Judith, what are you thinking?
Via Boingboing, more soon...
New Zealand to get the DMCA?
New Zealand MP Judith Tizard has sponsored an amendment to New Zealand's Copyright Act. The new copyright proposal mirrors the US DMCA and the EUCD in that it criminalizes removing DRM, even if you do so for a lawful purpose. This has been an unmitigated disaster in the US: not only has it totally failed to keep copyrighted works from being copied without permission (every "copy-protected" work ever released is available on P2P networks within minutes of its release), it has also created an anti-competitive marketplace where companies can sue their competitors for making compatible products. Not to mention the devastating effects on user rights, and the chilling effect on legitimate security research.
The US had an excuse: when it passed the DMCA in 1998, no one else had tried this and seen how bad it was (though it wasn't hard to predict). But here we are, eight years into the DMCA trainwreck -- what possible excuse can New Zealand have for adopting this failed US policy initiative? Why would you want to import another country's disaster? Link (Thanks, Brett!)
Update: Ben sez, "It would be great if you could post contact information for MP Judith Tizard so people know who to contact to fight this. Her ministerial web page is here, and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org Suprisingly for a politician, Judith is an eminently sensible woman (my sister was her press secretary for a few years), but as 'Associate Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage', she has the Labels in her ear, so we need to give her a different side of the story."