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Brendon

Frying The New Copyright Law

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British actor Stephen Fry has given a global highlight to a protest against a contentious New Zealand internet law due to come into effect next week.

Fry used the international and increasingly powerful Twitter social network to attack the New Zealand law and support the Internet BlackOut protest.

Fry is the global heavyweight of Twitter, with 200,000 active followers – more than any other, including US president Barack Obama.

He has blacked out his Twitter photo avatar and changed his biography to read:

"I'm blacked out: Stand up against "Guilt Upon Accusation" for New Zealand http://creativefreedom.org.nz/blackout.html

The law at the centre of the furor is Section 92a, a proposed amendment to the country's copyright law, due to come into force on February 28th.

The law instructs internet service providers that they "must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination" of accounts used by anyone deemed a "repeat infringer" – regardless of whether the person has been convicted of a crime or not.

The new law would mean internet service providers would have to take on the role of “gatekeeper”, blocking online access to anyone accused of flouting copyright laws and illegally downloading films and music.

The law says ISPs – such as Telecom and Vodafone - must disconnect internet service to anyone "repeatedly accused" of accessing copyrighted material online.

The BlackOut protest is the brainchild of a Kiwi organization called the Creative Freedom Foundation which is urging users to replace their avatars on all internet sites with a black box to illustrate what the internet could look like following the law change.

Blacked out boxes have been appearing on social networking websites such as Twitter, Facebook, My Space and Bebo.

Article HERE. Edited by Brendon

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The law is very badly drafted, but the main bad provision is that providers have to cut off users if an accusation is made. There is no proof required.

 

I'll be blacking my avatar during the protest in case it helps, but the new NZ government is run by a very arrogant guy who made his fortune as a currency trader so I don't know how much notice he'll take of it.

 

 

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"I'll be blacking my avatar during the protest in case it helps"

 

Besides what Fry is doing and the avatar blackout caper, what other possible class action suits might be in order to help stop the new restrictions ?? Seems to me there should be a way to start some legal action to protest what's going on.

 

Frank...

 

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Dave,

The subscribers are upset by the "guilty if accused" provision, and ISPs are upset by the new law requiring them to be responsible for monitoring their customers' activities. I don't think that even the powerful RIAA lobby in the USA could get away with that, although they are trying hard.

 

Frank,

I think it's too early for that - you'd have to wait until people start getting "excommunicated" from the Internet. It's still in the political football arena at the moment.

 

In NZ, proposed laws go to a committee of members of both major parties in the Parliament who hammer the proposal into a form they can all support before it's sent on to be made law. This committee threw this proposal out, but a Government Minister slipped it back in at the last moment, and it became law when the rest of the measure was passed.

 

The Government has put the new law on hold for a month, but the fight to get it thrown out is still going on.

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Yay the government have placed it on hold for a month wile they re-read it though, thank god someone has a head on there shoulders, im just glad the last government are not in still, or it would have been passed already.

 

There are more holes in the act than there is in the titanic, and it can take something as simple as a spyware app to generate the traffic on a users pc (without them knowing) and then they get shut off.

 

I really don't think its going to have any pull by the time it's read though in full by the government committees.

 

It needs to go in the big recycle bin in the sky

 

( i know you loved Helen, keven?, whats his/her name Brendon anyway, but your loverly lady is the one who voted it in with the greens, not John)

 

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" but a Government Minister slipped it back in at the last moment, and it became law when the rest of the measure was passed."

 

 

Sounds like you have a few in your government that do the same things as some of our government members do. Sounds like this "Government Minister" has powers that others do not have, huh ? Sounds pretty "fishy" to me <_< What does the "Minister" have to gain by slipping it back into the original bill ??

 

Frank...

 

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Yes Frank, a few members of the Parliament are appointed "Ministers" and they have enhanced powers, pay, and perks. I don't know what that woman stood to gain, but there is a recording industry group in the country with aims and methods similar to your RIAA, and her action has a distinct odor.

 

The law has been passed. We're hoping the Government will repeal it, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Can't see it happening Brendon - that means they are admitting they're wrong and I've never come across a politician yet who is able to do that

 

Only hope is that the courts will class it as ultra vires

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There's a small chance, Dáithí. There has been an election and the Government has changed. The new people are being asked to repeal that law.

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Can't see it happening Brendon - that means they are admitting they're wrong and I've never come across a politician yet who is able to do that

 

Only hope is that the courts will class it as ultra vires

Also, if the politicians sense that there is a furor and -- gosh forbid -- it could be used against them come the next election, that could be a motivating factor for giving the legislation a new look-at. Self-preservation. ;)

Edited by Syrallas

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