Hot on the heels of ACTA, the Trans Pacific Partnership is the next cause for concern in an ongoing line of potential threats to our creative freedom. Like ACTA, the negotiations are again happening in secret, and leaked reports show that extreme copyright laws are once again on the agenda, although it seems that the NZ Government has an admirable stance going into the negotiations. TechLiberty reports: “The fourth round of negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) starts in Auckland today. Nine countries are meeting to develop a free trade agreement covering a wide range of goods, but it looks as though the copyright maximalists are using it as an excuse to push their extremist position yet again…Just like with ACTA, information is escaping and NZ’s position paper on intellectual property has been leaked. It shows that the New Zealand government opposes a further extension of intellectual property rights saying that the economic arguments to do so are weak.”
Part of the document from the New Zealand Government reads: “The expert analyses show that capitulating to US demands in the vain hope of some concessions on dairy access will carry a high price, jeopardising the affordability of medicines under Pharmac and fettering our ability to strengthen our own innovative capacity.”
On Stuff.co.nz today RIANZ made another ridiculous exaggeration saying that “if you’re delaying it for two years you might as well delay it for three lifetimes” and that those who said ‘copyright infringement over mobile networks was low were incorrect’. RIANZ have offered no statistics to back their claims, and yet again they have not shown how they were even capable of reaching this opinion. They’d simply prefer if you took their word for it, and that this view would affect how laws were made in New Zealand.
On Wednesday we published a lot of information about s122MA, a return of Guilt Upon Accusation in the new copyright law. Rick Shera has just written an article about it, “Back in 2008, after the Parliamentary Select Committee had removed section 92A from the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Bill, it was reintroduced unannounced on April Fools Day in an SOP just a week before the Bill was passed into law. The problem with section 92A was an ISP was almost certain to treat an internet account holder as guilty as soon as the ISP received an accusation from a rights owner. [...] Well, despite the many improvements proposed in the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill (section 92A’s replacement), at almost the last gasp the Select Committee has reported back with a completely new provision – a provision that creates a presumption heavily favouring the rights owner. Section 122MA – without any warning, no public consultation and out of kilter with the balanced approach that has gradually developed. Groundhog day – the scales are being unfairly tipped again. For reasons that are not immediately apparent.”
Update: CW Magazine also have an article on s122MA, saying that “the three points … establish very narrow criteria for a challenge. They do not, for example, leave room for a challenge on the grounds that the work was not copyright or that the way it was handled constitutes legal “fair dealing”.”
David Farrar at Kiwiblog has reviewed the new report saying that there are many improvements, but that he hopes they can make further enhancements, “they have recommended that an allegation from a rights holder will constitute burden of proof which must be rebutted. This is dangerous. Google has given evidence that around 30% of the notices they have received in the US are false or incorrect. I think the Copyright Tribunal should be left to its own devices to decide if an infringement notice from a rights holder meet burden of proof. Different rights holders may establish different levels of reliability. I hope the Government will consider amendments to this”
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The Creative Freedom congratulate the Commerce Select Committee on releasing their report on the draft Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill earlier today
CFF Director Bronwyn Holloway-Smith says “It’s great to see further progress on this Bill, however, we’re disappointed to see that Internet Termination is still making an appearance, and there is an alarming return to the Guilt Upon Accusation.”
Prime Minister John Key described the former Guilt Upon Accusation law as “draconian”.
After the earlier hearings the Commerce Select Committee have now reported back on the draft Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill [PDF]. We’ll be analyzing this report throughout the day but from an initial reading they have recommended that Internet Termination be temporarily disabled until it’s deemed necessary. This isn’t a solution, and infact it’s a massive problem because there are no government statistics about infringing internet downloading in New Zealand so it would have to be based on lobbying, and Internet Termination could be enabled in cabinet, without a vote in parliament.
TechLiberty aptly say that “Account suspension is still included but suspended until rightsholders complain that notices/fines haven’t eliminated all sharing”
CFF Director, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, will be giving a reading at 12.30pm tomorrow, 3 November 2010 at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, L1/147 Cuba St, Wellington. The reading is from the Casco Issues: Past Imperfect, as part of the current exhibition Charming the Snake of Reason, curated by Marnie Slater.
The piece is a witty investigation of Bill Gates and his hypocrisy in relation to open content, Microsoft, and Gates’ subsequent corporation – Corbis – a large digital rights-holding company.
Calling all remix and mash-up proponents – NZ digital content and data wants YOU!
This November New Zealand will see the biggest push ever to get people using NZ digital content and data, with the launch of Mix and Mash: The Great NZ Remix and Mashup Competition. www.mixandmash.org.nz
Our thoughts are with Cantabrians amidst the chaos, devastation, and upheaval of this life-changing disaster, where the Internet (through Twitter) is replacing the radio. Christchurch art historian, curator and writer Cheryl Bernstein writes about her experience of the earthquake(s):
For a couple of days, our legs were rubbery, our knees wobbling. The floor rose to meet us. We weren’t sure at times if the shakes were real or imagined. After some of the real aftershocks, ones in which the house banged and rattled and mortar rained down the roof, my hands were trembling so much it was difficult to hold my mobile phone, which didn’t leave my hand or my pocket for five days straight. When we lost coverage for an hour or so on the first day when the emergency batteries ran down in the cellphone towers, I knew to expect it—and that it would be temporary—through what I’d read on Twitter. Twitter was an immediate source of necessary information, reassurance, companionship. Critically, my phone felt like a lifeline to the outside world, to places where the lawn wasn’t covered in bricks and entire shop-fronts hadn’t fallen into the street and the river hadn’t changed its course and cracks so big a man could stand waist deep in them hadn’t appeared in the roadway. A line to the old real life.