Perplexing stuff about copyright

Okay, maybe Clare Curran deserves more respect than Alf gave her when she criticised the Nats’ for scrapping the Government Shared Network (GSN).

Yesterday she showed admirable grit by trying to stymie the most controversial of changes to our copyright laws.

She was rebuffed (sad to say) by the Nats.

Alf is bemused about his government. Refusing to budge on a matter notoriously championed by Labour’s dippy Judith Tizard – and by nobody much else, so far as Alf can see – is the stuff of farce.

Obviously the Nats haven’t been listening to the howls of protest being channelled through news media, the blogosphere and – at noon yesterday – in the grounds of Parliament when some 120 protesters handed over an e-petition.

They reminded politicians willing to listen that S92A will force ISPs to disconnect customers who have allegedly infringed copyright.

Then, we learn –

In a further development, the opposition communications and information technology spokesperson, Clare Curran, sought leave in parliament to introduce a Bill to amend the Copyright Act to ensure that a workable code of practice was in place before the contentious Section 92A comes into force. The code would have to be approved by the relevant minister as well.

Presently, Section 92A looks set to come into effect on 28 February, but the ISP and telco industry organisation Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF) doesn’t yet have a code of practice ready for its members, as rights holders have rejected parts of the draft version, relating to the need for evidence that’ll hold up in court and cost recovery for providers

Kiwiblog gave Alf his first whiff of what was going on, citing an NZPA report that Curran had drafted a member’s bill. Effectively it would reverse Labour’s support for the notorious S92A.

This now has S92A opposed by Labour, ACT, Greens, United Future and presumably Progressive.

The ball is firmly with the Government now.

But bugger me, while Alf was fortifying himself in Bellamys, the Government dropped it.

The blunder is recorded on Scoop.
It features a proposed members’ bill by Curran in response to protests against Section 92A of the Copyright Act.

An attempt to introduce the bill was made in Parliament today, which was blocked by the Government.

Curran isn’t deterred and will submit her Bill as a Private Member’s submission.

She has given an account of what she has done at The Standard.

Just for everyones information, heres what I introduced (unsuccessfully) in the House today and heres my release. Labour takes the copyright issue very seriously and is listening and wanting to be constructive:

Despite official advice on the importance of finding a solution to the copyright issue, the National Government today missed an opportunity to take steps in that direction when it refused leave for an Amendment Bill to the Copyright Act to be introduced.

Alf is perplexed.

He always will be, when Labour is doing the decent thing but his beloved Nats (so far) are not.

Anything with Judith Tizard’s fingerprints all over it – he advises fellow Nats – should be sent the same way as she was, out into the cold.

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