Clarke - while I agree with your points there's a reason why the criminal clauses for DRM and RMI interference are there - its called TRIPS (see here for the detail: http://artemis.utdc.vuw.ac.nz:8000/pebble/2006/12/18/1166402040431.html) so although i like the sentiment in principle 4 the Government already signed that one away when it became a member of the WTO and agreed to abide by the Marakesh agreement.
John - (hello by the way - good to hear from you again) The Australian case is exactly the sort of thing possible under this new Bill - linking to infringing copies would be a violation of the "communicating to the public" right and would expose you to fines of up to $150,000 and 5 years in jail, unless you could prove that the link was to a non-infringing copy (i.e. iTunes or similar).
Defending this type of thing is never going to fly with the select committee, we're in a much stronger position claiming that media companies should not be able to control consumer choice over playback devices for legally purchased media. Its worth fighting for some strong law here because that would then position us well to fight off "broadcast flags" and other nasties being incorporated into HDTV and other standards.
We need generically stated rights because the technologies are going to keep evolving and the media companies are going to keep trying to lock it all down. After all they want to sell the same thing over and over again: LP, Tape, CD, DVD, HDTV. PSP, iPod, 3d holographic, VR whatever... much cheaper than actually creating new content worth buying.
Stephen M - yes the lawyers have raised issues aroound interpretation that you are taking an overly negative view on some issues. As you say the Judge is the final arbiter.
David - happy to talk offline as well (particularly if it leads to a strong submission to the select committee...) - my reason for being negative is based on my reading of IP cases. With very few exceptions Judges lean towards a strong protection of economic interests, possibly as a consequence of the explicit invocation of copyright as a property right - something the Government chose to re-emphasize as the first sentence of the current Bill. Cases like the one taken by Copyright Licensing Limited vs Auckland Uni (and others) illustrate this with the judge choosing a very narrow interpretation.
As well, the risk is that we will be held to a very negative interpretation of the law by others in our lives - employers are hardly likely to take risks over employee access to music on iPods after all. Currently my employer bans digital music files on their property because of conservative legal advice. I'd much rather see clear and unambiguous law granting all of us reasonable freedoms - much as the US grants its own citizens most of the time (DMCA and Homeland Security notwithstanding).
I have to say also its been good to hear from Nandor - nice to see an MP actively engaging on issues in modern forums.
Also Dr Marshall's blog is not a legal blog, in that he is not a lawyer.
Absolutely - although one does not have to be a lawyer to comment on the law - just to give legal advice. I get a bit tetchy about the idea that the law belongs to lawyers.
that there are some errors there
Be nice and suggest where - my guess is that the phrase "may be" is missing and that we'd have to get in front of a judge to be sure - something I'd much rather see addressed at the lawmaking stage, the experience of this type of law in the US and Australia is that it gets used as a blunt club to beat down anyone who's not a large publisher/media company irrespective of the legal rights and wrongs. After all, who, other than lawyers and large corporates, can afford to fight these cases?
If this is such a fabulous piece of legislation, where are the posts from the musicians claiming they can't live without it? Or the small record labels calling for the ability to imprison their customers?
Sadly, from my reading of the TRIPS agreement and the WCT and WPPT this Bill is all about sucking up to the US in the hope of making some progress towards an NZ-US FTA (despite the Australian experience showing that up as being completely worthless or worse). Apart from some very minor cleaning up, the real meat in the Bill is the protection of TPMs and Rights Management Information, both of which are important provisions in the treaties. Once the Government gets this law passed, they can then accede to the WCT and WPPT and claim to be good little citizens of the WTO. The New Zealand voter is really a small player here.
And it's at that stage that you have to engage to make your voices heard
Absolutely, and "ranting" here and elsewhere helps develop the content of the submissions as well as generating enough interest that hopefully can be used to support submissions. I, for one am intending to turn my blog posts into a submission, and any feedback/interest I get will help.
The problem is that even if you are allowed to circumvent the region coding, you need to get you local "qualified person" (look out librarians) to do it for you...
As far as I can tell, almost every section of this act is broken in one way or another - see my blog postings for a topic by topic analysis. Big media/publishing must be laughing all the way to the bank.