Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government The Almighty Buck United States Politics

US Offered To Draft NZ 3-Strikes Law, Fund Copyright Initiative 204

Posted by timothy
from the we-were-just-in-the-neighborhood dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks has just posted hundreds of cables from US personnel in New Zealand that reveal regular government lobbying on copyright, offers to draft New Zealand three-strikes-and-you're-out legislation, and a recommendation to spend over NZ$500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative. The funding raises the question of whether New Zealand is aware that local enforcement initiatives, including raids and court cases, have been funded by the US government."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Offered To Draft NZ 3-Strikes Law, Fund Copyright Initiative

Comments Filter:
  • See ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @09:33AM (#35990266) Homepage Journal
    I told before that, if you allow private interests take helm in one country, they spread their filth EVERYwhere. see there's the proof.
    • Re:See ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cpghost (719344) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @09:49AM (#35990332) Homepage
      The US Government is the best government (RIAA-)money can buy. Nothing new here...
      • Re:See ? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @11:40AM (#35990904) Journal

        The US Government is the best government (RIAA-)money can buy. Nothing new here...

        Never forget that there are many tech/financial/multi-national companies that could buy the American record & movie industries outright with their spare cash.

        Never stop asking "why can such a relatively small industry punch so far above its weight?"

        • Re:See ? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by jpapon (1877296) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @11:51AM (#35990972) Journal
          You can't really measure the size of the movie industry by just looking at the size of the big Hollywood studios. First of all, they hide all their profits, so who knows how much money they REALLY make. Secondly, even if you bought a studio, you wouldn't get the people who actually MAKE the movies, ie actors and directors. Finally, their industry pulls so much weight because of the influence they have over the minds of people all over the world. If the government pisses off Apple, nothing of consequence is lost. However, if a politician pisses off a major studio, the studio could start producing movies/tv shows which bash the hell out of said politician, and millions of people would see it. It's just like bashing a newspaper, except that the studios can call it fiction and avoid defamation suits.

          The studios wield power because they control what the general population sees, and to a large extent, thinks. They also have done a fantastic job of Americanizing the world.

        • Re:See ? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Luckyo (1726890) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @01:43PM (#35991744)

          Most people seem to miss the reason why this will NEVER be allowed and nipped in the bud.

          Entertainment is the best, most functional propaganda arm of both capitalist system, and "american way". Abroad it has successfully advertised US system as working and US itself as a desirable. At the same time at home keeps US population itself pacified when its right are being trampled.

          Do not underestimate the power of projected crowd control that entertainment industry is generating. For that reason alone, both government and current powerful interests will make sure key companies in entertainment industry will always remain in hands of those who will use them for their interests.

          • There is no american value cabal secretly controlling media. Most media is advertising supported, the ads they contain influence both the viewer and the content they are carried in. There are specifically and openly designed to influence behavior directly. They also openly pay the people who decide what news stories get more or less attention and how those stories are spun. There is no need for conspiracy, american values primarily relate to consumerism in their influence world wide. The primary purpose
            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              You mix up "content creators" and "media".

              Error on scale of mixing "strategy" and "tactics".

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        It is new, that the New Zealand government will sell out it's own citizens interests, to suit US corporate interests. Punishing whole New Zealand families because of insatiable US corporate greed. Now that is new and really pathetically lame. New Zealand has surrender innocent until proven guilty for it's in fact going so far as guilt upon accusation and even what looks like another countries government, one for sale to the highest bidder, to write New Zealander's laws for them against New Zealander's inte

    • I wouldn't exactly call it proof. The actions are perfectly consistent with a country whose economy is significantly supported by exporting intellectual property. If that were the case, then this move would be in the best interests of the US population.

      • by unity100 (970058)
        oh yes - you just rationalized and justified it - a government interfering with DEMOCRATIC PROCESS and the right of self determination of people, in another country, because private interests ask it.
    • by rhook (943951)

      It is worse than that, this is a blatant violation of national sovereignty.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If I'd heard anyone claim that the US is literally (offering to) writing other countries' IP laws, I'd tell them to remove their tinfoil hats. If these leaked memos are accurate, I guess I was being very naive thinking that.

    • The intense government lobbying for tougher copyright laws is not new, just the specific revelations ("We'll even write your laws for you!")

    • If I'd heard anyone claim that the US is literally (offering to) writing other countries' IP laws, I'd tell them to remove their tinfoil hats.

      It isn't "the US" per se, it's US government being used to enforce the mafiAA's agenda. This sort of corruption is rampant and it's every US taxpayer's burden. We desperately need to take back our government from the large, corporate interests which are systematically bleeding all the wealth from this country.

      If these leaked memos are accurate, I guess I was being ve

  • The first way of course being sending in military and bombing the place.
    The second way is of course this, spreading their greedy imperialism to all countries - or as the Borg would say ASSIMILATE

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:27AM (#35990508)

      It's amazing, really. Not only did they insist that the NZ government keep ACTA a secret [keionline.org] from its people (all attendee's people, actually)

      But they stepped in to assist in re-drafting the bill [wikileaks.ch] to make it more palatable & passable, for NZ legislators

      and instructed the government to implement a new security force [wikileaks.ch] to enforce it, even offering to assist in its initial funding. All that's missing is an offer to have American troops enforce the law for them.

      • by AHuxley (892839)
        But from the US end its win win win :)
        NZ is made safe as a consumer of US export quality media, the US gov can offer 'aid' to NZ. US security contractors know how to thank the US political system as NZ requests flow.
        Nothing really new in a classic US trade deal. Whats in it for NZ legislators :)
  • by jonwil (467024) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:07AM (#35990396)

    Glad I am not a kiwi...
    Oh wait, this kind of crap is probably going on here in Australia just as much as it is across the pond.

    The real trick is to vote for people who DON'T support the ever increasing power of big content companies. And unlike the USA, here in Australia such people actually stand a chance of getting elected (and in fact a number of such people are currently in parliament, including the Australian Greens)

    No idea whether such parties or politicians exist in New Zealand but if they do, vote for someone that isn't going to bow down before SONY or Warner or News Corp or Disney.

    • by lul_wat (1623489)
      In NZ we currently have 7 parties in parliment. Unfortunately the party in power is the pro-business National Party and their supply party (to make a majority) ACT which is Big Businesses wet-dream party. They would sell their own grandmother.

      Roll on the November election.
      • by AK Marc (707885)
        So, where's the pirate party?
    • by Nerdfest (867930)
      It's going on in Canada as well.
  • I'm from New Zealand (Score:5, Informative)

    by lul_wat (1623489) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:07AM (#35990398)
    We recently had a 3-strikes law rushed through parliment by the current government (which is a gross mis-use of power).

    I'd like to share this video which demonstrates the level of understanding our MP's have

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJdPkrpFXBM [youtube.com]
    • New Zealand didn't make that Freedom on the Net report. Neither did France, another forerunner in 3-strikes.

    • by daktari (1983452)

      That video is rather annoying to watch. What does Miss South Carolina have to do with this? It also doesn't seem fair to take snippets of speeches and mix 'em up like that. Why not link to the original speeches? They're much scarier!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfGYfg37aUA [youtube.com]

  • Democracy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by symes (835608) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:15AM (#35990448) Journal

    This might be interpreted as a serious attempt to undermine New Zealand's democratic processes by a foreign power. While I think people should be expected to pay for what they use, my feelings are that it is a broken business model that encourages most people to download and that this incessant criminisation of mostly young internet users can only lead to alienation and profound long-term problems. The creative minds that produce the output should be perhaps given more room to develop novel ways to distribute output rather than leaving everything to a bunch of accountants and lawyers who are just nasty.

    • Re:Democracy (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) * on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:58AM (#35990656) Homepage Journal

      While I think people should be expected to pay for what they use

      I don't. I don't expect you to pay for the most important thing in your life -- air. I don't expect you to pay for the rain that waters your grass (although I expect people who dirty them to pay for cleanup). I don't expect you to pay for sunshine. I don't expect you to pay for Linux or BSD. I don't expect you to pay for the free music from the radio, nor do I think you're obligated to listen to the commercials. And you have the (still legal in most places) right to be able to record that radio. I don't expect you to pay for over the air TV (yes, I know Brits pay). I don't expect you to pay to read a library book, or a newspaper McDonald's sets out for customers to read.

      I have dozens of books that I'd would never have bought had I not previously read the author's other books for free at the library.

      I don't expect you to pay for 90% of the music that's recorded; indies who WANT you to share their music. The indies have the correct business model -- give the music away and sell CDs, tickets, T-shirts, etc.

      A book publisher recently discovered that piracy sells books! It takes a few weeks for a newly published book to hit the internet, so he commissioned a study to find out how much the piracy was hurting sales. He was amazed when the results came back -- rather than the expected drop in sales, there was a sales spike.

      Who was it that said "letting you light your candle from my flame costs me nothing and doubles the light"?

      IMO file sharing should be legal; it should be illegal for me to sell you a pirate copy, but not to give you one.

      Our money-obsessed, money-worshiping society is sick.

      • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Informative)

        by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @11:06AM (#35990702)
        Actually, in some places, you *are* expected to pay for that rain. It's not even that uncommon for states to sell exclusive rainwater collection rights to a water company, granting them and them alone the right to rainfall within a specified catchment area. If you live in one, then it is indeed an offense for you to collect your own rain and water your garden with it. You're expected to pay for it from the tap, like a good consumer should.
        • by xMrFishx (1956084) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @11:35AM (#35990876)
          What, seriously? Good god...I presume this is somewhere in America right? No other sane country would ever do anything like that, I hope...
          • by jpapon (1877296)
            That's rather harsh. Besides, if I were to guess, I would say it would be somewhere with high population density and difficult access to fresh water, where rain collection is/was a big source of potable water. Like, say, Venice.
          • Re:Democracy (Score:4, Informative)

            by SteveTheNewbie (1171139) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @12:15PM (#35991086)

            Bolivia is one such incident [wikipedia.org]. It was put in place by the world bank who demanded as part of a loan to get them back on their feet they privatise the water system and used to charge people up to 1/4 of their income on water. It was illegal to collect rainwater.

            Not the first time the world bank has royally screwed up a country [wikipedia.org]. Just ask Jamaica [assatashakur.org] how that's working out for them..

            Sorry for the wikipedia links, I'm sure people can find other examples, consider these starters.

          • Re:Democracy (Score:5, Informative)

            by baKanale (830108) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @12:39PM (#35991222)
            The state of Colorado [wikipedia.org] (along with some other western states) forbids collection of rainwater without a permit. While this seems insane to those of us from areas with frequent rain, this is largely due to the general scarcity of water in these areas and the system of allocating water rights [wikipedia.org] due to this fact. Water is such a contentious issue that the state of Wyoming took Colorado to the Supreme Court [wikipedia.org] over Colorado's plans to divert the Laramie River, which they claimed was a violation of their water rights, and Arizona and California [wikipedia.org] have gone to court nine times over the last 80-odd years to determine Arizona's cut of the water from the Colorado River.
          • Actually a San Francisco company owns the water rights to a parched town in Bolivia. Including rain water collection rights. This is no joke. The people had to fight their own police force to change the situation (which they eventually did). The US does good things (the government is a very generous aid donor), but also very bad things (the corporations) overseas. It talks about "Free Trade" when it wants to, but then uses all sorts of subsidies for its own farmers. Disclaimer - I'm from New Zealand - I lik
            • by Phrogman (80473)

              US Foreign Policy is not about promoting the US political system to the rest of the world - its about promoting the US Economy (i.e. US Corporations) in foreign countries so as to benefit the rich and powerful. Otherwise the US would promote democracy in foreign countries, instead of favouring Dictators in most foreign nations. Otherwise they wouldn't mess with foreign countries' democratic process, but let it run its course whatever the results. The US is only apparently a democracy internally, externally

            • by Minix (15971)
              A large proportion of US Aid takes the form of tied loans for the purchase of military equipment. I guess if the arms were used to liberate the oppressed (q.v. Shaw's Major Barbara [wikipedia.org]) that could be considered aid, but I am pretty sure this isn't the usual practice.
        • by quenda (644621)

          an offense for you to collect your own rain and water your garden with it.

          Please tell me you are talking about damming a creek on your farm, not collecting runoff from the house gutters.

          • Nope. The exclusive grant is for all rain that falls. If you intercept the rain at any point, you are in violation.
      • Well, here's the ugly truth. People DO pay for Linux and BSD. Most contributions are from paid programmers working for companies. Those companies (like Redhat, IBM, Novell, Oracle) make money by selling support. You might think they're different things - they're not. The music from the radio is NOT free. Someone has to pay for it in one way or another. If you don't pay to listen, you get adverts. Yes, indies make money other ways, but how should radio stations make their money? You DO pay to read library
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Paying for support for Linux is not paying for Linux any more than paying for support for Windows is paying for Windows.

          Just because somebody's paid for the music (and decades ago radio didn't pay for music, the labels would pay THEM to play it, and the practice was illegal) doesn't mean it's not free. If someone buys me a beer at the bar, that's a free beer. And I don't get adverts; there's a row of buttons on the radio that I press when a commercial starts. But radio's business model still seems sound. Th

      • by symes (835608)

        Our money-obsessed, money-worshiping society is sick.

        Just wondering - what do you think would make a good alternative? That next time I want to fill up my car with gas that I take a sheep into the station? The people who create goods should expect to feed their families, this isn't the result of a "money-obsessed, money-worshiping society". Many many people improve our lives by donating their time for free, for sure. But at the end of the day, everyone needs to eat and if people see others enjoying their hard work and at the same time are unable to sustain th

        • by Livius (318358)

          I think it was the 'worshipping' part that was the objection.

        • by lennier (44736)

          The people who create goods should expect to feed their families, this isn't the result of a "money-obsessed, money-worshiping society".

          No, actually, the people who have families should expect to feed their families, just because they're human beings and are already doing a productive and difficult job: bringing new humans into the world and educating them. So they should get a family-raising allowance from the productive labour of others just because they're helping the human race.

          And in fact, the productive labour should really be done by robots, rather than people, because that's more efficient. And once it is, it will be obvious that th

      • I don't. I don't expect you to pay for the most important thing in your life -- air. I don't expect you to pay for the rain that waters your grass (although I expect people who dirty them to pay for cleanup). I don't expect you to pay for sunshine. I don't expect you to pay for Linux or BSD. I don't expect you to pay for the free music from the radio, nor do I think you're obligated to listen to the commercials. And you have the (still legal in most places) right to be able to record that radio. I don't exp

        • by lennier (44736)

          Perhaps something along the lines of:

          I think people should be expected to pay for things that they use that other people work to provide for them, and for which they expect payment in return.

          But why should such an expectation exist in the first place?

          Hello! I expect you to pay me five hundred dollars for passing this alley! Because, uh, I got up at 5am in the morning and walked a hundred miles to come and sit here and ask all passers-by to pay me five hundred dollars!

          What? Just because I expect you to pay, and because I worked hard to get in a position to ask you to pay, and blistered my feet doing all this work, you don't feel obligated to pay me?

          That, sir, is an outrage!

          • by Kalriath (849904)

            That's not even a tangentially related analogy. More like "Hello, I expect you to pay me $5 for walking through this alley, because I built it. That said, that guy over there is letting people walk through his alley for free."

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          File sharing should be legal because the "nobody will pay for what they can get free" is a lie perpetuated by the RIAA. Every study not funded by them has shown that music file sharers spend more on music than non-sharers. The incredibly expensive Photoshop probably owes most of its market share to piracy; dirt-poor college students pirate it, then wind up paying for a legal copy when they become gainfully employed.

          I don't know how many sucessful artists have benefitted from "free", but I can point to two o

      • by lennier (44736)

        Who was it that said "letting you light your candle from my flame costs me nothing and doubles the light"?

        A dirty thieving light-pirate, that's who.

  • Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaMattster (977781) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:33AM (#35990534)
    There are citizens suffering here in the states from unemployment and inept government that hasn't been able to turn the country around. The ineptness is both democrat and republican alike. The government is under a budget crunch and we are spending money in New Zealand over something so stupid as copyright law when research to show that major media companies were losing money over piracy. This whole thing makes me sick. Perhaps, the U.S. is now going to meet the same fate as Rome. Be ready for the dark ages.
    • The concept here is also to bolster US law - by successfully lobbying in other countries to pass such stuff, they can then turn back to the US officials saying, "see all the other countries are doing it!" and then persuade them to to the same at home. Similar to MS stacking the cards for ISO certification.

    • Um, the US is offering to foot the bill.

      Also, be careful using that logic. You could use it to argue that school education is a frivolous luxury at this time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 01, 2011 @10:37AM (#35990546)

    I'm a New Zealander and the lobbying from the US isn't a recent issue, in fact it has been regularly reported in the mainstream press for as long as I can remember and not only for copyright reasons. I think the worst part is that the US diplomats have at times threatened us with economically damaging measures for not playing ball (NZ does export a lot to the US and being a small country makes us vulnerable to change). I feel that we've actually done an OK job of pushing back in the past, but the US is both patient and happy to keep trying until it finds an administration that gives it favour, as has happened here.

    To be honest I think that Australia is worse off from this sort of lobbying though. They haven't had an anti-nuclear past and this has led them to 'enjoy' a closer relationship with the US than we have(!)

  • The population of New Zealand is 4.5 million - half that of New York City.
    Isn't the media industries worry over this much ado over, seriously, nothing?
    • by lennier (44736)

      The population of New Zealand is 4.5 million - half that of New York City.
      Isn't the media industries worry over this much ado over, seriously, nothing?

      Actually it's more of an unexpected party for the media industry. They've heard that there's a bit of a dragon's hoard down south and they're looking for a burglar to help them get it. They expect to deal with a few trolls and the odd elf, that's normal in this industry, but it's shaping up to be more of a battle of five armies than they counted on.

  • by w0mprat (1317953) on Sunday May 01, 2011 @04:17PM (#35992604)
    I'm a Kiwi. In spain they were made aware by Wikileaks, of the equivelent diplomatic cables BEFORE the legislation was passed, naturally the 3-strikes law was thrown out.

    Could have let us known sooner, thank you. It would have been terrifically useful in getting this thing stopped.

    No surprises the 3-strikes law seems to be popping up in many countries with open diplomatic channels to the US. In some cases (ie the British equivelent) the language in the law is word-for-word identical.

    This makes me very concerned.
    • by lennier (44736)

      No surprises the 3-strikes law seems to be popping up in many countries with open diplomatic channels to the US. In some cases (ie the British equivelent) the language in the law is word-for-word identical.

      Yes, that's hardly cricket. If it were truly British it would be called the Leg Before Wicket, Bowled For A Six At Silly Mid Off law.

  • This is what you're looking at should the Conservatives manage to win a majority today.

The Tao doesn't take sides; it gives birth to both wins and losses. The Guru doesn't take sides; she welcomes both hackers and lusers.

Working...