Skynet goes live

Today the Copyright (Infringing File-Sharing) Act, or better know as the Skynet law goes live. From today copyright holders can detect people illegally sharing files like movies online and send notices through the infringers ISP with a ‘third-strike’ leading to up-to $15,000 fines and possible internet termination if enacted.

The law was controversially passed under urgency with an embarrassing lack of knowledge by MPs who were passing the Bill. Many had no idea what peer-to-peer file-sharing even is with one National member even likening the internet to the evil computer Skynet from the terminator films.

The Green Party was the only party to oppose this law. We did so because we oppose accused account holders needing to prove their innocence, rather than accusers proving guilt that runs counter to the basic principles of our justice system and because the law still contained a clause allowing the Government to bring in internet termination as a remedy for illegal file sharing.

We support Kiwi creatives and think encouraging greater legal content available online would be more effective than this law which makes it cheaper and faster for large, very-profitable corporate media companies to enforce their old distribution models.

Labour has now changed their policy and is supporting a review of the law and scrapping internet termination which I welcome but it is a little late given they voted for the law, and against my amendment to remove termination.

3 Comments Posted

  1. It bothers me that this law is founded upon the necessity for the enforcers to constantly monitor my internet connection.

    How else could they gather information about what type of data stream is active through my router?

    I can understand them tapping the phones of known criminals, but constantly tapping MY phone seems outrageous.

    I’m guessing it won’t be long till they are permitted to look for data other than “torrents”.

  2. The head of the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand has slammed the new “three strikes” law as an act which “serves only to support a business model that no longer works in the internet age”.

    TUANZ chief executive Paul Brislen said the legislation is “poorly drafted and serves only to upset end users, alienate ISPs and will do very little to stop those offenders who are at the busy end of the spectrum”.

    Mr Brislen said the solution to the illegal downloading of copyright material was simple – make it easier to obtain and people will pay for it.

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