In which I share my writings on the internet. Oh noes, filesharing! - Tactical Ninja
Aug. 11th, 2011
09:34 am - In which I share my writings on the internet. Oh noes, filesharing!
It seems the phrase "Electro Convulsive Therapy" takes on a whole new meaning when it's sampled over the top of a great bassline. As does "Ready to face the music?" Yay EDM!
Meanwhile, after spending yesterday in the air conditioned comfort of an aeroplane followed by a hotel conference room, I woke up in the middle of the night poking myself in the eye. This two days after the wearing-goggles section of my recovery was supposed to be over. I learned two things from this. First, the aircon-induced eye dryness creates irritation strong enough to affect me while sleeping. Second, yep - healing is not complete. The pain woke me up, luckily. I haven't dislodged the flap of eyeball skin that was originally cut loose, but I should probably go back to the goggles for a bit, at least while the aircon I'm subjected to daily is making things so uncomfortable.
Consequently, I didn't feel able to drive late at night to go pick up pombagira from her Canada trip. Thankfully, Happy was willing to step into the breach and she made it home ok. I know this because my morning wasn't greeted by "Row? Roooow? Rooowroow?" the way it has been the last couple of weeks, and there's a Shiny!New!Laptop! in the lounge. Ooh, shiny!
I'm also thinking it might be a good idea to ask for sleeping pills at my next appointment so I can spend most of my flight to Hong Kong with my eyes shut and not die of boredom.
For those who don't know, the 3 Strikes Law is actually called the Copyright (Infringing Filesharing) Amendment Act 2011. What a mouthful! It was pushed through parliament under urgency in April, and is supposed to deal with pirating by kiwis. An honourable goal, one might think. Because filesharing a movie is copyright infringement and clearly stealing from the makers of the movie, causing all those poor gaffers and key grips to starve, right?
Wrong. Study after study is finding that filesharing actually increases sales of music and movies. In Japan, anime piracy increases DVD sales. In Canada, a government study showed the same is true for music. GfK found in a study of busted pirates that they are more frequent moviegoers than non-pirates, using pirating as a kind of 'try before you buy' service. A couple of those links are from an obviously biased source, and don't show the actual studies, but if you're interested here's a list of studies which can help you find sources.
So it's being increasingly shown that piracy helps the media industry instead of harming it. But in their infinite wisdom and some pressure from the US (which in my opinion is linked to the TPPA*), our government has imposed this law on us to prevent pirating. The guts of the law is this:
Filesharing is illegal. A copyright holder may request an ISP to send a warning notice to anyone who it considers to be filesharing without having to prove they actually are, at a cost of $25. If found to be filesharing (remember the onus is on the accused to prove they aren't), a person is liable for a fine of up to $15,000. If a notice is issued, the holder of the internet account is held responsible. In my case, this is me in a household of three people. In Victoria University's case, it's them in an organisation of several thousand. Wondering how this'll be managed yet? Yeah, me too.
But it gets better. If a person is issued with three of these notices, there's a provision in the law that allows their internet service to be cut off for 6 months. It's a sleeping provision in that they say they aren't going to use it to start off with but may bring it in - they'll just see how things go.
Everything you need to know about the new law at 3Strikes.net.'
So anyway, what has the government done to inform the general populace about how the law will affect them? Zip. Here's a vid of Question Time in parliament yesterday, in which Gareth Hughes (Green MP and probably the most informed MP on this law) asks Minister of Justice Simon Power some questions around this law and what the government's doing to make sure people (especially account holders for large organisations) know how they'll be affected:
High points: Simon Power passing responsibility to the media, ISPs and groups like 3Strikes to disseminate information, and committing to making a website go live 7 days after the filesharing law becomes effective. Simon Power demonstrates his complete lack of understanding of alternative business models by admitting he has never heard of Netflix. Lockwood Smith (speaker) finds the whole thing highly amusing.
Netflix is a service that's unavailable in New Zealand, even though they have bought advertising on the news site Stuff.co.nz. So we get to see that it exists and hear about how other people can legally watch movies for a reasonable price in other countries, but we don't get to do that here, and when questioned about what government is doing to change this so we do have legal options for accessing media, our leaders make a joke out of being completely ignorant - meanwhile, thinking they're being responsible by imposing guilt-on-accusation laws on us and making the dean of Victoria responsible if I pirate something through their network.
Our politicians are awesome. Oh wait, the opposite of that.
So, what to do. InternetNZ informed me in a tweet the other day that the risk of a $15,000 fine is too much of a risk for mass defiance to be a real option. But this law is ill-thought-out, draconian, in breach of our Bill of Rights Act, and regressive in terms of keeping NZ up with the rest of the world. I feel as though I should do something. It's obvious that submissions, appeals, protests and the like have had no effect - in true Kiwi Government style they've stuck their fingers in their ears and gone "LA LA LA" and carried on crapping on us. And yeah, we're a small group of people at the moment, but when those notices start to go out to average folks who had no clue about this and really don't understand filesharing anyway, will more people take notice? *sigh*
By the way, this election I'll be in Wellington Central and I won't be stuck in Peter Dunne's electorate any more. Finally, a chance to actually have an MP I want in power.
* The intellectual property sections of the TPPA show that the US would like to not only sew up access to media here, but they'd also like to have a go at Pharmac, saying that our medicine-buying process is not transparent, that Pharmac's style of testing medicines before subsidising them and opting for cheaper off-brand versions is disadvantageous to their large pharmaceutical manufacturers. The US would like open slather on our medicine market, which excludes the option for us to manufacture our own or buy from other manufacturers. Bottom line - if you use fluoxetine ($3 a box subsidised), under TPPA you're likely to be forced to use Prozac (same thing but $90-ish a box). And the US would also like tobacco companies to be able to sue our government if it introduces plain packaging on tobacco products. Think it won't happen? It's already happening in Australia. And let's not forget the way Gerber used multinational trade agreements to force Guatemala to market their baby food despite its impact on the infant death rate.
So yeah, the 3 Strikes law is only a small part of what I see as an attempt by the US to corner us as a market and extract our money offshore in increasing quantities. And our government is buying it hook, line and sinker. Fuck it all. Do I really only get one vote every three years to stop this bullshit?
Ha, once again I go off on a ranty tangent. That's what you get for locking me in a room and subjecting me to air conditioning all day.
Meanwhile in Hamilton, they think attempted rape is funny if it's done by a woman. And if it's a 40-year-old woman, they get to make stupid headlines to go with it.
OK gotta go, I'm getting ragey.