Movie industry wants the right to take your house off the net without full judicial review

The motion-picture industry has spoken out against a New Zealand proposal to allow them to disconnect entire households from the Internet if one member is accused of copyright infringement; they want to be able to disconnect your Internet connection without giving you a chance to defend yourself in front of a judge because that would be "time consuming." Instead, they would like to be lord high executioner for your network connection, with the power to shut you out of the benefits of the network (freedom of speech, assembly and the press; access to school, health, family, work and government) without having to prove it in a real court of law.

The motion picture industry has become one of the gravest threats to modern democracy. I've given up on hoping that they'll see the light. Now I just hope they'll go bankrupt before they can bring on a new dark age, all in the name of preserving the future of fifth-rate sequels to Z-rate adaptations of schlocky comic books.

FACT director Tony Eaton says that his organization doesn't have a problem with judicial process - as long as it's on their terms.

"The concern is that we send out 1000 infringement notices, and then someone says, `The way to stall this is let's all go to arbitration', and a year later we could still be going through that same process," Eaton said.

"Do we get to the point where we have 1000 cases to be heard by the Copyright Tribunal? If everyone brings their lawyer, we will only do five in a day," he added.

By anyone's measurement, even given the lack of accuracy inherent in some anti-piracy evidence, 100% error rate and 100% appeals is a little pessimistic to say the least and to suggest everyone would bring a lawyer is absurd - the cost would be hugely prohibitive. Nevertheless, Mr Eaton said he would prefer to be able to present evidence in bulk to the tribunal - in search of corresponding disconnections in bulk, no doubt.

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