeting their obligations. Don for one has already mentioned his company having put effort into setting up their owen response. Multiply that across all the businesses and organisations who count as "ISPs" under this crap law and you have a lot of resource being wasted at a crucial time.

    To see what is likely to happen just look at other jurisdictions that have tried something similar - although I am not aware of any from what I have read who have gone so far as to mandate disconnection as the sole penalty, and even the DMCA includes more due process.

    I do not think it is likely to be APRA or even RIANZ who would lodge early claims after manual efforts, but more the automated trawling of US-based rights holders and those like the Scientologists whose motivation is easy access to censorship. They'll want to get in early in case the law is repealed, much like the flood of gay marriages when any state in the US legalises them.

    Saying that this is bad law is not the same as saying copyright is wrong. It is notable that it has taken the concerted and principled efforts of the Creative Freedom Foundation and others to apply enough pressure to get intransigent rights holder representatives to even consider constructive solutions like a dedicated mediator. Dinosaur patch protection.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Top use of vocabulary, that man

    Say what?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Damian, people on the web side of the argument feel very strongly about that point. Sad gits or not, they tend to regard connectivity as the stuff of life./<quote>

    Heh, yes, I was thinking that when I wrote actually - which would Russell rather face, a year in jail or no internet...

    <quote>It's part and parcel of the unfairness of the act, that it allows penalties to be enforced, without proof of guilt, that go beyond those a court could impose.

    I'm not trying to be pedantic (but I am a lawyer, so) - it's the use of the word 'beyond' here I have an issue with, in that it seems to mean 'further' or 'more extreme'. The courts already have a large number of weapons in their arsenal, the fact that internet disconnection isn't one doesn't make it draconian per se - it's the process that does that.

    I think there are very strong arguments against s92A, all I'm saying is this isn't one of them.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Thanks for the link Sacha. Sione's Wedding, one of Judith Tizard's favourite causes justifying this legislation:

    South Pacific Pictures managing director John Barnett backs anti-piracy moves - he lost out dearly from pirated copies of the movie Sione's Wedding - though not on the internet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    Also, just to throw a little more red meat into the lion's den here, isn't the "it'll never happen to reasonable people" argument that most here are decrying, exactly the argument pretty much the same people used to support the anti-smacking law?

    Is the distinction that in one case the discretion lies with the police, in the other, with I guess an ISP or rights-holder? Guess so.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Say what?

    I just want to make interlocutor my word of the month, that's all :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Damien: I was consistently opposed to the so-called anti-smacking law too, for exactly that reason.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Yes, you've repeatedly taken a maximalist copyright position, while occasionally admitting that you personally make illicit downloads of copyright material. And on this basis, you've attacked me personally as a hypocrite.

    Go figure.

    I can't; I can't figure out Robery at all. I'd guessed, though, that there's more to his arguments with Russell than we see here.

    nothings going to happen till the code is up and running so essentially it a law in waiting, its completely ineffective so what's the point in getting offended by it.

    This is bonkers. You implicitly seem to agree with the point that the law is dependent on the code, yet the code isn't even close to being a reality. We don't know yet what form it will take, and there's argument over the merits of what has been proposed so far. Yet, go ahead with the law anyway?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I think Damian's right BTW. The proponents of the changes to the bill are getting the pleasure of seeing Russell deny LBJ like charges of pig f**king. You are arguing on their terms.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Also, just to throw a little more red meat into the lion's den here, isn't the "it'll never happen to reasonable people" argument that most here are decrying, exactly the argument pretty much the same people used to support the anti-smacking law?

    Is the distinction that in one case the discretion lies with the police, in the other, with I guess an ISP or rights-holder? Guess so.

    Fair point. I was broadly in favour of the anti-smacking law change, but I'd thought of this comparison too. But there does seem to be a difference in allowing discretion for the police, who are actually a law enforcement body, and who used prosecutional discretion already in other circumstances, and ISPs. Also, wasn't one of the changes to the law that it was explicitly stated that the police should use due discretion?

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Also, just to throw a little more red meat into the lion's den here, isn't the "it'll never happen to reasonable people" argument that most here are decrying, exactly the argument pretty much the same people used to support the anti-smacking law?

    Is the distinction that in one case the discretion lies with the police, in the other, with I guess an ISP or rights-holder? Guess so.

    The "reasonable person" test is superficially... well, pretty reasonable. But I thought the one argument for getting rid of Section 59 of the Crimes Act was that it was vague enough to have eye-wateringly perverse outcomes?

    I'd also argue that there's a reason why we've evolved a separation between the legislature, judiciary and law-enforcement agencies -- and it's not a good precedent expecting ISPs to become quasi-judicial agents where the usual conventions of natural justice, due process and the presumption of innocence aren't only turned upside down, but thrown in the trash.

    Thanks for the link Sacha. Sione's Wedding, one of Judith Tizard's favourite causes justifying this legislation:

    South Pacific Pictures managing director John Barnett backs anti-piracy moves - he lost out dearly from pirated copies of the movie Sione's Wedding - though not on the internet.

    And one might also note that the folks who were selling illegal physical copies of Sione's Wedding were charged, prosecuted and convicted under current laws.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Is the distinction that in one case the discretion lies with the police, in the other, with I guess an ISP or rights-holder? Guess so.

    It's a bit more than that. The discretion to prosecute lies with the police, and then due process kicks in. They don't get to immediately behead you, or whatever the punishment for assault is these days.

    Which isn't to say that I think "it won't happen to reasonable people" is a good argument for that law change. I also - and I acknowledge that I am far, far away - don't recall hearing it.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I just want to make interlocutor my word of the month, that's all :)

    Hey, I'll s92a u if you try it. All I have to do is demand Russell provide me with your IP (which he can refuse, or not even know), then I can approach your ISP to find out who you really are (which they can refuse, or not even know), then I can demand your disconnection (which they will almost certainly refuse, given you are a paying customer), or of your entire network if you are connecting from a workplace or institution (which they will certainly refuse, although they may threaten it, so as to get your network admin to come and kick your arse). If all these refusals fall through, I've got you on a hook for at least the 10 minutes it takes you to find another ISP. That'll teach you to use my word.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    I also - and I acknowledge that I am far, far away - don't recall hearing it.

    I've heard it explicitly, but implicitly it's there when talking about the 'will watching a YouTube video be a breach' examples - supporters of s92A will say "Of course not, this'll only be applied to hard-core pirates".

    The discretion to prosecute lies with the police, and then due process kicks in.

    True, although the concerns over vagueness in that law stretched past the police discretion, and up to the judicial level too. But point taken.

    I guess the real discretion (to act or not to act) lies with the rights holder here, doesn't it, as it would in any civil case. And who knows how much they're going to want to play with their new toy.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    If all these refusals fall through, I've got you on a hook for at least the 10 minutes it takes you to find another ISP.

    Big market here for a new player.... PirateNet anyone?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    That'll teach you to use my word.

    Can I suggest it would take a bit longer than 10 minutes to locate,said interlocutor user also:)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    I've heard it explicitly, but implicitly it's there when talking about the 'will watching a YouTube video be a breach' examples - supporters of s92A will say "Of course not, this'll only be applied to hard-core pirates".

    Sure. I meant that I never heard it about the repeal of s59.

    (But that I didn't hear all that much relative to people in NZ.)

    (And that I'm sure lots of people said all kinds of stuff, with plenty of inanity to go around.)

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Big market here for a new player.... PirateNet anyone?

    Well, given the growing peer to peer nature of what we currently call the internet it is not at all beyond the realms of possibility that such a provider springs up and is based overseas.

    That's why basing legislation round a technical solution is silly.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    The police are an arm of the state. The state is controlled by "we the people".

    Hollywood is not.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Actually the parallel with the anti-smacking law is that duh, there would be a trial. The discretion in the anti-smacking law is discretion to charge you, not discretion to impose a criminal punishment.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    the PROBLEM WITH the parallel

    WHERE IS MY EDIT BUTTON DAMNIT.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Can I suggest it would take a bit longer than 10 minutes to locate,said interlocutor user also:)

    So long as I get the 15c they owe me, it's worth the time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    >"Of course not, this'll only be applied to hard-core pirates".

    My biggest problem with it. If you want a law that is only applicable to hard-core pirates, then make a law that is only going to be applicable to hard-core pirates, not every single person in the country.

    The same argument was made in the UK in relation to anti-terror legislation and legislation that allows increased police surveillance powers. 'don't be silly, we'll only use this to catch jihadists'.

    Except they're not.

    more here.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Which isn't to say that I think "it won't happen to reasonable people" is a good argument for that law change. I also - and I acknowledge that I am far, far away - don't recall hearing it.

    I think the argument that got used (I certainly used it) for the anti-smacking law was "the police already have laws and procedures which they've used for many years to decide when to prosecute and when not to, the idea that everyone who touches a child is going to be prosecuted is fearmongering."

    In the instance of this laws, ISPs don't have those (yet, assuming that the COP covers that well), and even when that arrives, it's a whole new area of work in which they're not experts.

    And the code coming in some months after the law. Presumably if there are any complaints to ISPs in the interim, ISPs are just going to look at the law and go "Umm, what do we do now?". They can't do nothing, the law says they have to do something.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

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