An impressive number and range of blogs blacked out this morning.
The protest was noticed by media here and abroad.
But success won’t be based on numbers participating in or noticing the blackout, that will be measured by whether or not the government takes note and acts to ensure the offending guilt by association part of the Copyright Amendment Act does not come into effect.
Soon after John Key became Prime Minister he said he wanted to focus on things which really mattered and, unlike Labour, didn’t want to become distracted and bogged down by sideshows.
Allowing the guilt by association sections in the new Copyright Act to come into effect will do just that.
It will take attention away from the good things the government is doing, it will provide a stick with which the government’s opponents will beat them; it will antagonise supporters and allow what ought to be a relatively minor piece of legislation to become a major distraction.
It will in fact be following Labour’s blueprint for losing their way.
Why would you inflict all that damage on yourself for legislation which was the previous administration’s mistake when you could simply delay the implementation of the two clauses until a fairer and more effective solution to the problem of illegal downloads is devised?
When I started blogging I made my politics clear (I admit to the blue tint in the header and my National Party involvement on the About page).
I did that because I decided not to be anonymous (my name is also on the About page) and having done that thought it was important to be upfront about my bias – though regular readers probably don’t need to be told I’m not trying to be balanced 🙂
I also decided I’d leave criticism of National to others in much the way I might take issue with friends or family when I’m with them but not in front of others; and because there are enough people keen to criticise any party in public without its members joining in.
However, I’m making an exception over the guilt on association copyright law for two reasons.
First because it’s bad law. David Farrar’s guest column at NZCPR explains why and I linked to several blogs which have covered the issue on an earlier post.
Second because it’s really stupid politics.
This is Labour’s mess thanks to then minsiter Judith Tizard. But she’s no longer in parliament and her party has seen the light so if section 92a and 92c are retained the mess and resulting problems will become National’s and the government risks losing far too much of the goodwill and support it’s won if it won’t clear it up.
It doesn’t have to be this way, they can delay the problem bits becoming law when cabinet meets tomorrow.
Failure to do so will exhibit a similar blind refusal to see sense as Labour and its allies exhibited with Electoral Finance Act.
Like Keeping Stock I’m not confident of blacking out this site without killing it completely but I’ll try and if that doesn’t work I’ll certainly be showing that I’m backing the blackout even though I’m blue.
The Electoral Finance Act has gone so the government can turn it’s attention to addressing another threat to freedom of expression – the Guilt by Association law Section 92A.
See more at: goNZofreakpower, MacDoctor, Hand Mirror, Not PC, WhaleOil, Kiwiblog, Juha Saarinen and Russell Brown.