The following is a complete re-post from my friend Willis , who has explained this much better than I could have:
Guilt Upon Accusation: Would You Lose Your Connection?
In popular culture, New Zealand is known as the place where the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed or the home of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords.
Anyone who knows anything about rugby knows the best rugby in the world is played by the New Zealand national team, the All Blacks. (So named because their uniforms are all black.)
In fact, all black with a silver fern is the symbol known world wide perhaps better than the NZ flag (often confused with the more quady Australian flag.)
But on Monday, all black will be associated with a protest going on in New Zealand. The protest has to do with an idea that could have a chilling effect on internet users everywhere.
A New Zealand law, called the Guilt Upon Accusation or S92a, is set to go into effect this week. This part of a new copyright law would require internet service providers to disconnect any one accused of copyright violation.
Anyone accused of file sharing, sampling or misuse of copyrighted images will be disconnected from the internet. No investigation. No trial. No conviction. ISPs will be required to reveal user identity of the accused. No warrant or checking on the validity of the claim.
The Creative Freedom Foundation has organized petition drives and a march on Parliament. So websites and blogs are going dark all over New Zealand on Monday as part of the protest. Others around the world are changing avatars and profile pics to a black square.
This law is a ham handed attempt by media companies to scare internet users. The population of New Zealand is easily dwarfed by many an individual city in many parts of the world. It’s not about the number of people involved. It’s about the rights being taken without due process. New Zealand is a stable democracy. We should be concerned with what happens there.
This blog will not go off line on Monday. (I couldn’t get it back the last time I did that.) But I will be changing profile pics. Perhaps you’ll join me.
I am joining Willis. Tomorrow my site will not be "down", I'm not sure exactly what I can do, but I won't be "here", things will be different, and hopefully, someone will take notice. Thanks, and if you can join, that would be great too.