Mobile devices, Planets and the Human Condition

New Draconian Copyright laws.

, posted: 12-Jan-2009 13:08

Anyone who has been on the internet in New Zealand in the past few weeks will have found it hard not to find mention of the New copyright laws coming into act next month.

I won't be the first to state that these laws are rediculous,

the fact is they will be used in much the same way the RIAA fired off lawsuits, and do you know how many successful suits the RIAA had? 0 thats right none at all,

the few that they did have got overturned on appeal. thats why the groups such as NZFACT have lobbied for a manner in which they can abitrarily get people cut off the internet in an attempt to scare people away from any filesharing legitimate or not in a manner that has no ramifications for the accuser.

this to me is a total perversion of justice.  Its like arresting someone for stealing clothes, because they aren't naked.

without taking into account how or where they got the clothes, you just assume they stole them because they have them.

Really there is a few things that need to happen, if they want to have the guilty assumption then it should be a case where the accuser has to be sure.

  •  Minimum penalties for incorrect accusations by the accuser and reparation for the accused if the claim is not proven.
    • eg,  $10,000 per incorrect accusation, with $5,000 going towards the accused and $5,000 going towards a fund for NZ based internet projects.
  • full disclosure - who is doing this policing, how are they doing the policing, and who is keeping and eye on them.
    • looking at my traffic without a warrant, is, the same as listening in on my phone calls without a warrant, and its an invasion of privacy.
    • We all know that these very dubiously legit organisations will no doubt be using all manner of questionable techniques to investigate and identify possible infringers.
Lets face it. how on earth do they expect to correctly identify all but the most blantant infringers and differentiate them from people filesharing in an above the board and legitimate fashion, who prefer to hide their traffic? they wont.

this new law is a blantant invasion and rape of the NZ Internet and those that are on it. I think we need to mobilise.

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Comment by kinsten, on 12-Jan-2009 14:14

Correct me if im mistaken, but I thought that if you p2p fiel share via torrents, your seeding & leeching ip's are stored & publically accessed.

All they are doing is paying people to find repeat or large usage offenders.  Then contacting the company that IP address belongs to (the ISP) and asking them to block/stop this IP address?

Is there more to it that im missing?

Basically our law works in conjunction with this process, basically asking the ISPs to shutdown their users who had been using that IP address at the time of infringement.

If all this is correct, then we should amend the law to allow for proof of IP use vs date/time and the ISPs records as to who had that IP.

If this checks out, would you not expect the ramifications of true copyright law to take effect, where the user will be fined?

Author's note by inane, on 12-Jan-2009 14:39

I'm not sure what you mean by "p2p file share via torrents, your seeding & leeching ip's are stored & publically accessed"

But while this is true from some perspectives, the fact is an IP is not as hard a piece of evidence as one might assume,

firstly, you don't know that someone doesn't have a proxy on their computer (without their knowledge) that is routing traffic, also - how are the companies to be connecting to these torrents without themselves commiting breaches?

many Torrent trackers have legal agreements that you must consent to that effectively make it theft of the service if you use the torrent tracker to "farm" IP addresses for your own ends (whether spamming or ip infringement)

I can assure you however, that the organisations trying to catch people won't be just sitting on torrents, they will be trying to get people across all manner of networks.

Comment by holloway, on 12-Jan-2009 17:25

Hi folks, Matthew from the Creative Freedom Foundation here...

"your seeding & leeching ip's are stored & publically accessed."

Unfortunately this type of evidence can be spoofed and it's quite easy to frame others. See this research

Further there are cases where people are wrongly accused of copyright infringement, like the case of Wellingtonian Brenda Wallace who was wrongly accused of stealing a photo of a milkshake(!)

Imagine if your neighbour hacked your WiFi and illegally downloaded videos from that connection... who should be responsible then? What if you used WPA encryption but they brute-forced the password over the course of several weeks using Aircraft? This is point-n-click software now remember, and this law is supposed to last for years to come.

Or what if you infringe copyright passively -- what if you read your email? You could be sent images, or unlicensed mp3s, or licensed mp3s with unlicensed sound samples and some how you're supposed to know BEFORE you download your email and listen to it whether you should have listened to it. Copyright infringement is still infringement even in non-obvious cases of sampling.

The law seems to be assumes that each case of copyright infringement is an premeditated act of copright infringement. Clearly with email you download BEFORE knowing what you're getting. The law doesn't even consider this scenario.

So to summarise it's not necessarily clear when copyright infringement occurs (an ISP will need to stay abreast of copyright infringement detection techniques and which ones are discredited/credited). Even if they get the evidence right it could have been a hacked WiFi connection or your computer could just be one of the 25% of computers infected with malware that distributes material without the owners knowledge.

I don't support copyright infringement or anything that takes money away from artists but a Guilt Upon Accusation law isn't the way to enforce this. Bypassing a trial for expediency doesn't make any sense.

And after all that if an ISP gets it wrong they open themselves to legal risk from either the accuser or their customer who could contend that the ISP's policy wasn't reasonable. A risk-averse ISP will probably guess who has the best lawyers and go with that ;)

Comment by DataCraft, on 12-Jan-2009 23:30

Let say I had the resources to do it, I could setup a New Zealand proxy server and allow anyone and everyone from NZ to proxy through my server. The RIAA wouldn't have a clue where the traffic connections were coming from they would just see me and because I am not an ISP and I have a direct connection i.e. connected directly to the internet, the law overnight would be obsolete. If any politicians are reading this please remember when it comes to technology 'for every smart person there are ten that are smarter' - This law will fail.

Comment by juha, on 13-Jan-2009 09:34

What Matthew Holloway said - the new act is open to abuse (which would be lawful of course) on a huge scale. It's a singularly badly thought-out piece of law.

Comment by holloway, on 14-Jan-2009 08:24

"because I am not an ISP"

Ah, but you are an ISP.

"Worse still, the definition of ISP in the Act captures schools, universities, and libraries – in fact just about anyone who provides internet access to someone else.  The loose language Parliament has included in the legislation will require an army of lawyers to interpret, at the expense of ISPs and ultimately, their customers." --source

Comment by Becky, on 22-Jan-2009 19:42

Well, in my opinion, if copyright laws go into place, people should know how to protect themselves around them. I know for myself, Michael C. Donaldson's latest book, "Clearance and Copyright " has been incredibly helpful in helping me determine

copy right laws that go into play when making an independent film (Yes, I am in the process of putting together my own film). I seriously wouldn't have known what to do with out the guidance this book offers. I hope that someone in New Zealand puts something together so that citizens of the country can protect themselves from lawsuits!

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