New Zealand Goes Black

The previous government in New Zealand enacted an amendment to the Copyright Act that required ISPs to have a policy to disconnect users after repeated accusations of infringement, over the objections of technologists. While it’s possible to have a policy that requires proof rather than accusation, APRA (the RIAA of New Zealand) strongly opposes any such attempts at reasonable interpretation of Section 92. The minor parties in the coalition government oppose the “three accusations and you’re offline” section and want it repealed. This is the last week before that law is due to come into effect and the Creative Freedom Foundation, a group formed to represent artists and citizens who oppose the section, has a week of protest planned to convince the ruling National Party to repeal S92.

The first day’s action was blacking out Twitter and Facebook avatars. I did it, as did Channel 3 Business News, a Creative Director at Saatchi and Saatchi, oh and Stephen Fry. Kudos to Juha Saarinen who first put out the call. This is building up to a full Internet blackout day on February 23rd. I’m delighted to say that the idea was formed at Kiwi Foo Camp, and the folks who were at Kiwi Foo have been running wild with it–building banners, releasing templates, spreading the word.

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  • Can they amend the law so that 3 false accusations get the accuser taken offline? It’s only equitable.

    Cory wrote this idea up for the Guardian:

  • Count me in for the blackout day… Lest my government gets any bad idea from this precedent…

  • RML

    Let it be law!

    And use it to condemn three times each and every government site in the land of Oz. Let’s see how quickly someone repeals this law (or amends it to exclude government sites).

  • This sounds like it lends itself to a legal kind of denial of service attack.

    Here in the U.S., when the Supreme Court said eminent domain could be used to destroy houses for private enterprise, a group of people initiated a lawsuit to destroy one of the Justices’ houses to make room for a hotel…

    What would happen if 3+ parties alleged that APRAa stakeholders were pirating your least valuable blog postings?

  • DB

    I don’t live in New Zealand, thank God, but for those who do, here’s a suggestion: accuse APRA and every member organization of copyright infringement 3 times. Throw in a a few accusations for MP and political parties and you should have the trouble-makers kicked off the web fast. If you want something more than a completely groundless accusation, ask each of their webmasters for the sourcecode for any modifications they’ve made to Linux, Apache, Drupal or any other commonly used open source software package.

  • Such a tragic limitation of civil rights. There’s an interesting article here.