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“I have no idea what [Netflix] is.” ~ Simon Power (UPDATED)

August 10, 2011


Explaining Netflix to Simon Power
Posted by Clare Curran on August 10th, 2011

Commerce Minister Simon Power drove through the Copyright Bill a few months ago. It gets enacted on 1 September, but as of tomorrow illegal filesharing will count towards penalties. Labour supported it in order to keep the termination clause inactive.

We will be releasing new copyright policy soon.

Today in the House Simon was asked by Gareth Hughes from the Greens and myself what he was doing to promote alternate business models which meant people could download material legally without being pinged by the new copyright law.

Nothing was the answer. Then he was asked about Netflix. What? said Simon. Never heard of it.

Well, he should have, He’s the Minister for goodness sake. He’s clearly not interested in the issues and unconcerned at the consternation by thousands of people out there who are worried they, their children or their organisations (schools, libraries, universities) will become criminals for seeking out online material that just isn’t available legally.

So here’s some info for Simon on Netflix. It’s a video and game streaming service delivered online. It’s got more than 23 million subscribers in the US and Canada.

It’s not available here. But it’s overtaken Bit Torrent in the US for downloads. Bit Torrent is one of the major sites where you go to get content and download it for free (and illegally).

At Netflix you pay. Not much, but you pay (A streaming-only, all-you-can-watch monthly Netflix subscription costs just US$9). And it’s doing really well. It’s a new business model and its taking off. Just the sort of thing we need in NZ.

Why can’t we? Well one reason would be the ignorance and disinterest of this government in how technology is changing the way people do things.

If we were in government we’d be pushing hard to make NZ an attractive place for a business like Netflix. Giving people a real alternative to downloading films and other content illegally for free. Now’s the time to be doing it. But Simon Power didn’t even know it existed.

So much for a forward thinking switched-on government.

Gareth asked a bunch of questions about what the government had done to prepare people for the new copyright law. Nothign much was the gist of the answers. Simon Power #fail

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has launched a new website 3strikes.net.nz to help people and organisations get ready for the new copyright law


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