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Pirate Party of New Zealand
|Name (abreviation):||Pirate Party New Zealand (PPNZ)|
|national board vice-chairman:||-|
|chairman of the internal court:||-|
|Members:||~100(as of early 2012)|
|Percentage of women:||??% Percent (18.10.2007)|
|Campaign finance:||0€ (2007)|
|Headquarters:|| - |
|phone:||- or -|
The Pirate Party New Zealand (official abbrevation: PPNZ) is the pirate party of the Republic of New Zealand.
Stood candidates in one by-election and one general election.
Get registered for 2014 general election (500 registered members required).
Reform of Copyright
Copyright Historically Historically, copyright law developed to encourage new creative works. This was originally to protect printers from competition, by preventing others from reprinting books without consent, though the actual creator had few rights at the time. Early judges were concerned about the possible effects of granting a monopoly to the creator and restricting the rights of ordinary consumers, and modern copyright law shows that they were right to be concerned.
The Current Law Presently, just about any copying of material without the consent of the copyright holder is against the law. It doesn't matter whether you're making a copy of a CD to have one in the car and one at home, downloading an old TV series that you have no other access to, or making an image of a game disk so you don't have to insert the disk every time you play, it's all illegal.
If a person makes copies of the latest Hollywood movie and sells them out of the boot of their car as a money-making enterprise, that is a crime. The Pirate Party New Zealand feels that this is exactly what copyright law should target - people making a profit out of someone else's work, without contributing anything themselves.
However, that is as far as the law should go. If a person shares makes a copy of an album for a friend, not for money but simply out of friendship, under the current law, both of these people are liable. We teach children that sharing is a nice thing to do, but apparently if you do share, you'll end up in court.
In fact, if a person copies a DVD they bought legally to make video files to play on their computer without having to swap around DVDs all the time, they are also liable. This person has paid the full retail price, their money will work its way back to the original creator, and yet for some reason they are still liable for what is really ordinary modern use.
Despite this, just about everyone has downloaded music, TV episodes or movies using some peer-to-peer program at some point, whether using Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, Bittorrent, or one of many others. Everyone who has done this has broken the law. With such a substantial part of the population liable because of an ordinary widespread practice, it is clear that the law is entirely out of touch with modern society, and that is a problem.
A Better Alternative Copyright does still have a valid purpose in today's world. By allowing the creator the sole right to profit from their work, it encourages people to create new works, and new movies, music, books and programs make the world a better place. But that is as far as the protection should go - the creator should have a right to profit only. The Pirate Party New Zealand believes that restricting the sale of copyrighted material is a fair balance between the rights of the creator and freedom of information.
However, anything less should be entirely legal - all non-commercial copying and use should be free and unrestricted by the law. Peer-to-peer networks should be encouraged as a way to share culture and knowledge, not discouraged.
More than this, we wish for a ban on technology that restricts the consumers' rights to share. Any kind of DRM fundamentally restricts freedom of information. It should not be lawful for a record company to insist that software be installed before playing a CD on a computer, for a movie company to restrict the number of times a video may be watched, or for a software company to render a person's computer useless because a verification check fails. New Zealand has a history of strong consumer protection legislation, and it is time to take the next step, to protect the modern consumer from modern problems.
Freedom of Internet Access
Notice-and-takedown Under New Zealand law now, a host is required to terminate the Internet access of one of their customers if they receive so much as a suggestion that that person is infringing some copyright. If they do not do so, the host will themselves be liable for copyright infringement. This "notice-and-takedown" procedure was adopted in New Zealand from US law despite evidence that a lot of the time, hosts are removing material that does not infringe copyright, just to protect themselves from lawsuits.
A host is not there to decide whether content is infringing or not - that is the role of the courts. The Pirate Party New Zealand seeks to abolish this misconceived system, and implement a "notice-and-notice" scheme, whereby hosts must pass on the notice, and that is all. This system, first introduced in Canada, has been shown to be a success - the majority of the time, the customer will voluntarily remove the content. This approach balances everyone's interests.
Termination of Internet Access An amendment to the Copyright Act coming into force from February 2009 will require ISPs to terminate the service of so-called "repeat infringers", who are essentially people accused of infringing copyright a few times. ISPs are thus given policing duties, as well as the judicial duties given above. This is far out of proportion to any kind of copyright infringement, as Internet access is an important part of many peoples' lives today, and this will only become more true in the future. It is an educational, social and business tool, and one that all people must be allowed access to.
The Chief Executive of RIANZ, Campbell Smith, has said that it would "impractical and ridiculous" for copyright owners to prove the guilt of a person in court before getting their Internet access terminated. While RIANZ may think that presumption of innocence and due process are outdated concepts (indeed, they stem from the Magna Carta in 1215), the Pirate Party New Zealand does not, and we seek to repeal this law entirely.
Abolition of Censorship
Internet Censorship Australia has recently instituted a mandatory nation-wide Internet filter that blocks out anything the Australian Government decides it wants blocked. In theory, this is just child pornography, positive drug depictions, extreme violence and other such things which are generally accepted as bad, but studies have shown that the filters are overzealous, and block on average 4% of legitimate content. While this may seem like not very much, do we really want to allow any sites to be blocked for no reason other than a filter was confused. In addition, it reduces the speed of Internet access by up to as much as 80%.
The Internet is the main source of information for a lot of people today. If the government is given the power to block websites "for our own good", what is stopping them from blocking websites critical of the government, on the idea that they cause "civil unrest" or something equally as subjective?
Australia is supposed to be a modern democracy, but with these arbitrary restrictions of freedom of expression, it is looking more of an authoritarian police state. As with many things, it seems likely that New Zealand will eventually follow in the footsteps of our Australian neighbours. We want to ensure that that never happens.
The Pirate Party New Zealand is firmly committed to ensuring the Internet is free from censorship.
Media Censorship In New Zealand, censorship of media is controlled by the Office of Film and Literature Classification. The OFLC has the task of rating all media that is available in New Zealand before it is sold. The Pirate Party New Zealand has no problem with this task of the OFLC, as by having media rated before being sold, it allows consumers to know more about the product. Consumer knowledge is a critical part to an efficient economy.
What is problematic is that the OFLC may "refuse classification" of anything given to them to classify. When they do this, it becomes illegal to buy, sell, or even possess the item - this is the primary way media is banned in New Zealand. The OFLC has refused classification of books, films and even more recently games, on the idea that they are "protecting us".
The Pirate Party New Zealand believes that all people have an inherent right to have access to all media, and that banning any books, films or games is a violation of individuals' liberty. A person should be able to decide for themselves what they wish to read, watch or play.