Chris Barton: Copyright not about criminalising kids

Chris Barton writing in today’s New Zealand Herald slams the section 92a provisions of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act as ” one of the most stupid, unjust pieces of legislation this country has ever seen”.

An excerpt:

“…what our politicians should really be looking at is whether passing laws like this is an appropriate means of promoting copyright. When there is such widespread thumbing of the nose at copyright via the internet, isn’t it perhaps time to ask whether there may be another way to deal with the problem?

“Isn’t it time to say banging a square peg into a round hole doesn’t work? That branding our children thieves because they’re using a global mechanism to share information in exactly the way it was intended is counterproductive?

“What’s really required is a radical rethink of internet copyright, the deregulation of amateur and non-commercial creativity and probably some form of collective licensing to enable sharing economies to function in way that allows artists to be rewarded.

“What we also need are politicians to make just laws for the people, not legislation that shows they are captured by vested interests.”

Barton was responding to an opinion piece by Campbell Smith, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.