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New Zealand Halts Internet Copyright Law Changes 216

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the undo-undo-undo dept.
phobonetik writes "The New Zealand Prime Minister announced his Government will throw out the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act and start again. The proposed law changes contained 'guilty upon accusation, without appeal' clauses and heavy compliance costs to ISPs and businesses. The changes were hours away from being signed but a series of online protests, a petition on Government grounds, as well as public rebuttal by a large ISP and by Google contributed to the Government changing course and respecting the wishes of the IT industry."
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New Zealand Halts Internet Copyright Law Changes

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  • Guys... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:20AM (#27297823)

    "The proposed law changes contained 'guilty upon accusation, without appeal' clauses and heavy compliance costs to ISPs and businesses."

    What the HELL, New Zealand?

    • Re:Guys... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ouder (1080019) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:23AM (#27298697)
      It's not just the people. It looks like a lot of other industries finally woke up and say "Hey, this stuff the RIAA/MPAA is pulling is bad for OUR business." I was wondering how long it would take for other businesses to start putting up some resistance to the recording industry. I really hope this signals the start of a new trend. Perhaps the RIAA pushed to far on this one and woke up some sleeping giants.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by corrie (111769)

        I don't know where you get that from. The law change in New Zealand is important to the country in the sense that the USA refuses to sign a free trade agreement with NZ if they don't have laws to support the DMCA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Petrushka (815171)

        I was wondering how long it would take for other businesses to start putting up some resistance to the recording industry. I really hope this signals the start of a new trend.

        I don't. I for one do not welcome our new corporate overlords. It's very sad to see that we have to rely on corporations like TelstraClear and Google to protect us from other corporations' re-writing the law, while the government stands off to one side drooling.

        It's not precisely the government's job to protect our freedom; but it certainly is the government's responsibility to prevent itself from being manipulated the way it has been.

    • I am more concerned that this kind of idea is even in the west. It seems that we have a LOT of facism going on. In light of Biden's ties to the RIAA and even the current negotiation of a new international copyright treaty that is not being shown (even with a FOIA), it makes you wonder.
    • by Haoie (1277294)

      As a kiwi, I'll say that I was embarrassed that this 'law' was even up for discussion.

    • by w0mprat (1317953) on Monday March 23, 2009 @04:41PM (#27303411)
      The politician who got this section slipped into the law, Judith Tizzard (Labour party MP), did so, right before an election and right before the end of her career. She retired.

      Undoubtedly because it would have been the end of her political career in another way, if she was not retiring.

      Scrap that, they picked someone on the way out to slip this in for them, it's an excellent way to find a fall guy, someone who won't be even be around to cop the backlash. The amendment was also made when it was clear Labour would not be getting re-elected. A party on it's way out so the new government could dodge some flak, if they had to can the legislation they can claim it's not their mess, and they get the brownie points for appearing to respond to the public backlash.

      Does that sound like a shady mafRIAA backroom deal to you too?

      You see, a government is expendable, if it pushes your dodgy legislation and becomes unpopular, it gets torn down at the next election, and the next batch of politicians are at your service, the one thing that remains constant is the players behind the scene you don't get to vote on.

      Well back to the drawing board for the legislation. They've backed off, and will try again with something milder. Basically this kind of legislative push is intended to soften up the public and be more likely to accept whatever 'compromise' alternative law is offered.
      • by Petrushka (815171)

        It is possible that there is something shady going on, but I wouldn't underestimate Judith Tizard's monumental idiocy.

        Bear in mind: (1) the RIANZ isn't nearly as powerful as the RIAA is in the US; the ISPs are much more significant by comparison, as they haven't been able to parcel the country into small monopolies quite to the same extent that they've done in the US (except Telecom, but Telecom is a weird case in several ways). (2) Judith Tizard hasn't retired; she just was too low down the list to get bac

    • For those who don't know, the final straw was when simply said no ( http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/2252415/TelstraClear-rejects-copyright-code [stuff.co.nz] ). It would not implement the law because its customers were complaining and were might pissed.
  • Industry? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alexo (9335) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:23AM (#27297865) Journal

    [...] contributed to the Government changing course and respecting the wishes of the IT industry

    What about the wishes of the, um you know... people?

    • Who cares. First Flight of the Conchords, and now this. Maybe I'll move to New Zealand.

    • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:27AM (#27297917) Homepage

      That would require a ridiculously complex system of checks and balances.

      Totalitarianism is better because it's easy. You just slide down the hill.

    • Re:Industry? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yetihehe (971185) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:32AM (#27297981)
      People? What people? Typical people don't know what it is all about, they just visit youtube sometimes and write emails to friends. But we, slashdot readers are part of IT industry and want those changes. So yes, it is wishes of it industry not normal people.
    • by getuid() (1305889) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:48AM (#27298199) Homepage

      people> What about the wishes of the, um you know... people?
      govm't> Yeah, what about them?
      people> Well, they should be... respected or something.
      govm't> Why?
      people> You know... the constitution and all that... that says that goverment is elected by the people, ...
      govm't> Well, government *is* elected by the people.
      people> ...then, aren't you supposed to do as we say?
      govm't> Nope, not really. Why?
      people> Y'know, the constitution...
      govm't> What about the constitution?
      people> Well, it says you're not supposed to do the things you're just doing. So...
      govm't> So?
      people> So stop doing it.
      govm't> Why?
      people> Because the constitution...
      govm't> ...I don't care about the constituion. Go shove it.
      people> But you're supposed to, or...
      govm't> Or what?

      • Re:Industry? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alexo (9335) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:20AM (#27298637) Journal

        people> But you're supposed to, or...
        govm't> Or what?

        +1 depressing.

        So Democracy is a sham. People cannot force the government to do anything. The only way to cause a change is to become the government and whoever has a realistic chance of achieving that goal, will become as bad as those they replace.

        • Re:Industry? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jurily (900488) <jurily@NETBSDgmail.com minus bsd> on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:30AM (#27298789)

          people> You know... the constitution and all that... that says that goverment is elected by the people, ...
          govm't> Well, government *is* elected by the people.

          This is the really depressing part. Wake up, sheeple.

          • by Firehed (942385)

            And what do you propose we do? I vote for people that I think will do good things in government. They either don't make it in or end up succumbing to the system like every politician before them, no matter how good their intentions going in.

            • Re:Industry? (Score:4, Insightful)

              by silanea (1241518) on Monday March 23, 2009 @03:29PM (#27302427)

              And what do you propose we do?

              What everyone before us has done when they were fed up with their rulers: Line a few of the worst offenders up against the wall. Makes one hell of an example for the rest, at least for a while.

            • And what do you propose we do?

              The problem seems to be that once elected, politicians are basically free to do as they wish for a whole term (typically 4–6 years) without any further accountability. That is long enough to get good things done, but also long enough to really screw up without being stopped. I think to fix this, fundamentally you have to have someone with the ability to intervene sooner, so there is ongoing accountability.

              As food for thought, you could start with three levels of citizens' override of the government on

              • by Jurily (900488)

                The problem seems to be that once elected, politicians are basically free to do as they wish for a whole term (typically 4-6 years) without any further accountability.

                No. The problem is YOU GUYS KEEP VOTING ON THEM. By "them", I mean the two big parties.

                "But this time I voted democrat" does not work, because you voted on a big party regardless. Everyone keeps doing that, so they stay in power.

                Hungary is a beautiful example right now. Everyone hates the politicians, especially the leaders of the two big. Yet they still go and vote for them, because "the other one is worse". Care to guess what this leads to? That's right. In round 1 of the 2006 elections, they received 82. [wikipedia.org]

      • *snore* (Score:5, Insightful)

        by upside (574799) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:20AM (#27298643) Journal

        "gubberment bad, people good", guaranteed positive mod points. Sure it's good to be sceptical but where is the insight in the parent post?

        How about:

        people> We want no taxes but good services.
        people> We want more efficiency but no layoffs.
        people> We want to drive big fat cars, cheap petrol, clean air and an end to funding nasty regimes
        people> We want conspicuous consumption and a clean environment
        people> We want total safety, zero risk, absolute liberty, no personal responsibility and no nannying from the state
        govm't> *explodes*

        • Re:*snore* (Score:4, Insightful)

          by alexo (9335) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:47AM (#27299069) Journal

          Let's start with:

          people> We want honesty, transparency, responsibility and accountability.
          crickets> *chirp* *chirp*
          government> Look! A paedophile terrorist pirate! We'll save you!

        • Well, it's called leadership. I hated Tony Blair with a fiery passion, but he had it. Before Iraq he also had trust, which you need in order to say to people things like: in order to keep producing enough energy into the 21st century, we have to invest now in nuclear. I'm your leader, and I say we're going to do it.

          But he pushed it too far, not by siding with Bush in itself, but by steamrollering the massive and visible opposition to the war.

          Obama currently has a level of trust at least as high as Blair's u

          • by smoker2 (750216)

            Well, it's called leadership. I hated Tony Blair with a fiery passion, but he had it.

            Absolute crap. the only reason Blair got in at all in the first place was because we wanted to get Thatcher out. She had destroyed manufacturing in this country, sold off all the public services which we, the public had financed since WW2, and made sure we had nothing but "service" industries with which to compete with the the world. So everybody voted labour to get her out. The same way as we are all going to vote Tory to

        • How about:
          Politician> We need your tax money, but we will not provide any worthwhile services in return
          Politician> We will not work efficiently, employ 15 people to do 5 peoples' job. And blame you for troubling us.
          Politician> We will pass laws enforcing seat belts and speed limits, but our own governors will not follow them.
          Politician> We are prodigious in consumption of your tax money, but we insist you be frugal
          Politician> We are quite willing to sacrifice your liberty and freedom under th

        • by aaandre (526056)

          You are right, people suck at governing themselves. Tax money used to create infrastructure, support healthcare, schools, police, etc. are very well spent.

          The government, however has come very far from what they were hired to do. Instead of looking for what people need (not necessarily what we bitch about), based on scientific research and expert advise and then taking actions to meet these needs in the most efficient way, the government helps meet the needs of big corporations and organized crime and organ

      • by Nasajin (967925)
        ... New Zealand doesn't have an official governing constitution in the same way that the United States, or most other nations do. New Zealand is a constitution monarchy, and has no defining charter that regulates rulership. The closest national document(s) that we have is the Treaty of Waitangi. If you know anything about the Treaty of Waitangi, then you'll be aware that legal and governmental problems in New Zealand have existed right from the start [wikipedia.org].
      • by cyriustek (851451)

        If this was the US, I would say you may have a point about the constitution. However, NZ does not have a written constitution.

  • Merry-go-round (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mirshafie (1029876) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:25AM (#27297881)
    Seems like every other day now a new crazy law is put in place, just to be repealed a week later. What is this, a circus?
    • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:11AM (#27298531) Homepage Journal

      Political job security.....

    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday March 23, 2009 @01:17PM (#27300663) Homepage Journal

      Seems like every other day now a new crazy law is put in place, just to be repealed a week later. What is this, a circus?

      Lets take a comparative approach to this:

      Circus: has people jumping through hoops
      Government: has people jumping through hoops

      Circus: clowns are involved
      Government: people act as clowns

      Circus: charges for entry
      Government: charges taxes

      Circus: some people are frightened by the clowns
      Government: some people are frightened by the people acting acting as clowns

      I can quite understand the misunderstanding.

    • by Petrushka (815171)

      Seems like every other day now a new crazy law is put in place, just to be repealed a week later. What is this, a circus?

      In this case, there was a change of government. That wasn't enough by itself, mind; the new government was willing to sit back and watch what happened when the new law came into effect.

      In this case what really lead to the repeal was the actions of a company that was too big to be ignored -- TelstraClear refusing to have anything to do with writing a code of practice to mitigate the effects of the law. Suddenly I'm glad I'm with them, and I've already written to compliment them on their actions.

      I'm also rath

  • Democracy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by muuh-gnu (894733) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:30AM (#27297955)

    > The changes were hours away from being signed but a series of online protests
    > (...) Government changing course and respecting the wishes of the IT industry.

    So whats the point in going to vote in the first place if theres no guarantee that the will of the people will be mirrored in the actions of the elected goverment until mass protests fill up the streets (or tubes)?

    It seems that we easily could just appoint a dictator for life once and then keep protesting against his decisions we dont like, it wouldnt in practice be any different to the current situation.

    Either we have a democracy, in which case demonstrations and protests again the democratically elected goverment shouldnt be needed, or we dont, in which case we dont need elections.

    • by langelgjm (860756)

      But without democracy, Premier Election Systems will have no one to sell their voting machines to! That's why they'll lobby against totalitarianism.

      • Hitler too needed ballots to be printed and boxes to put them in.
        So your company will in fact enjoy a greater margin of profits...

    • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cs02rm0 (654673) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:39AM (#27298077)
      So whats the point in going to vote in the first place if theres no guarantee that the will of the people will be mirrored in the actions of the elected goverment until mass protests fill up the streets (or tubes)?

      So far as I can see, democracies have never had anything to do with the will of the public, just the will of their elected (from a pitifully small selection of) representatives.

      There needs to be a better way of actually getting the will of the general public involved somehow, democracy as it stands is a pretty poor implementation of that. Politicians are a very dirty abstraction layer.
      • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ustolemyname (1301665) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:15AM (#27298575)
        No, no there doesn't.

        "The greatest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter" - (Churchill, afaik)

        What there needs to be is some kind of supercrazyawesome education, and a willingness to pay attention and be involved, of the general population. Then, optionally, a way of getting the will of the general public involved.
        • Actually, what there needs to be is a significant reduction in the scope of government -- particularly the upper, more distant levels -- such that people are rarely affected by decisions made without their consent.

          The ideal form of this is not democracy, which purports to seek input from all but places no value whatsoever on sovereign individual rights. Instead it resembles the system known to some as Unanimous Consent, or voluntaryism, where each individual possesses full veto power insofar as their own pe

        • I have a suggestion for U.S. in particular.

          Right to vote should be conditional on the citizen having an understanding (proved by examination, similar to U.S. citizenship test) of how the U.S. political system works. You know, all the stuff about how many representatives are there, electoral college, responsibilities of Congress and the President, and so on. It isn't that hard, and, after all, you already require that knowledge from naturalized citizens - why should the born ones get away?

          Reasoning being, if

        • by Hatta (162192)

          How funny. In my opinion, the greatest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average elected official. At least in a Democracy, the people get the government they deserve. Isn't that another Churchill quote?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        There needs to be a better way of actually getting the will of the general public involved somehow, democracy as it stands is a pretty poor implementation of that

        As the quote goes, democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.

        As the other quote goes, democracy is the worst system there is, except for all the others.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        There needs to be a better way of actually getting the will of the general public involved somehow, democracy as it stands is a pretty poor implementation of that. Politicians are a very dirty abstraction layer.

        The US system really lacks choice. Right now I got about 7 parties to choose from that's currently in parliament, and while not a perfect fit it's at least somewhat more representative of my wishes, and we really have big changes. You could say that the more changes the more stays the same, but some parties grow large while some are now half the size they were at the last election. It's amazing how much more dynamics when you have competing parties on both "sides", not to mention a few that just don't follo

        • US is NOT a democracy.
          It is a Republic.
          But US "brings" democracy and "liberates" nations under the guise of democracy.

      • by daem0n1x (748565)
        There is a better way. People can get off their asses and participate. Most people don't give a damn about politics, they think the system just runs by itself. When they wake up, they suddenly notice the government is fucking them.
    • Re:Democracy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ianare (1132971) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:46AM (#27298175)

      If you try to do a street protest in a country that has a dictator for life, you run the very real risk of being beaten, tortured, and killed.

      It's been known for a long time that quite often the only way to get the government to actually listen to its citizens is to stage some form of peaceful mass protest. That's why that right is protected in the US Bill of Rights.

      • Re:Democracy (Score:4, Insightful)

        by cs02rm0 (654673) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:51AM (#27298235)
        It's been known for a long time that quite often the only way to get the government to actually listen to its citizens is to stage some form of peaceful mass protest. That's why that right is protected in the US Bill of Rights.

        And why the UK has been slowly eroding any rights of protest near Parliament, at certain events, etc.
        • "..protest near Parliament.."

          As far as I know, I think our Govt defines "near" as a 4 mile radius! - this covers the whole of inner London!

        • Re:Democracy (Score:4, Insightful)

          by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:28AM (#27298759)
          Which is exactly why we need to protest in a MUCH larger group in EXACTLY those places.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mrpacmanjel (38218)

            Absolutely agree - we better contact the police and ask for thier permission (as required by current law)!

      • That's why that right is protected in the US Bill of Rights.

        The Bill of Rights is just some nonsense to be ignored by the government. It's all covered up by "they didn't really mean that when they wrote it", even though you can read in the federalist papers that they did. Few of the so-called "rights" are still available. Freedom of religion means you are not allowed to display any sign of religious behavior anywhere. Freedom of speach is just lawsuit material. Right to bear arms is buried under massive amounts of paperwork and background checks.

        The Bill of Rights i

        • by ral8158 (947954)

          I find it hard to believe that, if you really desire to use a gun for sport or hobby that you'll have a hard time getting one, in most states.
          I don't understand what you mean about freedom of religion. Churches are given tax exempt status, still, and you are free to express your religion in any way you want. Schools and state organizations are not allowed to require people to perform specific acts of a certain faith; which makes sense. (Are you complaining about prayers not being in schools? I don't get it)

      • by russotto (537200)

        It's been known for a long time that quite often the only way to get the government to actually listen to its citizens is to stage some form of peaceful mass protest. That's why that right is protected in the US Bill of Rights.

        Sorry. The system adapts, and (in the US, if not in NZ) it adapted to the tactic of peaceful mass protests some time ago. They no longer are a viable means of affecting the system.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by billscott122 (933400)
      "guilty upon accusation, without appeal" - I thought New Zealand was a democracy, with, you know, fair trials and "innocent until proven guilty" customs. I wonder when they changed. Too bad. We need all the democratic governments we can get these days.
      • by shermo (1284310)

        "New Zealand Halts Internet Copyright Law Change".

        I don't expect you to read TFA or even TFS. But it's right there in the heading. This law didn't go through.

        That's thanks in no small part to activism from public and corporations. You can debate which of those had the greatest effect, but they did have an effect.

        This seems like democracy working as it should.

    • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SleepingWaterBear (1152169) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:02AM (#27298407)

      Either we have a democracy, in which case demonstrations and protests again the democratically elected goverment shouldnt be needed, or we dont, in which case we dont need elections.

      You must be one of those people who believes democracy operates based on fairy dust and kittens. Protests in the street are a particularly notable feature of democracy, not something democracy eliminates the need for!

      To spell it out for you, politicians are for the most part corrupt and immoral and have little interest in mirroring the will of the people, but at least in a democracy the people have some leverage. Politicians can ignore a small fraction of the population pretty safely, but when that fraction takes to the streets and threatens to attract a lot of attention the politicians have to start worrying about reelection.

      Democracy is not a perfect system, in fact it has many disadvantages when compared to a well run dictatorship, but the fact people can safely and effectively take to the streets in protest makes it the most effective system we've found yet.

      • by muuh-gnu (894733)

        > but the fact people can safely and effectively take to the streets in protest

        Your post doesnt contradict my question at all. All youre saying is that the sole fact that you can roam the streets and call politicians names without anybody shooting at you, makes up a democracy, which couldnt be more wrong.

        The word itself actually implies that the will of the people is imaged onto the actions of their elected goverment and that the election every few years is a kind of a correction factor and a way to read

        • I never claimed that protests are the exclusive means for the people to make their will known; there are of course other measures such as the ballot box and lobbying. However, the idea that protests represent a breakdown of the democratic process is downright fantasy. I've never heard of a democratic government that operated for any length of time without protest, so your real democracy has never existed on earth.

          The idea that the will of the people is "imaged onto the actions of their elected government"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Swampash (1131503)
      This (and other crazy laws which have been repealed) was passed by the left-wing Labour Party government, which got voted out in a landslide in December.
      • by Petrushka (815171)

        This (and other crazy laws which have been repealed) was passed by the left-wing Labour Party government, which got voted out in a landslide in December.

        Regardless of your political leanings -- and thanks for introducing them by the way, we're all really interested -- 58 seats to 43 [elections.org.nz] is not a landslide.

    • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:26AM (#27298741)

      First, you're confusing a Democracy with a Republic. Understandable, because they're similar. In a true democracy, the will of the people is followed. Right down to the burning of witches. A true democracy is better known as mob rule.

      Most countries that we call democracies are actually republics. The key points of a republic are (a) the government is ruled by representatives chosen by the people, and (b) the rule of law is superior to the rulers.

      In a republic, you don't cast your vote for someone who will follow your will completely, or else you might as well get rid of the representatives and institute a true democracy. You cast your vote for someone that you think is honest, has experience and training that will help him get the job done, and thinks enough like you that you'll be satisfied with the job he does. The idea is that the elected officials are more intelligent, honest, and even self-sacrificing than the average person, or to put it another way, that they would do a better job at running the government than the aggregate will of the people. They're supposed to be the voice of reason who refuses to burn a witch in the midst of a rabid crowd carrying torches and pitchforks. Even if she weighs the same as a duck.

      The democratic election process in a republic is not to guarantee that people get what they want, but to hold the leaders accountable to the people so they can't stray too far from their constituency. But in some cases, like the one described above, they can and should go against the will of the people.

      Of course, whether the reality matches the ideal is certainly up for debate.

      • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Monday March 23, 2009 @12:30PM (#27299843) Homepage Journal

        In a true democracy, the will of the people is followed. Right down to the burning of witches. A true democracy is better known as mob rule.

        No, mob rule is mob rule. That's not the same thing as democracy, and it's an absurd bit of political rhetoric to claim that it is.

        Most countries that we call democracies are actually republics.

        Most democracies are also republics. New Zealand, however, most certainly is not a republic, although it is a democracy.

        The key points of a republic are (a) the government is ruled by representatives chosen by the people, and (b) the rule of law is superior to the rulers.

        Those are the principles of any workable democratic system that anyone has ever devised, as long as you replace the word "ruled" with "run" in point (a). A republic is one way to implement those principles; a constitutional monarchy, which is what New Zealand has, is another. Americans, living in a republican democracy (or a "democratic republic," but that phrase has been hijacked by a type of government which creates emphatically non-democratic republics) tend to confuse the two.

      • by Asic Eng (193332)
        Democracy is to Greek what Republic is to Latin. As for mob rule - the Roman Republic had many problems with that.
    • by daem0n1x (748565)

      Democracy is not only about casting the vote, it's about full citizenship and it definitely doesn't work if people simply go cast the vote and then forget it.

      A politician can (and will) do things that are exactly the opposite of what people elected him for. You see, the corporations are whispering in the politicians' ears all the time, not only during campaign. If people can't make more noise meanwhile, guess who the politician is going to listen to?

  • Good Lord, it sounds like we need to invade and liberate Australia. Guilty upon accusation laws only summon up memories of Joseph Stalin and similar bums.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I know it's not easy but:
      Australia != New Zealand

      Yes, both places have been in the news over Internet law making recently but still...

      • by wjh31 (1372867)
        yes, but when austraia has more nautral resources, its an easier mistake to make
      • I know it's not easy but:
        Australia != New Zealand

        Then allow me to rephrase: Good Lord, it sounds like we need to invade and liberate Australia to set up a base from which to threaten New Zealand.

        • Good Lord, it sounds like we need to invade and liberate Australia to set up a base from which to threaten New Zealand.

          But why would the New Zealanders care what you do to West Island?

          • by Petrushka (815171)

            But why would the New Zealanders care what you do to West Island?

            You're just showing your foreignness, you know. The islands are always prefixed with "the" -- as, the West Island.

      • by Chrisq (894406)
        As far as mistakes by Americans go it could have been worse. They might have thought you had WMD's capable of deployment within 15 minutes.
      • by digitig (1056110)
        Heck, the "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq to get to somebody believed to be hiding near the Afghan/Pakistani border -- invading Australia instead of New Zealand seems to be as good as our precision strikes get nowadays.
  • Laws like this.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by retech (1228598) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:50AM (#27298219)
    ...show just how grossly out of touch with reality governments have become.

    Here's a few tips to any politician:
    • Before you even propose a law learn exactly what it is you're discussing.
    • Learn about the mechanical structure of the system.
    • Understand the nuances of the way it interacts with society.
    • And then ask your constituancy how they feel about it.
  • by gwait (179005) on Monday March 23, 2009 @10:56AM (#27298293)

    Seems like a similar reaction Canada's minister (Jim Prentiss) had last year when he tried to pass a bunch of RIAA sanctioned copyright laws - He seemed surprised that anyone cared about the issue.

    This news from New Zealand is extremely good news, (at least for now - they may sneak it back in piecemeal when the furor dies down),

    At least some politicians can be made to feel the heat and go against the wishes of very high paid lobbyists.

    Seems like one big problem, is that the mainstream media benefit by deals like the ACTA nonsense (national security my ass!) so will not dare print anything negative about it.

    Very difficult in the current economic crisis to get any attention span.

    Since politicians like soundbites, how about an internet headlines campaign:

    "Obama appointees help RIAA sue Teenagers" or

    "Government uses national security claim to protect the recording industry"

    Try it yourself!

    • by langelgjm (860756) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:10AM (#27298517) Journal

      "Obama appointees help RIAA sue Teenagers" or "Government uses national security claim to protect the recording industry"

      It's exactly this sort of thing that buttresses my doubts about democracy. I know you were going for catchy headlines, but both of them are grossly oversimplified.

      As I noted the other day, [slashdot.org] the DOJ's brief is an attempt to uphold the constitutionality of the statutory damages that Copyright Act permits. That issue cuts both ways, because if you emasculate statutory damages completely, when a big label rips off an independent musician, the musician won't be able to take them to task.

      And regarding ACTA, the recording industry is peanuts compared to other players involved there. All of the major pharmaceutical and chemical companies are involved with ACTA, and those industries are far more important than the RIAA, no matter how you look at it. If anything, the national security claim is aimed at protecting their interests, and the RIAA is just along for the ride.

      So while a lot of comments are along the lines of "why doesn't the government listen to the people more", keep in mind that a lot of times people are ill-informed and likely to act based on emotion rather than reason.

      • It's exactly this sort of thing that buttresses my doubts about democracy. I know you were going for catchy headlines, but both of them are grossly oversimplified.

        I don't see why it wouldn't work, Fox News has been doing that for years!

      • I like how you justify keeping people uninformed by claiming that they're ignorant. :)

        • by langelgjm (860756)

          I like how you justify keeping people uninformed by claiming that they're ignorant. :)

          Care to explain how exactly I do that?

          I absolutely wish people were more informed. I also don't think the way that will happen is for others to feed them sensationalistic headlines.

          • You justified the hiding of ACTA... and then called people ill-informed. Maybe his sensationalist headline of "Government uses national security claim to protect the recording industry" would seem silly if the contents of ATCA were known. But they're not, so your statement about ACTA is just as speculatory as his (even if yours is founded on reasonable assumptions).
            • by langelgjm (860756)

              You justified the hiding of ACTA... and then called people ill-informed.

              No I didn't. I want ACTA revealed. I just think that a more accurate headline of "National security concerns invoked to hide trade treaty", maybe with a subtitle of "Drug and Chemical companies among those with primary interest" would be better. That way all those people who merely read headlines won't be going around with the idea that ACTA is primarily about the recording industry.

      • by gwait (179005)

        Point(s) well taken!

        I'm thinking since the RIAA are very effective at using soundbites to oversimplify their case (don't you want to stop pirates from ripping off the poor artists?),
        it's fair game to use the same tactic to get this subject in front of the public at large..

        The ACTA is a good case in point, how can the public keep informed when pretty much everything about it is protected from freedom of information laws by claiming national security interests.
        Call me cynical but I'll bet whatever is decided

    • This news from New Zealand is extremely good news, (at least for now - they may sneak it back in piecemeal when the furor dies down),

      I would suspect this is exactly what will happen. Some natural resources bill, or health care bill, or some other completely unrelated but popular bill will get an amendment so that this BS can get shoved in through the back door.

      That way, if you protest the bill, they can say "But why don't you think the orphans should be taken care of? Why do you hate orphans?"

  • by mrpacmanjel (38218) on Monday March 23, 2009 @11:17AM (#27298611)

    I think the tag "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense" could not be further from the truth!

    After *Overwhelming* opposition via petitions, public outcry, comments from a "large ISP" and *Google* the "Govt" eventually backed down hours before this law passed.

    This absolutely stinks of arrogance, grim determination and bloody-mindedness demonstrated by the "Govt" to try and *force* this law through despite widespread popular opinion and only backed-down at the last "conceivable moment".

    If this was down to common sense the "Govt" would have abandonded this months ago or even at the earliest stages of discussion.

    One way or another this law in some form is going to be passed. As other posts have said it will be pushed through some obscure law out of the publiic eye.

    Obviously, the "Govt" do not think IT industry, Google and the *New Zealand People* are important enough to have an opinion.

    Just look at the U.K. (where I live) to see what is happening.

    Do now let this continue the fight is not over yet!

    Any government should be the voice and representation of the people - we DO NOT serve the government for it's own purposes - THEY SERVE US.

  • We're facing an uphill battle. The evil forces of Sarkozy-Universal are occupying the territory; they will probably be stopped by the European Parliament, but there will be much blood.

    In any case, that's good news from NZ, something for the resistance forces to use during the upcoming parliamentary debates.

    • by Petrushka (815171)

      We're facing an uphill battle. The evil forces of Sarkozy-Universal are occupying the territory; they will probably be stopped by the European Parliament, but there will be much blood.

      Fortunately, France is the second-closest country to New Zealand [google.co.nz] -- closer than the Australian mainland, in fact -- so our peace-loving democratic ideals should spread to you folks reasonably promptly :-)

  • They aren't done... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by moxley (895517) on Monday March 23, 2009 @01:27PM (#27300821)

    They'll just backdoor it later.

    This is why people have to stay vigilant. The same people who organized these protests, etc - they shouldn't sleep on this one, because I think it's quite likely that whoever took that provision out probably made a phone call right before doing so to big content and said something like the following:

    "listen mate, i'm gonna have to strike that provision of the bill - the time just isn't right, but don't worry - we'll backdoor it later after the furor dies down."

    • by Petrushka (815171)

      They'll just backdoor it later.

      Maybe, but also maybe not. Ultimately the RIANZ just isn't a very important force -- or let's say, nowhere near as influential as the RIAA in the US. The record industry is just rather sickly here. ISPs, by contrast, are important businesses that the government needs to avoid offending. The main motivation for section 92A all along was not local interests at all, but the government of the day seeking a Free Trade Agreement with the US. Now that the US has become involved in talks aimed at a multilateral tra

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