But not quite. This piece of publication beggars belief. Campbell Smith: Anti-piracy law a reasonable way to protect artists' rights.
Its about the copyright protection act that was passed into law here last year and the subject of the international Internet Blackout campaign a couple of weeks ago that saw the most egregious section 92a delayed and possibly aborted. (and if you think I'm in a nasty mood about it, I pale into meekness compared with Colin Jackson's fulmination from last year which is STILL current.)
From a journalistic integrity perspective it fails on these counts
It does not reveal until the end of the piece that Mr Campbell has a vested interest as chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand..
It does not make it obvious that his piece is an opinion with a partisan perspective but instead they carry it under "Technology" as if it is a news piece ABOUT his statement, with all the journalistic caveats that would then be in place
It claims to represent "Music makers" when it is clear that many artists do not support his position (See Creative Freedom)
It does not reveal that section 92a is deeply contested, impossible to implement justly, hated by the ISPs especially
It does not reveal that the proposed code of practise was full of holes and ridiculously easy to circumvent
It does not, above all, reveal that the section has been delayed by the Government, handed to the ISP's and copyright holders to sort out and, if they can't reach an agreement may be abandoned entirely rendering the whole piece of legislation moot.
Not acceptable journalistic standards. But then they also let him get away with the following
Some people have suggested the new law would mean people keeping tabs on what internet sites people visit or monitoring people's email. That is not true.
Correct, it doesn't.
Others suggest that under the draft code of conduct designed to implement the law people will be summarily thrown off the internet for downloading a couple of unlicensed files. That is also not true.
Correct, straw man.
What would happen is simple. Right holders could log on to public file-sharing sites, just as anyone can, and note which IP addresses are being used to upload pre-release music or films or large amounts of copyright-infringing material.
Wrong, its not the uploading that is being targeted, it is the DOWNLOADING.
They would then prepare evidence,
Which will not be reviewed by any competent judicial authority, this is where it starts to go bad.
complete with details of the names of the copyrighted files being uploaded, exact timestamps and the protocol used, and send it to the relevant ISP. They would never see the personal details of the person behind that IP address.
The problem is that a PERSION will be disconnected, not an IP address, and the ISP is neither competwent nor authroised to decide whether the actual file is illegally owned by the downloader, nor are there any mechanisms in place to do that.
The ISP would then contact its user and warn them that they were breaking the law, advise them not to do it again and provide details of where to enjoy music legally online.
If the user kept breaking the law the ISP could close the internet account.
See? Simple. Well of course its simple, as stated, it breaches practically every aspect of natural justice and you can get simple as long as you are prepared to abridge anyone's rights.
Nowhere, BTW, does he mention that this is a protracted process to which the "offender" has any right to object or contest or be heard, although they do. Nor that the ISP again would have to weigh the contesting claims and determine (as in legally deteremine) who was right; no wonder they hate it.
In fact the contention is enough to abort the whole process anyway.
Even his own statement makes it clear that the ISP has to act as the judge and jury and enforcer of the law, roles for which they are not suited, prepared or entitled in this country.
None of that apparently matters to these guys. But it matters to a lot of other people, people who have raised a ruckus and stalled the law. ain't going to happen this way buster, which is why it is so bizarre that the Herald should run the piece at all.