Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Failure of Government

I'm not sure I put across my utter outrage of what has been nick named the "skynet" bill.

I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with this but the "Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill" was passed under urgency. The session it was debated during was put aside for Christchurch related quake legislation.

I'm not entirely sure what illegal file sharing has to do with Christchurch and the quake but there you go. A huge underhanded sneaking through of a bill that definitely needed some debating. For the most part, the Internet community are livid by this.

I previously attacked Labour for their stance here. In fact, the numbers were 111 for, 11 against (we have 122 members of Parliament?!?). The Greens and Hone Harawira being the only ones to vote against it. At the very least Labour should have been objecting the underhanded "sneak it through" way that it was done.

As for the law itself? It's yet another attempt to protect an industry which has used technology to try and limit your access to their material rather than add value. This is all very much... buttons to me.

Rather than making it easier and more convenient for their customers to enjoy their content and thus not feel the need to illegally download their content, they have continually sought out ways of making it more difficult. Region coding DVD's for example when no such measure existed with video tapes. Although I have to say, the measures taken on video tapes (Macrovision), was annoying as all hell as well.

I had a friend who paid for and downloaded a song three times in an attempt to get it onto his mp3 player legally. DRM was preventing him from moving the song to this mp3 player. In the end he illegally downloaded it because he had, after all, paid for it.

Did the politicians even know what it was they were voting for? Melissa Lee had tweeted that a friend had made her a compilation of "K Pop" (A Korean pop group) music a scant 24 hours before strongly arguing for this bill.

I propose we make up an award - the "Golden Peg Leg". We chop off a leg of those who have taken from the struggling rights holders (in most cases, a recording label) and replace it with a golden peg leg.

And this isn't too far from the truth. It seems the government have failed us. They have struck a huge blow to democracy and it's starting to sound a little less extreme taking direct action. Personally, I'm in favour of marching down town demanding our right to be the only ones to make buttons.

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