A Clare case of political gall

March 24, 2009

Gotta give the Curran gal marks for gall.

Clare Curran, Labour’s spokesperson on Communications and IT, might have kept quiet about the reversing of decisions made when the Clark Gang was running the show.

But not only did she issue a media statement to welcome the Key Government’s decision to intervene on section 92A of the Copyright Act.
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Prepare to do battle again

February 24, 2009

Good questions have been raised by Adam Smith 1922 at The Inquiring Mind about the S92A copyright issue, both before and after Commerce Minister Simon Power sounded feeble and unconvincing when grilled on Morning Report today.

Power’s performance had an apoplectic Alf choking on his black pudding, bacon and eggs and wondering what the bugger is doing in the Key Cabinet.

As Adam put it –

Power could not or would not effectively respond to Plunket on why if this was a bad law, National did not drop it and write a better law. He took refuge in ‘the industry was close to a Code of Practice‘ gambit. Plunket pointed out that did not make a bad law a good one.
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Internet protest is over

February 23, 2009

Score one for the black-out brigade, the NBR trumpeted: The government is to delay implementation of the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies Act) due to come into force February 28.

Personally, Alf reckons the PM buckled because the member for Eketahuna North was resolved not to leave the Eketahuna Club (where he had ensconsed himself) until the right decision was made.

Where Alf hunkered down to battle bad legislation.

Where Alf hunkered down to battle bad legislation.

It seems that decision has been made, and Alf is back at work.

The NBR says –

Prime Minister John Key announced at a post-cabinet press conference this afternoon that implementation of the controversial clause of the copyright legislation is to be delayed until March 27.

“We are hoping that by that time we will have come up with a voluntary code of practice,” Mr Key said.

If no agreement is reached, Section 92A will be suspended.

The business newspaper recalled that on January 21, a spokesman for Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson’s office told it “a last minute stall won’t happen”. The minister wanted to see how the act would work in practice before considering any tweaks.

Obviously, The Boss had other ideas.

Politically smarter ones.


Solidarity against copyright shame

February 23, 2009

Alf on strike? Well, sort of. He is joining the blackout along with most (if not all) NZ bloggers in a nation-wide protest against guilt-by-association provisions in the new Copyright Act. True-blue National supporters like BustedBlonde and Homepaddock have joined them.

As is argued at Homepaddock, allowing this shabby slab of law to take effect from the end of this month –

will take attention away from the good things the government is doing, it will provide a stick with which the government’s opponents will beat them; it will antagonise supporters and allow what ought to be a relatively minor piece of legislation to become a major distraction.

It will in fact be following Labour’s blueprint for losing their way.

Why would you inflict all that damage on yourself for legislation which was the previous administration’s mistake when you could simply delay the implementation of the two clauses until a fairer and more effective solution to the problem of illegal downloads is devised?

Similarly, BB says of the Nats and the absence of a coherent response from them on this issue –

Its the only wrong step we have seen them make. That makes us grumpy. So today we will post nothing. See u Tuesday

Ditto, says Alf. He can be heard singing “Solidarity For Ever” if you drop into the Eketahuna Club today.


Perplexing stuff about copyright

February 20, 2009

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.
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