Friday 20 February 2009

Guilt on Accusation

How would you feel if your ISP suddenly pulled the plug on you? Instantly you would be virtually cut off from the rest of the world. Just because someone accused you of infringing their copyright, whether it was true or not.

According to The Creative Freedom Foundation, this is what can be expected if a proposed new copyright law of Guilt on Accusation is put into force in New Zealand at the end of this month. Section 92A of the Copyright Amendment Act will force ISPs to act. And the Foundation believes this sounds the death knell for blogging.

Various protests have been taking place in the country, and now the Foundation is calling for a blog blackout throughout next Monday, Feb 23rd. This means removing your blogs or simply posting blacked out squares for the day.

I’d certainly be taking part in this if I were a New Zealander, but as I’m not, I haven’t decided yet what, if anything, I’m going to do. I don’t condone anyone stealing anyone else’s work, have been a victim of this in the past and would willingly have erased everything in the perpetrator’s domain. But doing it without investigating or allowing the accused to refute the claim or speak in their own defence seems to me to be asking for trouble. If you have a grudge against someone, all you have to do is report that you actually wrote something first, or took that particular photo, and bingo – they’re in muckloads of trouble.

I’m being told that this affects all of us although it will be a New Zealand law. I’m not sure how that will work, or whether NZ will have powers over ISP’s from other countries. I’d love someone to actually explain it to me.


Jena Isle said...

As they say " A person is innocent until proven guilty." I agree with you. The due process of law should first be reinforced before someone is blocked off or his blog blacked out. It is just like giving judgment already that the person is indeed guilty. There will always be two sides to a coin, so both should be considered first before any action is taken.

Happy blog hopping .

Unknown said...

Exactly, Jena. And for anyone whose income depends on their site, it would be a nightmare to be denied access to their livelihood without justification.

zorlone said...

I agree with both of you (Jena and Jakill). What about due process? So, someone can start accusing bloggers/writers and the alleged perpetrator found guilty. That is just sad.
But why did they (NZ) make this kind of proposal? Do you think there are a lot of plagiarizers there for them to impose such strict laws?
How about selective restrictions? Can they just block that particular site (if ever proven) where the blogger posted his copied material?
Oh, well, if it will be instituted by the end of the month, there's no point in ranting about it, would it?

tashabud said...

He Jean,
I'm appalled. I'm with you and the others. I hate to lose everything that I've written and worked hard for just from accusations, without due process.


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