So through my Twitter account today (specifically as I’m following Stephen Fry) I found out about this new law coming into effect in New Zealand. Essentially, if an Internet user is accused 3 times of copyright infringement (note the word “accused” not “found guilty of”), their ISP is obliged to sever their Internet connection. Obviously there’s a lot of issues brought up be this – copyright and filesharing in general, NZ’s relationship with the US and whether this is a reaction to international pressures, but those are discussions for other places and times. The issue here is assumption of guilt and enforcing punishment based on accusation, not on trial. It’s an outrage. The “blackout” campaign has been started to raise awareness of the travesty. All it involves is changing your avatars etc. to a completely black image until the law comes into force on 23rd of Feb. Of course, the NZ government aren’t going to repeal any laws because of a few black avatars, but the more people who know this is going on, the better.
Further to my modern web experimentation, I took the step to join Digg, the social bookmarking site. I don’t use non-social bookmarking so I’ve never seen the point before, but a lot of the sites I visit have a “Digg This” button so I’ll give it a go.