February 16, 2009

New Zealanders start 'blackout' protest

Per Creative Freedom Foundation and New Zealand's National Business Review, some New Zealanders will spend the next week protesting a law that would cut off Internet connections for people, organizations and schools who are accused of copyright infringement.

"Laws regulating the act of copying have failed to keep pace with technology and soon ISPs will be forced to take down internet connections and websites of anyone accused (not convicted) of copyright infringement," Creative Freedom's Web site stated. The Web site has put together the protest, asking people to use a black box as their photos on their Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other Internet sites.

On the other side of the issue, New Zealand's NBR stated, "A protest campaign against the Copyright Amendment (New Technologies) Act is catching on like wildfire as followers black-out their photos on Facebook and other social networking sites. But the protest is based on a wilfully-hysterical [SIC] interpretation of the vaguely-worded law."

Twitter-ers have joined the protest, using the #blackout hashtag. Nearly 500 tweets with #blackout had been posted by 1 a.m. Monday.

The standard message is:

@Linnorah: is blacked out: Stand up against "Guilt Upon Accusation" for New Zealand http://creativefreedom.org.nz/blackout.html #blackout

Several Twitter-ers are commenting on what the protest means to them.

@maupuia (Wellington, New Zealand): wondering if I can blackout the #blackout ... kinda over the constant retweeting of #blackout (tho not the sentiment behind)

@yezzer (Brighton, UK): wondering whether joining the #blackout will accomplish anything http://www.geekzone.co.nz/juha/6247

@etnobofin (Montpellier, France): My blog is now blacked out: http://is.gd/jFkj (expand) A protest against crazy new copyright legislation in New Zealand #blackout

@kiwibastard (Timaru, New Zealand): Right that's me - turning in at a reasonable hour for a change. Hope this #blackout thing can make a difference

@whereisab: disgusted by the #blackout http://is.gd/jDbJ

@nickmccabe (Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand): #Blackout ... Support is EVERYTHING!

@ibeardslee (Wellington): Seven Samurai .. even a bunch of strangers can make a difference .. #blackout

@majicDave (Wellington, NZ): #blackout keeps gaining momentum. Thanks @antairgames and all non-NZ supporters. Lets nip it in the bud now, before other countries follow.

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