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Media Music Piracy Politics

NZ MP Enjoys Copyright Infringement, Votes For 3 Strikes 220

Posted by timothy
from the one-law-for-the-lion-and-the-ass dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As New Zealand politicians are looking to rush through a new copyright law, 92A, which imposes a 'three strikes' regime on people accused of file sharing, some New Zealanders were a bit amused to see Parliament Member Melissa Lee stand up to speak in favor of the bill just hours after tweeting how she was enjoying a compilation of music put together for her by a friend. Does that count as her first strike?"
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NZ MP Enjoys Copyright Infringement, Votes For 3 Strikes

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  • by obeythefist (719316) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @11:50PM (#35825188) Journal

    If one person who legally posses a CD/DVD with copyrighted material loans it to another person that is quite different than some other person who makes an entire library of music available to everyone over an internet connection. The three strikes law seems to apply to file sharing sharing only, not copyright violation in general. Its not even certain there is a copyright violation in this case.

    No, actually it's copyright infringement in both cases. They are exactly the same. The only difference is in the number of infringements.

    What you're saying is that murdering one person is very different from murdering 5 or 6 people. It's not, it's the same, just different numbers.

    The difference here is that you don't need to be found guilty of murder, I can just accuse you of it. Three accusations and you're off to jail.

  • by imidan (559239) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @11:59PM (#35825218)

    I think it's the same kind of problem that prevents most people from getting up in arms about DRM. They just don't make the connection between the physical world and the digital world. For most of us on Slashdot, we see music (or text, or video, or whatever) as just another data stream. We see data as being the same stuff regardless of the delivery medium. Other people see a fundamental difference between, say, an MP3 file and a CD.

    When they have a CD, they have a solid thing in front of them that they can point at and say, 'there's my music'. With music on a computer that they got over the Internet, it's a lot harder to point at a thing. It's scary, because it's one thing to talk about copying a CD and ending up with a big pile of pirated CDs, and it's quite another to talk about copying an MP3, and suddenly there's potentially an infinite number of pirate copies with no obvious physical consequences. There are physical and monetary barriers to making a bazillion copies of a CD, but no boundaries at all to copying an MP3.

    Of course, to us, it doesn't make any difference. We know that the data are the same regardless of media. And it's obvious to us that people like Lee should realize that getting a pirate compilation from her friend is the same thing that a lot of us do on the Internet with music files. But it's absolutely not obvious to her (at least, I assume, from the obvious dissonance between her actions and her words).

    I'm not even trying to take a position pro- or anti- in this case; I'm more interested in Lee having a consistent opinion of music sharing than in what that opinion actually is.

  • by mywhitewolf (1923488) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:07AM (#35825260)

    To the best of my knowledge loaning a legal CD/DVD to someone is not illegal,

    because the big scary MPAA writing saying "unauthorised DISTRIBUTION, copying or selling of copyright protected material is prohibited". so yes, it is illegal. it isn't, however, persecuted very often (ever?).

  • Re:yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GrpA (691294) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:17AM (#35825300)

    I wonder if she even realizes her own hypocrisy? He video will most likely get slashdotted and she'll just see the numbers as support for her position.

    As a long-time supporter for reduction of IP constraints, I get hurt more than most. Soon, my options to publish DRM free material may even be curtailed by such limited political attitudes and understanding.


  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:29AM (#35825364)

    To the best of my knowledge loaning a legal CD/DVD to someone is not illegal,

    because the big scary MPAA writing saying "unauthorised DISTRIBUTION, copying or selling of copyright protected material is prohibited". so yes, it is illegal. it isn't, however, persecuted very often (ever?).

    Keep reading. Somewhere after the above, and probably in small print, you will most likely find something like: except as allowed by law in your jurisdiction. Loaning a CD/DVD to a friend probably falls under fair use and is probably not considered "distribution" in a legal sense. MPAA bluffs and unenforceable terms do not make things illegal.

  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday April 15, 2011 @01:02AM (#35825532)
    Something still doesn't add up. Legally downloaded by who? If she legally downloaded the songs why would she have a friend make a compilation for her instead of doing it herself? I guess maybe if the music service has such a feature. I don't live in New Zealand, but I know eMusic doesn't do that, and I don't think iTunes does either. Could be something else I guess, but it still sounds like back peddling.

    I do like that an elected official who has portion of the fate of her nation in her hands (albeit a small one) isn't bright enough to know how file sharing works....
  • Re:Ah who cares... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Friday April 15, 2011 @01:07AM (#35825556)
    If 90% of the public pirates, then the investment put into creating books, music, software, etc will also be forced to decline, which generally means poorer quality and more bugs.

    Why do you think that? The people doing the actual work at not generally receiving even 10% of the proceeds that their effort generates so why do you think cutting out the middle men will result in lesser quality goods even IF there was a 90% piracy rate?
  • Re:But See... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CodeBuster (516420) on Friday April 15, 2011 @02:35AM (#35825852)

    This is exactly the sort of thing we need to put a stop to! People enjoying music!

    The big music labels already do that quite well enough on their own

  • by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Friday April 15, 2011 @05:51AM (#35826606)

    It doesn't matter if it's legal. Just accuse her three times and she's out. The legality of her actions doesn't matter now.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday April 15, 2011 @05:52AM (#35826614) Homepage

    So she votes to make something illegal that she doesn't even understand?

    I think that sums up the work of your average politician.

    Yep, seems par for the course.

    RIAA representative goes in and gives their version of the P2P story.

    Politician rolls eyes.

    Politician goes to parliament and repeats story.

    Law passed.

    I don't think her understanding is important, none of the people who vote on the law would understand it either. The only problem with the system is that only the RIAA representative gets to tell his side of the story, the people aren't represented.

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday April 15, 2011 @07:50AM (#35827078)

    As has been said since the dawn of internet time, copyright infringement is NOT theft. They are different both in reality and more importantly, in the legal system. You can't use situations describing theft to explain your points regarding copyright infringement.

"Morality is one thing. Ratings are everything." - A Network 23 executive on "Max Headroom"