Friday, May 01, 2009

New Zealand rips it up, starts again

Probably brought about in part by the recent failure of attempts to implement a three-strikes style law, the New Zealand government is going to completely overhaul copyright law.

From scratch. Not trying to bend a law designed for paper and plastic into a digital age.

It's a wise approach to the problem of how you can make 200 year-old laws fit in a world that could never have been predicted, and a lot of countries could do worse than follow New Zealand's lead.

The worry, though, is the risk of merely remaking copyright law from scratch without having an open and honest debate about what the law should be for is simply going to create a law that is much more effective at doing all the wrong things. And given the party which is pushing this new legislation, that has to be all too likely.