US probably drafted New Zealand anti-piracy law

According to a Wikileaks posting, it seems that the US government helped the New Zealand government draw up its controversial three-strikes law.

The US government would be unable to get a three strikes law in its own country thanks to a constitution that sometimes prevents it shafting its citizen’s rights to prop up a failing indusry business model.

However, the cables show that rather than export the more enlightened aspects of its culture, it is prepared to encourage other nations to develop tyranny to keep its movie mongols in their Olympic-sized swimming pools.

It seems the US government offered to draft New Zealand’s “three-strikes and you’re out” legislation, and was prepared to spend $500,000 to fund a recording industry-backed IP enforcement initiative in Godzone.

All this happened in 2008 and the US was actively lobbying several cabinet members. A February 2008 cable notes: Apparently the US was worried about shortfalls in the draft legislation and dashed off notes to Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard , Trade Minister Phil Goff and to officials within the Ministry of Economic Development, the agency primarily responsible for drafting legislation and monitoring IP enforcement.

They did not succeed particularly well. The New Zealand law allowed for circumvention for non-infringing purposes such as changing formats, which was something that Big Content did not want. However the American government though that punishing the Kiwis by sticking it on the Special 301 list of people who annoy Big Content would be counter-productive.

The cable makes the startling claim that Fair Use provisions which are used in the US were not appropriate for other countries. Apparently, only US citizens are big enough, and grown up enough to use them.

The cables say that fair use exceptions to copyright protection would send the wrong message to consumers and undermine efforts to curb unauthorized copying of CDs in New Zealand.

The US was also leaning on the New Zealanders to bring in a three strikes rule. The Labour government abandoned the plan due to public opposition.

But the US was anxious to bring the provisions back, proposing regular talks with government officials, and offers to help drafting new provisions.

We guess it was waiting for a “regime change” which happened when the conservative National government were elected to power. The National Party has toadying up to America enshrined :in its constitution and immediately did what it was told.

It seems that the US offer to redraft the law was accepted, as the law is exactly what Big Content has always wanted, and New Zealand ended its decades long fight against becoming the another State of the US.