Wikileaks: America will foot the bill for record company enforcement in NZ if NZ will let America write its laws

Michael Geist sez, "Wikileaks has just posted hundreds of cables from U.S. personnel in New Zealand that reveal regular government lobbying on copyright, offers to draft New Zealand three-strikes and you're out legislation, and a recommendation to spend over NZ$500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative.

For example, an April 2005 cable reveals the U.S. willingness to pay over NZ$500,000 (US$386,000) to fund a recording industry enforcement initiative. The project was backed by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Performance metrics include:"

The project's performance will be judged by specific milestones, including increases in the number of enforcement operations and seizures, with percentages or numerical targets re-set annually. The unit also will be measured by the number of reports it submits to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) on its contributions to IP protection and enforcement methodology.

The proposed budget included four salaried positions, legal costs for investigation and prosecution, and training programs. The RIANZ still runs an anti-piracy site, but does not include disclosure about the source of funding. It certainly raises the question of whether New Zealand is aware that local enforcement initiatives have been funded by the U.S. government

Wikileaks on New Zealand Copyright: US Funds IP Enforcement, Offers to Draft Legislation


  1. Yeah, this is too bad… It makes you wonder what other countries have had their laws bankrolled by the U.S.? This is a new type of underhanded diplomacy. Another means of economic coercion.

  2. This is not good news for the recording industry. New Zealanders have a deep-seated resentment for the USA’s efforts to impose its dictates on them and keep them in the dark- remember that NZ all but broke off diplomatic relations when the USA wanted to send nuclear-armed navy vessels to NZ. Visiting US recording industry execs and diplomatic ‘cultural attaches’ seeking to push this issue in NZ will be about as welcome as melanomas.

  3. Kiwi’s are too unaware that this is NOT a New Zealand issue, other than that our democracy is being trampled by the US (using who knows what leverage) on intellectual property, in EXACTLY the same way as others.

    Research ACTA.

    See for example:

    Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand – democracies all falling almost exactly into line with the wishes of the US. Why? Why is THIS issue so important that there is this massive global effort going on, mostly in secret? And how are those running the show managing to be so successful?

    Intellectual Property Law is about our rights to our very Thoughts and Ideas should we decide to share them with anyone. Of all the issues that MUST be driven locally, and democratically, this is one of the most important in principal.

    Is it about slowly gaining control over the intertubes? Will people eventually be disconnected for accessing stuff (like leaked US diplomatic cables) from Wikileaks because all such content is Copyright by the USA Govt.

  4. Who exactly is driving this – some subgroup of the State Department? Seems like a prime candidate for budget cuts.

  5. OK, is this what is being considered transparency? Regardless….ick. Seriously, as an American passport holder, who the f do we think we are? Pomo colonialism anybody?

  6. Well, let’s recall that the current NZ government went about changing the country’s labour laws in order to facilitate Hollywood’s demands regarding work “The Hobbit.” That deep-seated resentment is pretty much moot these days.

  7. Are there any numbers on how big a slice of US exports are related to copyrighted material? I can think of no other logical reason then export profits for this kind of massive political wrangling going on. And if that is not it, i really do worry about the sanity of the US government…

    1. It is a cheap place for the US to test-drive copyright laws (that powerful interests want here) out away from the scrutiny of the citizens in America. It provides the opportunity to gauge public reaction and also formulate ways to fight inevitable backlash against ridiculous legislation. Then, after a few years when corporate interests slam the same type of legislation through in America, they will have the knowledge under their belt to make it really seamless and brutally effective. This has nothing to do with sanity and everything to do with people and organizations that are making moves for their future interests. This shit is chess, not checkers.

      1. This could have been true, if they did not try to force basically the same laws everywhere. These guys are not scientists, they are not trying, failing, correcting and trying again. If they fail they grab a bigger club and continues hammering the square peg into the round hole. And right now USA foreign policy may be the biggest club on the planet.

        1. This is an argument that comes from too many people. Claiming that the powerful people that pull these strings are somehow stupid just does not sit well with me. It, in a way, offers an excuse for the way that They conduct themselves. I have always felt that these feelings were spawned out of fear. It does make sense to call a force that is as dangerous as the world’s elite stupid because it is easier to think of them that way. It gives people the illusion that if the smartypants forces of good keep battling, there will be justice one day and the stupid, dummy-head tyrants will fall. I wish that I was still that idealistic. I have realized that we are all part of a doomed race that is led by the most destructive, greedy, mother fuckers the world has ever seen. Most of the world’s species have evolved to be fantastic at very specific things. The human species has perfected, and will continue to hone its skills as a destructive parasitic force until there is nothing left to destroy and consume. Then what’s next you ask? Copyright law in space…

  8. Nothing more than people grubbing for money that they have no right to. Control everything and you control the money. Why work when you don’t have to? It’s much easier to draft laws that funnel money into your account. Meanwhile, most of us work our tails off for what amounts to a pittance and an existence just this side of meager. I play by the rules at all times. I purchase all my music and movies, etc etc ad nauseum. But this does not mean that I will never run afoul of their rules, because they simply keep drafting more and more, wrapping everything tighter and tighter until we will finally have to pay for the very air we breathe. Yes, I can see where this is heading, but I possess enough intelligence not to mention it here.

  9. Last time I checked you can pretty much pirate anything. Does that count as an EPIC FAIL for these losers? I’d say yes.

    Go on US Govt. Flush your taxpayer’s cash down the tubez. War on drugs 2.0 anyone? Crack-heads won the war on drugs and now the teenager is winning the war on piracy.

    PS: What happened to all the gasbags who loved to claim that WL didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know?


      We are watching you, World. Ask how high when we say jump.

  10. Is bribing foreign officials still illegal if the US government does the bribing instead of US companies, and if the bribe is to a government organization or hiring a business instead of giving money to decision makers personally? Or does that make it all Just Fine?

    Back in the 1980s when I was working for a government contractor, we usually weren’t even allowed to buy doughnuts for US government employees (though coffee was allowed, and we could usually have doughnuts if there was a basket for them to pay for the ones they ate.) And buying their department a shiny new espresso machine with our logo on it could have gotten somebody sent to jail.

  11. HELP!
    Just received an email:

    “Thank you for your recent email regarding the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act which became law last week. You are invited to provide input into the development of the regulations to ensure the Act is implemented effectively. The discussion document can be downloaded from the Ministry of Economic Development website, or use the link at the bottom of the Ministers media statement below.

    Commerce Minister Simon Power today released a discussion document on the content of regulations in the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act, which became law last week.

    The Act puts into place the three-notice regime to deter illegal file sharing which will come into force on 1 September.

    The discussion document seeks input into regulations on:

    · Requirements for information that copyright owners send to ISPs under the new notice regime.
    · Form and content of notices.
    · The fee an ISP may charge a copyright owner for performing its functions under the bill.
    · The method by which the copyright tribunal will calculate awards for copyright infringement.

    Mr Power said there had been a thorough and constructive process on the regime from beginning to end, starting in March 2009.

    “That process included the formation of a working group, stakeholder meetings, a public discussion document, and a full select committee process which considered submissions.

    “The process for public input into the legislation has been comprehensive, and it’s now important that interested parties provide input into the formation of regulations so we can ensure the Act is implemented effectively.

    “I invite all interested parties to provide input into the development of the regulations.”

    The discussion document can be downloaded here Submissions close on 27 May. ”

    SO, my question for you BoingBoing people out there: Is there any way to impliment this bill that makes it fair, and safe for the people of New Zealand?

  12. TO me it looks like the US and NZ Govts are squaring everything up for that juicy trade deal – I feel that they want to make NZ a cosy environment for US capitalism to move into.
    They also want to change NZ patenting law to open more things up (everything?) for patenting – cue entrance of ‘psychopathic’ corporate machines – pharmaceutical company monopoly anyone? Take note of how much your prescription costs now folks.

  13. We’re evil for doing it, but why are presumably logical people listening to us? Especially for the pittance ($$) they offer.

  14. I’m usually a fairly thoughtful and eloquent Kiwi (yes, there are a few of us). But on this occasion, the lyrics of Mr. Zack de la Rocha spring to mind:

    “Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,
    Fuck you I won’t do what you tell me,

    Most folk here in NZ don’t like being dictated to, ‘specially by Yanks. I shall be writing to my elected representatives. See if I don’t!

  15. I heard on the radio the other day that the NZ minister, who is the supporter of the new copyright law, tweeted that she enjoyed listening to a mixtape that her friend compiled for her. She didn’t even know it is illegal to share music under this law and she was defending her action as if legal. lol

Comments are closed.