web analytics

Clare Curran on s92(a)

Written By: - Date published: 10:40 am, February 20th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: interweb - Tags:

Yesterday, Labour’s communications and IT spokesperson, Clare Curran, sought Parliament’s leave to introduce a Bill to attempt to fix s92(a), the ‘guilt by accusation’ provision in the Copyright Act that is about to come into force. Any MP can deny leave and National did so. Following that, and her comment on the blog yesterday, we asked Curran to write a guest post on the issue. Here it is:


I think you can say two important things about Labour’s approach this week to the vexed copyright issue. The first is that we’ve acknowledged that there are significant issues with the controversial Section 92A coming into force next week with no workable code in place. I guess that’s about listening and taking it a bit on the chin. The second is that we are trying to be constructive about a solution, even if it’s a short term one. I hope the National Government is also listening. They voted for Section 92A last year so the onus is now on them, as the Government, to act.

I should say up front that the whole Copyright issue and how it is handled in New Zealand does need a rethink. But that’s not very helpful when there’s a law about to come into force with the major stakeholders still at odds on how it will be implemented.

I should also say up front that Labour is firmly committed to upholding the principles of protection of copyright while not placing an onerous burden on internet service providers. Labour also recognises the complexities of protecting copyright in a fast changing digital age where much of our creative and innovative work is performed on the internet. So where does that leave us?

It may be that we need an independent body to adjudicate on alleged breaches of copyright.

As an ex-journalist, I care passionately about the ownership of intellectual property and the ability of artists and professionals to make a living from their work. As a former public relations professional and active user of the internet I also care passionately about access to information and the ability of creativity to flourish online. It’s a balance of private and public property rights. The evolution of the internet and digital media has introduced new difficulties in enforcing copyright, and challenges to the philosophical basis of the concept.

I always try to take it back to the basic values that underpin any concept or law. I believe they are people’s rights, fairness in upholding those rights, respect and flexibility. And there’s another ingredient which is about evolution. The development of new technologies. And recognising that while things change, some things remain constant.

I think there has to be more work done on our Copyright Laws. I don’t have all the answers. I’ve only had the communications and IT shadow portfolio a few months. But we are listening and our intentions are constructive.

The Creative Freedom Foundation has mounted a fast moving, 21st century campaign that demonstrates the power of the online world to be inclusive and mobilise. I’d also like to recognise the important work of the Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF) in its attempts to broker a working code to implement Section 92A. Keep at it guys.

Clare Curran

17 comments on “Clare Curran on s92(a) ”

  1. Mike Collins 1

    Good on you Clare. Good to see you taking a stand. Disappointed to see National so out of step on this issue. Yes, many parties made a mistake in voting this in, in the first place. Most have now changed their thinking (which isn’t a bad thing – shows they are listening).

  2. Tigger 2

    Wonder if Key or English would be pleased if their teenagers fell foul of this law…teens are downloading whores as we all know.

  3. lprent 3

    Or your neighbour if you’re daft enough to have an open WiFi. I still see a lot of these, but less than previously.

  4. dave 4

    Well done Clare. But why didnt Labor think about this BEFORE the bill was passed, instead of adding it back in after the select committee took it out. You could have written something on why Labour buckled to a select few lobbyists.

  5. lprent 5

    dave: And on the same note – why did the Nats vote for the bill with that clause on its third reading?

    Of course it was complicated because of the election – which is why I didn’t notice the reinsertion after select committee.

    Basically this just looks like a cockup from start to finish… The rest of the Act looks fine. I understand that a lot of negotiation went in on this clause. However it was largely between only a few of the interested parties.

  6. Don 6

    I have posted a comment responding to Clare’s previous entry at this site here:

    Copyright protest pics

    I think that in this guest post is great and shows a good understanding of the issues and concerns that many IT copyright holders have about S92. I’d like to express my thanks once again.

    I think there is an opportunity for both the major parties to agree to change the law. I know it is tempting to to paint one another as the ‘bad guys’ but from conversations I have had I also know that people in *both* parties have had serious concerns about the Copyright reforms that went into law last year. It would be nice to see more cross bench co-operation on resolving this issue.

  7. dave 7

    Of course it was complicated because of the election

    Oh yeah, blame the election – that had nothing to do with passing decent law. Parliament is elected to pass decent and workable laws – not to be reelected.

    The negotiation *was* only between a few interested parties, Labour cocked up, the minor parties other than Greens didnt know what was going on and Labour wasn’t talking to the Greens. In the end Labour cocked it up. Now it is trying to fix the law. If Labour had any balls it would have introduced an SOP in exactly the same form as Currans bill. It didn’t because it was too focused on digging up the dirt on JK in Aussie.

    Now lprent is trying to say the election was a factor.Oh puhleeease!

  8. frog 8

    Clare, you still fail to address the vexing issue of being denied a service based solely on accusations. Guilty until proven innocent is just plain bad, whether we are talking about copyright or any other legal matter.

  9. Don 9

    What frog says is absolutely correct.

    At the risk of sounding even more tedious than I normally am I will quote from my previous comment:

    “Your proposed amendment does not go far enough. S92 in its entirety needs revisiting. The idea that the law can be made good through the simple expediency of a Ministerial approved CoP is a red herring that once again switches the onus onto ISPs to produce something that complies with bad law.”

  10. lprent 10

    dave: Apparently this stuff got back into the bill after the select committee. I’d thought that the clause had died there. Turned out that it’d passed while I was occupied with the election.

    Post-election …. Apparently there has been discussion going on between the main parties (telcos/ISP’s and RIANZ etc) about what the code of conduct should be. The rights holders have walked away from that (ie RIANZ). That has left it as each individual ISP doing it and no way of getting any ability to question assertions of rights of accusers.

    It isn’t particularly party political as is shown by virtually every blog site of all persuasions are hammering it. The RIANZ’s stupid actions have just broadened it into the wider sphere. It is more in the order of the ongoing argument about digital vs analogue

    Essentially I think what I always did – the clause should be dropped.

  11. lprent 11

    Rob the Geek (there are too many robs around..) has a good roundup post on s92a. Good place to dig info out for those wanting to catch up….

  12. Jseph 12

    RIANZ should have no say. They’re fools stuck with an agenda that depends on a failing business model, which sister version in the United States has been busily filling up their courts with people who have done very little harm.

    The RIANZ are only representing their own interests. Where are all the other artists, the indepedent musicians, the writers, the people who create rather than the people who take earnings from the people that create. And, the largest interested party, the people, because Parliment sure doesn’t seem to be representing their overwhelming views.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 day ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
    The Government is investing in the development of a new forecasting tool that makes full use of innovative climate modelling to help farmers and growers prepare for dry conditions, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor said.  The new approach, which will cost $200,000 and is being jointly funded through the Ministry for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago