Thanks to Robin Capper for bringing this to my attention.
Disclosure: I’m a software developer, artist (of sorts), copyright owner and part of a company that sells software to allow copyright owners to protect their interests. I’m also the victim of clueless corporations counterproductively interfering with my art. Most of all, I’m a supporter of the fair use of copyrighted materials.
This law in New Zealand needs to be turned back now. If it succeeds in Robin’s country, it will be mine next, then yours. I encourage you to support this viral campaign so it attracts some press attention. Excuse me while I go and turn my gravatar black.
Copyright issues are also important to me, as a blogger and as a traditional print author. I like to make stuff available to end users for free, but I get really annoyed at people pirating stuff that is for sale. I’m not really familiar with the NZ law, but it sounds like it goes too far. Laws like this put the power in the hands of corporations, which is the wrong thing to do, in my opinion.
Matt mentions putting ‘power’ into the hand of companies and he is correct. For legislation to have progressed thus far there has been considerable effort by lobbyists on behalf of companies who ‘perceive’ they will benefit
Shifting the onus of proof, of a ‘crime’, to the accused, is a shift none of us should tolerate – for any reason. In this instance, it’s a matter of convenience, for a particular group, but can be abused by a far greater group and individuals as well. It is for the later reasons I hope the New Zealand ‘protesters’ succeed.
I would also like to say, whilst the protest is for the ‘right reason’ drawing attention to the politicians (and their bill) is one thing but the guys in the background, the CEOs of the companies pushing for these laws and their lobbyist, diligently, will continue to work behind the scene to counter the protest arguments and press coverage.
EXPOSE those companies: on your ‘placards’ show the names of companies supporting this bill, their CEOs names and the names of the lobbyist as well. Additionally provide those details to the press and phone, write and email your protest arguments to them directly. It will be much harder for them to push ‘their barrow(s)’ when the glare of public and press is on them.
I can see, know and understand the ‘benefits’ of copyright just as I can see the benefit of software licencing but there is no way, we, should take what is being dished out and a quick look at my blog Caveat emptor will show how far I have gone, individually, in standing up to a corporation. I would encourage ALL in a similar position to do the same. You have nothing to lose and – we ALL – have much to gain!
Targeting politicians is one avenue; targeting and exposing the individuals and organizations using the politicians as tools will have greater effect over a longer period. Once a corporation knows it is being watched and that individuals are not frightened to collectively challenge their actions they WILL be far more careful about how they treat their customers and abuse their political clout.
The implementation of the law has been delayed, success so far, and the hope is it will be dropped entirely. I’m not sure what impact the blackout had but combined with other protests it certainly helped.