back to article Kiwis go all black over copyright enforcement laws

Filesharers have deployed the ultimate weapon on the Antipodean front in their global copyright battle with the music and film industries: Twitter*. New Zealand is on the verge of enacting laws to curb illegal filesharing. ISPs will be compelled to introduce policies that could lead to disconnection from the internet for …


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  1. Rob Griggs-Taylor


    I guess you're not on Twitter then?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    What's the Twitter angle?

    Double L....what's the IT angle?

  3. W

    Re: Hmmmm...

    Maybe Chris Wiliams (the author of the piece) isn't but El Reg Hardware is/are:

  4. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Hmmmm...

    Indeed I'm not on it, but I have found it useful in other ways. The hardware site is on it. My point was basically whatever; Twitter and those that choose to use it aren't the problem.

  5. Liam Pennington


    In this post-ideological age where protests seem to be a thing of the past, at the first sign of outrage people reach for Facebook ro Twitter. If the "avatar Black Out" is a sign of how angry people are then it is a modern day sign of protest.

  6. Nic Brough


    I joined Twitter just to see why the press kept rambling about it. Not sure I can be bothered to use it much (although the KDE4 widget thingy is nice). Is that what the bootnote was about?

  7. Anonymous Coward


    Oh Gawd... followed the link to Stephen Fry's website and its....

    "WELCOME, visitor, to the official Stephen Fry website. It has been some time in the making, but at last Version 2.0 is here"

    Is there no end to 20.-isim.

  8. Liam Pennington


    El Reg are ensuring that the anti-Twitter tidalwave starts here!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Denial doesn't change reality

    Twitter is in fact irrelevant. None the less, piracy will continue to be a crime and ISPs and others will be forced to act responsbily or pay the consequences. Virtually all industries have governmental supervision and it's no surprise that ISPs are required to do their part to reduce piracy, seeing as though they profit from providing Net access.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Hmmm Hmmm Hmmmm

    So if the avatar blackout is a new sign of protest how long will it be before several protests are using it at once and you can't tell what any individual Twat (that is the correct noun for a Twitter user isn't it?) is protesting about?

    Seriously though this really is an indicator of how self important the Twitter crowd are, isn't it? They protest only in their own narrow world. How many Twitter users are there? And how many people have net access? Now divide the former by the latter, multiply by a hundred and you have the percentage of netizens who even vaguely give a shit.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Twit ?!?!

    Please forgive an oldie like me but I was brought up to think of a TWIT and being something of a (in today's parlance) twat who generally said little or nothing of any significance, in other words crap.

    I therefore thought that Twitter was for a bunch of twits talking about nothing of any significance - or in today's language a bunch of twats talking crap!

    Anonymous coz I scared of twats, sorry twits!

  12. Anonymous Coward

    @"piracy will continue to be a crime" etc.

    Sigh, I know I shouldn't feed the troll, but...

    Copyright infringement is not a criminal offence (at least not in the UK); it is a civil tort.

    Idiots like you who continue to suggest that it's a crime/theft/piracy will continue to be ignored while you continue talking out of your arse.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a better

    sign of protest would be by having a 'link to copyrighted material twitter hour'. where instead of twattering what they had for breakfast, how disgusted they are by jade goody/the daily mail etc. they all leave a link to there favourite album, film, tv show which is available to stream d/l from an outside site.

    (with brackets saying - 'the user takes no responsibility for what is outside this link and how other users use it' or something to that effect)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Twitter is for Twits

    Heaven forbid that the upset Kiwis actually get off their lazy butts and protest in any effective way, such as show up at their legislator's offices in large numbers and actually protest.

  15. zonky
    Paris Hilton

    The best way to defeat these laws

    is a pre-paid Visa pressie card, ( ) and an off-shore VPS at linode and/or Slicehost.

    Paris, because she knows all about keeping it private.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    It doesn't make much sense unless you include this...

    HI. Nice article. Just one thing to add, the law is not for ISPs to disconnect people who share files illegally, that would be expected and difficult to protest, it is specifically for ISPs to disconnect ANYBODY who uses ANY P2P protocol on the assumption that anybody who does this is illegally filesharing.

    Kiwis are unhappy because the government has now effectively created a law that assumes guilt. Regardless of how many people who actually know that P2P is used to disseminate ISOs of open source software, for example. Basically, the government is putting into effect a law it has now idea what it covers, what it does and how to enforce it except to say, you are guilty by association.

    Does the protest make sense now?

    Unhappy Kiwi.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    the art of the possible

    Ah, the rush of exuberance that accompanies the first manifestation of an idea in a slightly new form. Point naughtism, to coin a phrase. If only we could live to be 200 or 300 years old, we might be more jaded in our evaluation of these new forms. Online romance is simply telegraph romance recurring. Better that we don't, for fear we lose the wonder in every blooming thing.

  18. David

    Any P2P?

    If they cut off any and all P2P users there'll be a lot of very unhappy World of Warcraft players.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    RE: Twitter is for Twits - Public Demonstration

    Public Demonstration

    In Wellington on the steps of Parliament on Thursday 19th at MIDDAY

    El Reg decided not to mention this, or the fact that the blackout is net wide ( websites, not just twitter and social bookmarking ), because, well, they'd rather have a laugh than report usefully.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Smash global capitalism?

    What capitalism? Most people might not realise this, but capitalism has not existed for over a century. What we have today is mainly national socialism, the collaboration of private industry with the state. This copyright nonsense is exactly that, and it forms a necessary part of national socialism. We cant have competition on any level after all. Copyrights are just a monopoly, one enforced by the state.

  21. Anonymous Coward


    Isn't the New Zealand piracy deterrant the rediculously low download caps, excessive charges for exceeding those caps and stupidly slow connection speeds?

    Honestly - it is cheaper and quicker to drive down to the video store, borrow a dvd and copy it than it is to download it anyway!

  22. Anonymous Coward


    let me get this straight, they want to protest a law that effect their internet life and they are doing that be BEING online?

    shouldn't the protest be in the form of a boycott of the internet for a week? If you need to use the internet for work then that is required. But to protest, you will need to turn the internet off at your home for a week. That is the only way to make your disagreement with the law be known. Let online shops and websites complain about the loss of business. This will make the government listen.

    this is the same as people trying to protest the high price that mobile operators charge for SMSs. And starting sending SMSs to everyone arranging for the protest of not sending SMSs for one day. Then, after the protest, start sending SMSs about how successful the protest must have been and discuss the effect of the protest via SMS. Yay, the mobile operators _will_ reduce the price since they don't want another protest to be arranged and discussed ever again.

    complaining without taking action is pointless, when are the young once going to figure this out?

  23. druck Silver badge

    Real Protest

    Fucking twitter? What sort of a protest is that? Get out there on the streets and march, block roads, cause chaos, bring the nation to a halt, before all your rights are taken away. Look at France, do you see them changing their twitter profiles, the fuck you do, viva la revolution.

  24. Anonymous Coward


    Now the twits will twitter about your article, resulting in a unstoppable wankathon which will eventually reach critical mass.

  25. Paul

    as long as they're gonna do other things besides

    I've never bothered to post a pic on the social networking sites I've been a member of - does this mean I have been unwittingly protesting? As far as I was concerned, I just didn't want Zuckerberg to steal my soul.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other services..

    Well if it comes into law in the UK.. we'll loose Iplayer, Skyanytime, 4oD, joost, skype, other telephone services, movie on demand services, Blizzard update services (and hence playing the online games). Even services offered by the hollywood studio's themselves. Thats all before we even delve into the illegal side of things :)

    But hey thats ok, it will make the ISP's happy. And once it's in place then hey... the law can pick and choose when to apply it to whom ever they like :)

    Yes we needs open laws like this... 'Just in case'

    I hope NZ has the sence to do a U turn on this :)

  27. Dave

    @Ponder Stebbins

    Nice to see that another visitor to El Reg doesn't understand satire, even when it has a strong technical basis...

    Fry may not write much about technology, but his credentials for doing so are better than most.

  28. Francis Fish


    Wanksplosion, surely?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Nothing to do with file sharing, legal or otherwise.

    The problem with the legislation coming into effect this month is that it can result in the arbitrary disconnection of anybody repeatedly accused of infringing copyright.

    I could accuse El Reg of infringing copyright by making available comments I had posted. If I were to do this more than twice, The Register would have to be cut off. I do not have to provide evidence, but merely make the accusation.

    In order to try to limit the damage that could clearly be caused by this ill-considered legislation, a Code of Practice has been drafted. This was drafted by representatives of the NZ ISPs, and representatives of the very people most likely to abuse the law, This code of practice means that only the big labels will be able to make a complaint; artists themselves are not only left without the ability to protect themselves, but will likely become victims of the legislation and left without Internet access as well.

    This is why we protest.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    How does the recording industry make ANY money?

    It never ceases to amaze me how the recording industry makes any money at all, because the people running it haven't got a f@cking clue about how their market works. They fail on so many levels it's bewildering.

    At least 95% of my extensive record collection was bought as a direct result of home taping in the '70s and '80s, getting into artists and then buying their albums. In the '70s, the recording industry ran a campaign "home taping is killing music". Had I bowed to their bullying, they would have lost out on thousands of pounds worth of sales to me alone. (Incidentally, the people who do the real work in the industry realised this was bull - the muso's mag International Musician & Recording World parodied the campaign with a series of memorable articles under the title "Home taping is skill in music".)

    As a one time aspiring musician, I can tell the moguls that most musicians learn their craft as skint kids, by covering their favourite musicians of the day. One band member buys an album, the others take a copy and learn their favourite tracks. Eventually, a lucky few of these "thieves" go on to write their own stuff and sell it to the next generation, (probably getting ripped off by the fat cats of the industry on the way). If the industry succeeded in their desire to force these musicians to each buy their own copy, the well of talent would quickly run dry.

    A graph of record sales compared to file-sharing I once saw showed that, at the height of Napster's popularity record sales were also at a peak. As soon as Napster was shut down, sales plummetted. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that file-sharing is FREE advertizing for the industry, yet the dullards at the top are intent on stamping it out.

    In recent years, listening to Pandora prompted me to buy lots of music from artists I would otherwise never have heard of. Since the industry effectively shut down Pandora access from the UK, I haven't bought a single CD. This is partly as a personal boycott of the industry, but largely because these days I just never hear anything that inspires me to get out my wallet.

    As far as I'm concerned, the industry has shot itself in the foot. It's run by a bunch of money-grabbing, ignorant, short-sighted pond-scum who hate music and should have no place in the industry.

    Mines the one with the media player with a rapidly aging collection of mp3s, illegally ripped from bought CDs.

  31. Sarah O'Neill

    Net Neutrality What?

    Another instance of civil rights limitations down under, it seems. There's an interesting article here:

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