We joined those other websites to protest against the New Zealand Copyright Act S92a, which comes in effect 28th February 2009 and allows ISPs to cut Internet services to any user accused of downloading copyrighted material.
Note that this is not the same as fair course of justice. ISPs are required disconnect the service from users that are repeatedly accused of infringing copyright without any trial.
While I support copyright, I am not capable of supporting a law that denies the accused side any form of defense.
You can read more background information here here, and here.
I was told by the CEO of a large New Zealand-based ISP that costs to make its company compliant with this new law was already running around $500,000. This is to create the required infrastructure to deal with incoming copyright infringement notices, investigation, etc.
You can imagine smaller ISPs will not have this kind of money around so in such cases I expect a very quick disconnection procedure, so they can avoid any costs.
This is not good for New Zealand development. Many small and medium business will be affected by this law due to the required policies to be put in place, plus the cost of monitoring, warning, etc.
I recently joined a manifestation by the Parliament steps, where MP Peter Dunne received a petition against this draconian law. I've posted pictures on Flickr.
Other related posts:
Xbox One at TechEd New Zealand 2013
Yahoo! suggesting to copy your data somewhere else. Where?
Great Geekzone event, wish we could do more of these with other tech companies
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