Tuesday, February 17, 2009


You'll have to excuse this one little bit of non-eve bloggage...

On 28 February 2009 comes into effect, in New Zealand, a deeply flawed piece of copyright law that essentially allows copyright holders the ability to have any IP address disconnected on the basis of their accusation alone.

There is no "standard of evidence" defined, no level of proof, that the copyright holder must provide the ISP, merely the accusation is enough.

Efforts have been made to drum out a workable solution, but the media companies have rejected the proposed "code of conduct" and have instead made demands that effectively leave the ISPs in a no win situation - breech of contract with the customer, or legal action in the face of the copyright law (as per the iinet case in Australia).

As a result a Blackout has been organised.. 

"The controversial law reverses New Zealander's fundamental right to being presumed innocent until proven guilty, punishing internet users with disconnection based accusations of copyright infringement without a trial and without evidence held up to court scrutiny.

blackout has already drawn international support: world renowned actor, comedian and author Stephen Fry has blacked out his twitter profile stating that “Stephen Fry is blacked out: Stand up against Guilt Upon Accusation for New Zealand”
The movement is rapidly growing, with thousands of people in New Zealand modifying their websites, blogs, FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter and Bebo accounts to show their opposition to the law. Instructions on how to take part in the blackout can be found on

The blackout is part of a week of action against S92. A S92 song remix challenge will be announced tomorrow, and various other initiatives including video commercials and radio broadcasts will follow.

The week will culminate in a major web blackout on Monday the 23rd seeing blogs and websites “dimming the lights” as a means of drawing attention to the issue that could leave New Zealander's in the dark when they face having their internet cut off. Hundreds of confirmed participants include Kiwiblog, Zoomin and Public Address with more to be announced over the coming week." - Creative Freedom press releas

Several others, vastly more knowledgeable (and articulate) have documented the issues with this law in the following blogs, and I would suggest anyone interested follow up on these...


Altaree said...

so.... Just get the isp's of the people who are sponsoring this law and black list them. There don't seem to be any penalties for making a false accusation....
(I have not seen the text of the bill. It would be nice if one of the commentators would post it with their comments...)

WTM said...

Actually the ISPs are completely against the law, as it puts upon them a significant cost to develop and manageme these systems and processes.

As you said though, no penalties for making false accusations.

I tried to find the exact text of the bill (I read it some time ago), but was getting concerned I was going to bury people in links.