NZ Leaks Reveal Skepticism of IP Law Push

A recent tip to Boing Boing from Michael Geist reveals some new leaks related from the New Zealand government about their skepticism of international copyright laws being pushed by a certain country. Specifically, the leaked documents reveal the NZ government’s doubts about the U.S.’s push to change the level of protection the country affords "technical protection measures" (TPMs, DRM, or digital locks).

The U.S. wants NZ to make jailbreaking illegal. Interestingly enough, while the U.S. pushes for new jailbreaking rules in other countries around the world, at home the U.S. copyright office recently suspended the restriction on jailbreaking iPhones for three years..

New Zealand is one of several countries that are involved in negotiations for a new regional trade deal. The U.S. wants part of that deal to include strong intellectual property rules. NZ is critical of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Internet treaties and attempts to limit flexibility on digital locks. It is also opposed to establishing international standards for anti-circumvention legislation.

Geist details the attitudes of the NZ government as revealed by these leaked documents here. It’s worth reading.

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  1. 0
    Mr.Tastix says:

    Meh, jailbreaking shouldn’t be illegal in the first place. It’s your hardware, you should be entitled to do what you like with it. Will it still be covered under warranty? No, but that’s the only "punishment" that you should ever get.

    Companies claim they disapprove of jailbreaking (or installing any form of custom firmware in general) because it allows people to gain access to features not normally available, or it allows them to install normally protected products.

    For example, look at custom firmware for the Nintendo DS. Measures to circumvent this were made for the DSi to prevent people from using cracked games (ROMs), but not everyone used custom firmware for that purpose, they used it because there was a lot of neat and handy homebrew applications.

    Downloading warez is illegal, but you don’t see Microsoft preventing the user from using uTorrent and other similar applications on their operating systems. Apple doesn’t prevent this either. They could even block the use of web browsers, RapidShare has plenty of warez on its servers.

    It’s may be your creation, but it’s my product once I’ve paid for it. You don’t have to support my "jailbreaking" endeavours, but I shouldn’t be jailed because I mess with my own damn hardware.

    — Randi Tastix

  2. 0
    Neeneko says:

    I am tempted to repeat my rant… but I guess a short response… this is another good example of stuff that probably would have seen the light of day if not for the massive dump.  Traditional reporting is great at getting secrets that lots of people care about out, but it isn’t so good when it comes to niche stuff like this.   Few people are going to risk thier job to leak classified (or even unclassified) documents to Boing Boing, and NYT is generally not going to bother with a story like this.  Only through citizen access to raw data does stuff like this get confirmation.

    (edited to add – actually, I might be wrong here… it is not clear where this specific leak came from)

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