foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

Section 92A (three strikes law) is not a New Zealand novelty

, posted: 4-Feb-2009 07:08

With rightful indignation people here in New Zealand have commented on Section 92a in our law, which allows copyright holders to tell ISPs which of their customers to disconnect, without trial, without means of objection, without recourse or punishment for wrong accusations. After being informed of a particular IP address for the third time, the ISP is required to disconnect the user. No need for the copyright holder to actually prove anything. They merely need to accuse.

The copyright holders then become the accuser and the judge all in one. The ISPs become the executioner. No due course of law is involved here, no actual judge, no police, no lawyer that might defend the user.

That is - of course - one of the stupidest and utterly corrupt things our politicians have come up with so far. Nobody's allowed to take the law in their own hands we are thought. The branches of the law always have to be involved, they say. Unless you are a copyright holder, with a strong enough lobby to pull spineless politicians over the table, it appears. In that case, you just have them write nice exceptions for you into the law. How convenient!

At least we can take consolation in the fact that this kind of stupidity is not only limited to New Zealand. We have the same happening in Ireland now. However, it appears that Eircom, the largest ISP of the country, simply had to agree under the threat of lawsuits from the record companies. This is not something codified in Irish law, at least. And in France, of course, we have had the three-strikes law for some time now, and in other countries like the UK, ISPs are also quietly starting to ''cooperate'. A very disturbing trend that we can observe around the world now.

As we see from the Irish case, a specific law is not even necessary for users to be subjected to this. Even though I think that in case of such 'private agreements' a user who feels they have been wrongfully disconnected will probably have a pretty good case in a lawsuit against their ISP. However, in places like New Zealand, where such action is backed by a corrupt law, the ISP is in effect protected against a lawsuit, so there is really nothing a user can do at all.

Other related posts:
Censorship in New Zealand: Wide-spread public brain-wash
Blackout to demonstrate against S92A
A time when IE is NOT used by most people? Don't bet against this trend when designing a site

Comment by Allan Kirk, on 4-Feb-2009 08:27

A small piece of advice.

Your case would be a lot stronger if you spelt correctly when writing your public pronouncements. (Quitely... tought ....)

Am I nitpicking? No. If you want to pick a fight with the establishment, you can't afford to appear to be one of the great unwashed. They'll simply write you off as inconsequential.

Comment by bazzer, on 4-Feb-2009 15:46

I must be out of the loop, but where does it say "After being informed of a particular IP address for the third time, the ISP is required to disconnect the user"?

Author's note by foobar, on 4-Feb-2009 16:33

@Allan Kirk: Dangit, the one time I forget to run this thing through a spell-checker before posting.

But I agree with you. The typos have been corrected.

Comment by Johnboysally, on 17-Feb-2009 07:42

What more do ISP providers need, some already lack common sense when it comes to providing their services, this just proves my previous thoughts they think they are without reproach them selves.

What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty. I certainly hope that this law gets repealed and thrown into the garbage where it belongs or re drafted to allow the public the right to contest the ISP and the copyright holder.

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New Zealand

  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
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