You may have noticed sites turning black today. Black is what the New Zealand Internet could become if we don’t act now. Parliament has sold New Zealand Internet users down the river, and only Parliament can fix it.
The unjust and unworkable “Guilt upon Accusation” provisions were introduced into the Copyright Act last year and are due to go live on 28th February. It’s not just technology bloggers, either. Vodafone’s corporate twitter has gone black; so has 3news business’s. So has the government’s own ISP, Orcon’s. This isn’t just a few technology commentators, as the previous minister and former MP Judith Tizard said – this is mainstream media and businesses. Even the artists the law is supposed to protect are up in arms about it. Stephen Fry – yes, Stephen Fry – has joined in.
MP and party leader Peter Dunne, who voted for this when Parliament passed it, now says it was a mistake and should be repealed immediately before it has a chance to take effect.
Why is this law so bad? Read David Farrar, guesting in Scoop, for the details. David goes into detail about the injustice, the history, and how no other country has adopted such a harsh law.
We need the government to get this message. If you know an MP who voted for it, tell them it’s not too late. It’s not too late to admit that Parliament made a mistake by passing provisions into law that its own Select Committee process said were wrong.
Email your MP. Email Steven Joyce, Simon Power and Chris Finlayson. Tell them there’s a reason no other country has passed a law like this. Tell they have to act now or businesses will suffer as they have figure out how to control their employees’ Internet access. So will schools. So will Internet Service Providers. So will Air New Zealand, Trademe and the banks. And, most of all, so will ordinary voting New Zealanders as they get their Internet cut off by the accusations of unaccountable copyright bodies.