Kiwi Anti-Piracy World Leaders
New Zealand’s government this week enacted laws to establish a three strikes and your out regime for illegal file downloading. The Copyright Infringing - File Sharing, P2P – Bill was introduced on Feb 23 2010 and passed this week with a final set of amendments. Seems the kiwis now have the most comprehensive anti-piracy regime in the world, this will surely end with honest people getting caught in what can only be described as a fly paper of a system.
There is no due process and the levels of evidence required by a court are inadequate by any stretch of any imagination. If the music or movie companies make a complaint about what you are downloading you are sent a letter and a strike. Three strikes and it’s off to Judge Judy court – copyright tribunal - to pay your fine – $15,000 penalty – or you may have your internet cancelled for 6 months. Even better is only the person on the bill is liable, so the days of your children dowloading unsupervised or flat-mates using your internet connection may be over. This is very little recourse if a mistake is made, the tribunal is not a court of law, an appeal can be made but it is made to the tribunal being complained about. If your wi-fi gets hacked and you get three strikes who do you think will lose their internet, it will not the hacker. The number of these kinds of incidents will climb now as people find new ways to work around these new laws.
If all of this seems a little over the top Commerce Minister Simon Power commented “online copyright infringement has been damaging for the creative industry” and went on to threaten “that if his law does not work in two years he will introduce a tougher regime”. The music and film industries have a good friend in Simon Power, he has given them a regime that allows them to be judge, jury and executioner but without any checks and balances. That isn’t the only choice quote coming out of the New Zealand at the moment, MP Jonathan Young, who compared the internet to Skynet and goes on to say “brings order to the chaos that surrounds the globe.”
And does this mean the government is saying they are all clean, MP Melissa Lee’s tweet about listening to a mix album of pirate music sent to her by a friend keeps things interesting. I hope they have all cleaned house before September 1 when the laws come in to effect. Maybe since the content owners get to decide who is prosecuted the politicians don’t have anything to worry about.
As a political strategy it will be ineffectual, technology has already adapted with encrypted torrent feeds hiding the contents of your download, so even prying eyes can’t tell if it’s pirate content.
Of great concern is the fact that content owners have convinced everyone that matters – kiwi politicians – that piracy equals lost sales. Even without piracy the way people buy content is changing, the traditional sales aren’t falling because of piracy, unless the big content companies adapt and change strategy all the laws in the world won’t save them.
Buddha’s Brother out…
We’re not sure if you noticed – on March 9 and 10 2011, the interweb seemed to slow, considerably – turns out it wasn’t your cap kicking in. Google has released a statement accusing China of hacking it’s popular webmail app Gmail. Theories are floating around the web that China is attempting to curtail a ‘Jasmine Revolution” by censoring internet communication.
“Relating to Google there is no issue on our side. We have checked extensively. This is a Chinese Government blockage carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail” Matt Cutts of Google
This announcement follows a blog posting from Google on 11 March in which the Google said it had “noticed some highly targeted and apparently politically motivated attacks against our users. We believe activists may have been a specific target”
China presently blocks most social media including, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. There is speculation that the China’s Politburo has once again diverted the entire internet, effectively downloading the entire Gmail site to one of it’s Supercomputers for review.
The Moon, the Sea and the Paper Tree
Afternoon Opening 3-5pm Saturday March 19
Exhibition runs March 15 – April 2 2011
Image: Catherine Campbell
Faith in Wordless Knowledge
Pen, Ink and Watercolour on paper
42cm x 32cm, 2011
A Photographers Dream and a Nurses Nightmare
March 19 will be a good day for photographers and astronomers. The moon will be the biggest, fullest it has been for 18 years. This point of the moons orbit – where it is closest to Earth – is known as the Lunar Perigee. While this is common, this closeness happens every 9 years, it doesn’t often coincide with a full moon. As long as there is a clear sky in your neighbourhood get ready for a big moon. Even with binoculars or a good zoom lens on your camera you will be able to see incredible detail.
A combination of effects have aligned to put this show on for us all. The elliptical orbit of the moon – it’s sometimes called our Eccentric Companion – along with Earths elliptical orbit and the gravitational effects of the sun mean the moon will be 30,000km closer to earth than usual – normally it’s 354,000km from earth. This combined with the full moon makes this a show worth checking out. “It’s only every few years that a full moon happens to coincide with the part of the Moon’s orbit when its closest to the Earth,” said Marek Kukula, an astronomer at the UK’s Royal Observatory.
The effect will be most obvious when the moon is near the horizon, either setting or coming up. “When it’s close to the horizon, our brain interprets it as being bigger than it actually is, this is called the moon illusion,” Dr Kukula said. These will be the best times to get photo’s, if we’re really lucky and the atmosphere is just right you may also get a red color to the moon – caused when the moon is near the horizon and the atmosphere filters much of the blue light out.
The effects of this event should be limited to larger than normal high / low tides, and a large amount of nerds standing by the side of the road looking at the sky. Look out no running us nerds over people.
The night of the lunatic. If you thought things got hyperactive on a normal full moon wait till March 19, 2011 when we have the largest full moon for 18 years. There are many anecdotal reports from emergency room doctors and police that people do go off on full moon and this will be the fullest moon in years.
Some people link the lunar perigee with disasters, like earthquakes. Ever since people started regularly observing the moons behaviour thousands of years ago we also started attributing disasters to these events. These connections are still made to this day. With regard to the lunar perigee being responsible for earth quakes Dr Victor Gostin, Planetary and Environmental Geoscientist at Adelaide University says “This is because the Earth-tides (analogous to ocean tides) may be the final trigger that sets off the earthquake,”. Still this doesn’t mean this event will outright cause an Earth quake but if one has built up – and would happen eventually without the Lunar Perigee anyway - it could be triggered by the extra forces – gravity.
There is no scientific evidence that connects the moons perigee events – passing this close to earth – with earth quakes and storms, It is easy to see how powerful anecdotal evidence assumed during these events though, I see something in the sky, Moon’s is bigger than normal or a comet and connect that with the things happening around us. Astronomer and lecturer, David Reneke said, “If you want you can just link all the natural disasters that occur with what has been seen in the night sky – a comet, planets, the sun”, he was being ironic.
The moon is actually slowly moving away from earth and will eventually slip from earths grip. Earth’s gravity isn’t strong enough on it’s own to hold the moon. If we had two moons they could act on each other and there would be no drift off but that’s a big ask.
Now it’s time to stake out a location, get the Thermos of coffee ready and get snapping. Watch out for the odd stray lunatic and have a good night watching our Eccentric Companion up close.
Buddha’s Brother out…