Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: High Noon

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  • Ben McNicoll,

    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.

    Hear, hear. I believe this is one of the strongest arguments, and the one proponents of s92a are trying to fudge around with the whole "so you're in favour of piracy, then?" red herring.

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll,

    And is there such a thing as reverse blackout bingo? This page is a winner so far

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 115 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Well, I've been busy and only just caught up and I have heaps to do. It is as well that the law banning cell-phone use whilst driving is not on the books yet, eh Russ? ;-)
    Anyhoo, the solution to artists losing out on royalties would be better addressed by adopting the approach used in the case of radio and television (where the station pays apra on the basis of, well I don't know off hand but.....) A small levy on all internet connections would seem to be a better solution than to criminalise, almost, anybody. Some may argue that they don't down load copyrighted material so shouldn't pay the levy but, as in the case of TV licences, there were those that claimed they only used their TVs for watching videos, well that's tough, it was their choice to not watch TV.
    Unfortunately this law is another barrier to establishing a working business model. It is typical of knee jerk reactions by ignorant people.
    Waddya think?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A small levy on all internet connections would seem to be a better solution than to criminalise, almost, anybody.

    We were lucky enough to get Peter Jenner on Media7 last year. He's a major proponent of what he calls the "music access charge".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I know it's a flawed, emotional way of thinking, but the reality is that if I"m faced with paying $35 for a CD more or less indistinguishable from the ones that litter the floor of my office, I'd rather download the shit illegally. But if it's on vinyl, well...

    well, you I do still buy it, and it's my format of choice but mostly it's a matter of practicality: I'm in Asia where it's hot, my turntables are in storage (weeps), most of the physical stuff I buy I get when travelling, it weights a ton and our bags are always over the limit and we have to get inventive in the how do we con the check in staff game and so on. Apart from anything else, as you say, it just looks right (and still sounds soooooo much better). The vinyl I buy now tends to be the second hand oh I never thought I'd see that again sort of stuff.

    But NYC was simply awash with vinyl. It's clearly a very big part of that market again.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Hear, hear. I believe this is one of the strongest arguments, and the one proponents of s92a are trying to fudge around with the whole "so you're in favour of piracy, then?" red herring.

    I'll also state, for the record, that I am strongly in favour of prosecution for hardcore piracy.

    Not so keen on using hydraulic pile drivers to crack nuts, though.

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

  • Damian Christie,

    I'll also state, for the record, that I am strongly in favour of prosecutionfor hardcore piracy.

    Yup. And as the music industry players themselves know, shuffling pirates from one ISP to another isn't going to achieve a hell of a lot, so why don't they just focus on prosecuting these people like they've been able to do under the Copyright Act for a while now (haven't they?) rather than snipping their broadband wires...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    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'.

    And that feeds into one of my biggest bug-bears about Parliament: Badly drafted, ambiguous legislation is passed with holes you could drive the Death Star through. When perfectly reasonable objections are raised you get the "why do hate puppies, flowers and laughing babies?" line, of course. But you also seem to get the attitude that the courts will sort it all out.

    Perhaps I'm missing something that Legal Beagle can correct me on, but is it really the judiciary's place to try and make sense of things the acutal legislators were too stupid and/or lazy and/or spineless to get right in the first place?

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Not so keen on using hydraulic pile drivers to crack nuts, though.

    I'm soooo stealing that line, and your cheque is not in the mail. Sorry, Rich! :)

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

  • Simon Grigg,

    so why don't they just focus on prosecuting these people like they've been able to do under the Copyright Act for a while now (haven't they?) rather than snipping their broadband wires...

    Part of the reason is that the industry has talking itself into believing many of the ludicrous claims made by it's spokespeople in recent years and it's an easier way to assault the downturn in sales than working through the other reasons for the malaise.

    They did a similar thing a few years back when RIANZ touted the number of blank CDs being sold in NZ every day as lost sales. I sat in a meeting where we were told that at least half the several million blanks sold in NZ every year equated to lost sales until somebody quietly mentioned that the alleged lost figure was more than the total CD sales in NZ in the pre-blanks era.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie,

    is it really the judiciary's place to try and make sense of things the acutal legislators were too stupid and/or lazy and/or spineless to get right in the first place?

    Am I legal beagle? Awesome, beats my other nickname, w***stain

    And the answer is, kinda, yeah, that's pretty much a huge part of their job. But yes, it's ridiculous to knowingly enact such vague laws.

    Although maybe in this situation the problem is that the offending is so widespread (or our notion of copyright so in need of a first principles review), so it's not the law's fault necessarily that all offenders (those of us just downloading the odd song/programme)are covered by the law, but only the really bad ones will face action.

    It would be different if truly innocent people are included, as was (sort of) the case with people who owned iPods before the format shifting laws, or anyone who ever recorded something off TV onto a VHS.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Stone,

    So what do people make of this?

    Can a NZ ISP look at your internet traffic?

    Is it going to be possible for an ISP to check your traffic? Is this already covered in an ISPs terms of service?

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    And is there such a thing as reverse blackout bingo? This page is a winner so far

    Ben, please don't be so facile. I mentioned before that my avatar is the new black. Pay attention.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It would be different if truly innocent people are included, as was (sort of) the case with people who owned iPods before the format shifting laws, or anyone who ever recorded something off TV onto a VHS.

    Most of us still break the format-shifting and TV recording rules. Leave something on the MySky after watching it, that kind of thing ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Leave something on the MySky after watching it

    You're shitting me. That episode of The Muppet Show I kept (Elton John singing 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' with the Electric Mayhem) is cause for prosecution?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That episode of The Muppet Show I kept (Elton John singing 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' with the Electric Mayhem) is cause for prosecution?

    If the police asks, all those films I brought from Italy on VHS, it's just that I haven't found the time to watch them yet. It's been a crazy couple of decades, you know.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    They did a similar thing a few years back when RIANZ touted the number of blank CDs being sold in NZ every day as lost sales.

    Sounds like the argument waged by Universal Pictures during the Betamax case of 1983.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    We were lucky enough to get Peter Jenner on Media7 last year. He's a major proponent of what he calls the "music access charge".

    The problem I have with it is that it will never be enough for the industry that thinks it is missing out on revenue, and that it doesn't fix the principle problem of the broken business model that will continue to see a downturn in sales.

    As Simon says, ludicrous claims have been made and been accepted into lore (that spelling is intentional) for so long that they have become the backdrop for bad law (that too)

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Perhaps I'm missing something that Legal Beagle can correct me on, but is it really the judiciary's place to try and make sense of things the acutal legislators were too stupid and/or lazy and/or spineless to get right in the first place?

    For better or worse, yes. A lot of legislation contains words/phrases like 'substantially', 'as soon as practicable', 'applicant must notify', and so on. A body of case law will generally help define how a court should interpret ambiguous phrases such as these.

    A lot of legislation will also have associated regulations, which are intended partly to provide a practical framework for the Act itself. So if the Act says something like: 'applicant must apply within the time period specified', then there will often be an associated regulation that specifies that that time period is 3 months (or whatever).

    The Copyright Act itself contains an example. Paraphrasing S29(1) and (2) slightly (well, a lot): "copyright...is infringed...[if a person copies] the work as a whole or any substantial part" [emphasis added]

    The question is therefore: what is a 'substantial part'? For example, if a dance remix samples 30 seconds of a 70's funk track, is that 'a substantial part'?

    There is a body of case law which provides guidance to courts trying new cases. The court can apply the techings of these cases to any new case.

    The problem with the present situation is there is no associated regulation(s), and little to no case law that is specifically on point(and in any case, if the same pattern as overseas is followed, then the courts won't be involved).

    So terms such as 'repeat infringer' are not defined...well...at all, as it goes.

    Regulations are effectively a part of the legislation. A Code of Practice is not.

    <quote>Although maybe in this situation the problem is that the offending is so widespread (or our notion of copyright so in need of a first principles review), so it's not the law's fault necessarily that all offenders (those of us just downloading the odd song/programme)are covered by the law, but only the really bad ones will face action./quote>

    Every day, vast numbers of people on their way to work speed, change lanes without indicating, fail to give way, run red lights, etc etc etc.

    Tempting as it would be to take their cars away from them at the earliest opportunity, I suspect that might be seen as somewhat punitive. I'm in favour of fining them, and removing licences for repeat offenders. However, I've reluctantly come round to the position that hanging them in gibbets at the side of the road is probably not a good idea.

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

  • ScottY,

    However, I've reluctantly come round to the position that hanging them in gibbets at the side of the road is probably not a good idea.

    Agreed. Something like that would need a resource consent.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Something like that would need a resource consent.

    Ah, National's speeding that up. As long as you can call it vital infrastructure, you could lynch by sundown.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    On s92a, I just feel that as a general principle, if you have a business model that isn't working, you shouldn't be entitled to have the government change the law and crush peoples rights in order to shore that model up.

    Of course, this does go on a lot - the Major Events Management Act is another piece of bad law. But it shouldn't.

    The music industry should really either:
    1. suck it up, cut their costs and accept that nobody is going to get rich from recorded music any more
    2. find alternative revenue sources that don't require a governmental big stick to work

    Also, I feel that people sharing a Dimmer album or whatever isn't the issue. That horse has pretty much bolted. It's more Disney not wanting people downloading their latest movies rather than buying DVDs.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    When perfectly reasonable objections are raised you get the "why do hate puppies, flowers and laughing babies?" line

    Boy does Emma have just the thread for you..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That episode of The Muppet Show I kept (Elton John singing 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' with the Electric Mayhem) is cause for prosecution?

    Possibly on other grounds.. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    This has been a truly fascinating discussion, thanks to all. I'm still a little unclear about the need for the amendment and have perhaps missed the rebuttal of the official advice Russell noted earlier.

    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.

    Rich has summed up my concerns with this simple statement.

    Right then, the weekend beckons. Less erudite or important matters require my attention, starting with the Chiefs v Tahs. On behalf of the PAS community, I've offered to be one of the loud Kiwis pouring scorn on the convicts. Wish me well!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

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