Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Zealand uses death and destruction to rush through file sharing laws

A couple of years back, you'll recall people on Twitter turning their avatars black to protest against heavy-handed laws targeting New Zealand file sharers.

That was a success - the planned clause was toned down and paused.

Now, though, the law is back in front of the New Zealand House, with a still-overwrought punishment regime. This time, people who the copyright industry feel have infringed them will be banned from the internet for six months.

What's particularly shameful about this is that there's been no debate of the proposals for months, and the bill is being rushed through a House which is stretching itself to rush through legislation required for the clear-up of the Christchurch earthquake.

Now, there are some pretty mean stunts pulled by the copyright lobby, but using the pressing need to help after a natural disaster which killed dozens as a slipstream to speed unpopular copyright laws through is possibly a new low. I guess what's a bit of reconstruction compared with the chance to properly protect the works of Black River Drive, eh?

[Thanks to @zaichishka

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