Posts by Patrick Pilcher

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,

    So who has signed the petition against S92?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,


    I think you make a very valid point - We all want access to high quality docos, films and tv shows as quickly and as cheaply as possible, yet at the end of the day they can cost large sums of money to make so in effect there is an ecosystem that needs to be sustained through reasonable laws and common sense interpretation. If there's no living to be had making said docos, films tv shows etc then we'll loose ultimately...

    3410 At the risk of sounding like an apologist for those scumbag lobbyists in the entertainment industry and those idiot cardigan/walkshort wearing lawmakers in the Beehive - who said stealing had to refer specifically to the removal of the theived item from its rightful owner? If you take something from me that I have not agreed to sell to you, even if it is a copy, that is still theft.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,


    Long time no speak. I think the moral angle is a matter of endlessly differing personal opinions so debate about this point isnt probably going get anywhere fast. Downloading music I could otherwise obtain via iTunes for a perfectly reasonable price strikes me personally as stealing. Others may beg to differ but that is my own viewpoint

    From a legal perspective I'd already commented earlier in this forum that the originators of the copyright framework would probably be aghast at how copyright has mutated and captured by big business.

    I also agree that exceptions need to be made for libraries and schools etc, and under S92 I'd hate to be the owner/operator of a cyber cafe, wireless access service such as tommizone or worse still a public library etc...

    Having said that some common sense applies here and policy/law has and always will be a blunt instrument so common sense interpretation and enforcement is critical. Having said this, ISPs as the arbiter of this law strikes me as being just plain silly.

    Whilst I understand your comment re downloading BBC documentaries, The BBC would argue that many are downloading and not purchasing any on DVD. The real cost of this can be counted in reduced DVD sales. To my mind the really bizarre thing about the whole copyright mess is that the industry is arrogantly dictating the terms of supply when it comes to media content and isnt tapping into what can only be described as massivley pent up demand. Surely a pay per episode version of Pirate bay would go down a treat globally.

    At the end of the day, we all want access to high quality content. Content creators meanwhile want to be able to put food on the table so obviously some form of copyright is still needed, even if it does need a massive overhaul to match changes in society and technology. S92 simply doesnt address this.

    Absolutes don't facilitate informed debate around copyright and I'd rather not get bogged down in splitting hairs as what constitiutes theft morally or legally as what is really needed is concerted action from all interested parties to force law makers into re-examining section 92 so some sanity can be put back into the copyright amendment act. Dont be a stranger, good to chat!

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,


    I think we're really splitting hairs here - yes Copyright is a legal construct. but taking someones property without their permission is also morally bankrupt, so how about we agree that we're both right. people need to adhere to both a sense of lawfulness and morality in order for society to function smoothly.

    regards your comments about the "three strike system", I have indeed read the act through and had based my comments on research I'd done talking to ISPs and this is how they're formulating their policy as dictated by the act. Once again we're splitting hairs - the thrust of my piece appears to be largely in line with your thinking.

    Re my estimate regarding numbers online being at odds with the latest information from StatisticsNZ - Its only a matter of time before stats NZ adopt bazillions as an official mathematical notiation for lots...

    I also agree that Illegal downloading occurred well before Napster, I knew people that did it back in my BBS days (although at 2400baud the experience must have been pretty horrible). Napster was when downloading really hit the mainstream however. Refer to my comment about splitting hairs.

    re piracy and its cost to the industry you say Prove it. I say disprove it. Either way we'll argue for quite some time and frankly I dont have the energy - especially given we're pretty much in agreement with the main thrust of my piece (namely that S92 is unworkable)

    I am employed by Telecom and have no problem being up front about this fact. If you check the Herald, the Dom Post and Tone Magazine, breakfast and Good Morning TV you'll see that I have been writing about technology for many years more than I have been employed at Telecom. Wether Telecom can or can't be considered an impartial player in Internet politics is really besides the point as my day job at Telecom has nothing to do with the media and the views I express in my writings (nearly all of which to date have been gadget reviews - I only wrote about S92 because I felt strongly about it) are my own views, not those of my employer.

    you state that I didn't mention the labels broke the law in many countries by installing rootkit software that was extremely difficult to remove. You are correct and I agree that the labels have sometimes been as guilty as the pirates they're seeking to punish. As you mention however the general populace wouldnt get the significance of this, and more importantly it would have detracted from the main thesis of my story, hence me not mentioning it.

    You also say that If a "serious dent" was put in music piracy, how was it then able to "continue unabated"? - that's easy - Piracy levels can decrease whilst Piracy itself continues to happen.

    Apologies accepted, lets just move on.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,

    Not a problem - no real offense taken. This retarded law has raised a whole lot of danders. Its great to see some really informed debate around this whole issue....

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,

    Thanks for the positive words Sacha - the e-book you link to raises some interesting points. The evolution of copyright is a fascinating tale and I suspect that the genius who came up with the whole copyright concept would probably be mildly surprised at just how it has matured and mutated over time (The Disney debacle need I say more?)

    The coffee analogy provides a very potent argument for the need to revise copyright to reflect the digital age execpt there's one minor flaw Digital content can be duplicated perfectly each and every time, with the content creator not seeing a single cent for their work. Coffee on the other hand requires you buy the raw materials (e.g. beans and milk etc) so the producers of coffee beans and milk continue to make a living and feed their families. The costs associated in producing a TV show or movie can be incredibly steep, so I can understand the industry wanting to recoup their investment.

    This said, I definitely agree that copyright needs to be reasonable and that being told how to drink your coffee and who you should sell it to is pretty unreasonable. The video and music production players need to embrace legit downloads and start getting real about what is happening. I think the vast majority of downloaders would have little to no objection to paying a reasonable amount for TV shows etc, and the move to dump DRM has been a step in the right direction. This said, Hollywood and the music industry are corporates and as such tend to take a very short term view. so there is a very long way to go and its unfortunate that they've managed to be so successful in lobbying our naive Government into opting for such draconian regulations.

    Mark H - From a legal perspective you may be right, but the law is only one (albeit an important) consideration. Morally, my definition of theft still stands.

    So what exactly were the specific so called unproven chestnuts I rolled out in my Herald story? Please bear in mind that a news paper story has to be written so it is readable and relevent for a much wider audience than the (mostly) sophisticated audience in this forum.

    While we might agree to disagree on some areas, I suspect we are essentially in unison that section 92A and B are going to be a dismal failure and will refrain from trading pointless and unfounded insults with you - If you are as rude to any new voices in the copyright debate as you were about me then I suspect there wont be many new voices or informed debate.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report

  • Speaker: Copyright Must Change,

    Thanks for the kind words (Not!) Mark Harris - Your definition of theft however seems to be a bit light - wether civil or criminal, Taking someone elses property (e.g. downloading it) without their consent (as in not purchasing it via a legitimate channel) strikes me as a pretty clear cut definition of theft.

    The real issue here is that this legislation tramples over one of the key notions of what makes a democracy work "innocent until proven guilty". Having some an ISP deciding my criminal status is a real concern.

    Surely it would be easier for everyone if infringement matters were handed over to the police by the local agents of the copyright holders. The police, should they decide there is merit in further investigation could then approach the ISP or the individual if they then need to gather proof via network or computer forensics.

    As my story illustrates, the new laws will be pretty much unworkable and probably wont change much of anything. By the way, Xtra had nothing to do with this story

    Wellington • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report