Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Thinking Digital

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  • Rich of Observationz,

    David Farrar was able to basically kill it

    Is this some new constitutional change, possibly passed under secret urgency? Farrar gets a veto over Labour policy? Great.

    My suggestion would be an opt-out levy with an indemnity from legal action for non-commercial file-sharing as a quid-pro-quo. $10 a month, and no-one can take you to the Copyright Tribunal (unless the violations are being done for gain, obviously).

    If a customer doesn't want to pay, they can assent to an agreement that they are liable for any file-sharing and opt out of the levy.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Is this some new constitutional change, possibly passed under secret urgency? Farrar gets a veto over Labour policy? Great.

    Heh. Just in the sense that "Labour's internet tax" is precisely the kind of coinage that will catch on, and spook the leadership, whether it's accurate or not.

    My suggestion would be an opt-out levy with an indemnity from legal action for non-commercial file-sharing as a quid-pro-quo. $10 a month, and no-one can take you to the Copyright Tribunal (unless the violations are being done for gain, obviously).

    Some European ISPs are including rights to unlimited music downloads as a premium to win customers. Which isn't quite like what you propose, but shows that the current way of doing things isn't the only way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Mikaere Curtis,

    Rather surprisingly, no such statement appears in the Greens' relatively prosaic IT policy. But only the Greens are thinking about e-waste.

    Its a pity Labour couldn't think the issue through when they were drafting the legislation, isn't it ? It would certainly save on flip-flopping.

    And be fair , the Greens IT policy was largely developed before Judith Tizard had signalled she intended to cut off people's internet access on the say-so of apparent copyright holders. I was certainly working on in at the policy conference back in 2006.

    Anyway, I think this passage, from the Principles section seems to cover it off:

    Benefits of IT need to be shared amongst all members of our society
    and not be used to enhance or entrench existing Inequalities, or create
    new layers of Inequality.

    Tamaki Makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 528 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Just in the sense that "Labour's internet tax" is precisely the kind of coinage that will catch on, and spook the leadership, whether it's accurate or not.

    To be fair, it's not exactly entirely inaccurate.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    And be fair , the Greens IT policy was largely developed before Judith Tizard had signalled she intended to cut off people’s internet access on the say-so of apparent copyright holders. I was certainly working on in at the policy conference back in 2006.

    Mikaere, I think that the spirited defense of the right to connection put up by Gareth Hughes and the party in the last 12 months speaks most strongly to that issue. The policy itself probably needs an update to reflect that reality.

    That Labour's policy is vulnerable to attack reflects the absolute weakness of policy debate in NZ. Once again, I blame the media. It's very easy to attack Labour or whoever for having a policy that can be misconstrued or is not so tightly defined as to preclude any eventuality, but that state of affairs can only exist for the most important simplest parts of the policy landscape. If New Zealand is to ever grow up, it will have to get round to dealing with this fact. The other alternative is becoming the stagnant fetid policy pool that is the United States (where only policy driven by strong and vested interests survives because everything else is too vulnerable to a divided polity).

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    That Labour's policy is vulnerable to attack reflects the absolute weakness of policy debate in NZ. Once again, I blame the media.

    The debate is weak, sure. However, the media did not force Labour to frame the communication of their policy in a way that makes it easy for Farrar to impose his ideological dislike of collective funding. That was entirely predictable from him and other righties, and pre-emption is basic politics 101.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I might be an unrealistic idealist, but I refuse to accept that.

    (I don't want to derail a thread though, so I'm not going to push the matter...)

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to George Darroch,

    I refuse to accept that

    You could be a National cabinet minister with that line :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    Mikaere, I think that the spirited defense of the right to connection put up by Gareth Hughes and the party in the last 12 months speaks most strongly to that issue. The policy itself probably needs an update to reflect that reality.

    To be clear, I wasn't criticising the Greens or Gareth, who have clearly shown leadership on the issue, just remarking on the difference in tone between the policy documents.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One thing I do like in Labour's policy is the desire to make all government software open source. That's a vision.

    I don't know how realistic it is, for quite a lot of apps there just isn't an open source version. But it's a very progressive mandate, that everyone should be allowed to see how the software their government uses works, right down to the code. Also, it should save a hell of a lot of money, and help break up the Apple/Microsoft monopoly that dominates the software industry in this country.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    You could be a National cabinet minister with that line :)

    Policy and message should align certainly. And policy should be defensible against a range of ideological attacks. But the test of a policy should always be how well it grounds against reality. Anything else is theatrics and game-playing.

    I should say that I'm very impressed with the roundness of thinking shown by Labour in their policy proposals.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • DCBCauchi, in reply to George Darroch,

    Policy and message should align certainly. And policy should be defensible against a range of ideological attacks. But the test of a policy should always be how well it grounds against reality. Anything else is theatrics and game-playing.

    Nice. I'd just suggest 'and' rather than 'or'. Test against reality and effective game-playing.

    It's crazy. I'm not even worried about the outcome of the election any more. Could it be that we're about to get a truly representative, transparent, and accountable government that works together for all our interests? Or am I dreaming?

    Since Feb 2011 • 320 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    I should say that I’m very impressed with the roundness of thinking shown by Labour in their policy proposals.

    So am I. I just wish it was more clearly and coherently expressed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    One thing I do like in Labour’s policy is the desire to make all government software open source. That’s a vision.

    But it's not a cure-all and it is prescriptive. A stronger argument needs to be made in its favour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've been talking to Brenda Leeuwenberg, the manager of NZ On Screen, who's currently having trouble logging in here, but noted that the somewhat confusing new role proposed for NZ On Screen in the Labour document is not the result of any discussion whatsoever with NZ On Screen itself (or, I think NZ On Air). That's pretty messy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Russell Brown,

    That's pollie S.O.P.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    the somewhat confusing new role proposed for NZ On Screen in the Labour document is not the result of any discussion whatsoever with NZ On Screen itself (or, I think NZ On Air). That’s pretty messy.

    I might be naive, so this is a genuine question, but how would an opposition political party have such a conversation with a government body? Given that state servants are paid to keep out of politics and the Beehive does not take kindly to having them develop opposition policy, there seems to be a very narrow space in which they can work. It may be that Curran etc have not used that space, but that doesn’t seem a huge problem. If Labour understand how NZOS and NZOA work, and their functions, then altering those in policy isn’t necessarily an issue.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to George Darroch,

    I might be naive, so this is a genuine question, but how would an opposition political party have such a conversation with a government body?

    NZ On Screen is a trust, so there wouldn't seem to be an impediment to an MP talking to them.

    The UFB proposals seem to have come as a surprise to all stakeholders too. Someone as reasonable as Paul Brislen didn't need to have that sprung on him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Can't disagree with either of those points. Messy.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But it's not a cure-all and it is prescriptive. A stronger argument needs to be made in its favour.

    In each case, I'd hope. But I do like the forward thinking aspect of it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Can I just observe that despite Curran being guilty of the occassional slip of the tongue/keyboard, she's been part of opening up the Labour policy development process and for that, if nothing else, she's to be warmly congratulated.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    NetVision 2011 election debate

    Curran needs to dial back the snark.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • JordanTCarter, in reply to Sacha,

    I think it's fair enough to point out that that miscommunication is our fault.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Jul 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • JordanTCarter, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think the reason we kept it all quite close is amply demonstrated by what happened with the extremely limited circulation there was.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Jul 2011 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to BenWilson,

    One thing I do like in Labour's policy is the desire to make all government software open source. That's a vision.

    Yup - a great idea - but far more important is to make sure that all government DATA is in open formats - not proprietary formats like word or excell (or pdfs for that matter) - all citizens should be able to read government data (and to create data to submit to the government).

    Just as important, government data need to be readable 100 years from now for posterity - if historians want to read word95 docs 100 years from now they will need to have working machines that run win95 and word95. Better to simply have data in formats that are well documented and open

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

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