guilt by accusation

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Peter, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Did you think our law was based on innocent until proven guilty? Not any
    more. At least, not if the accuser is an American corporate.

    In NZ, we have the Megaupload saga, where people have been imprisoned,
    assets and funds seized and business wrecked, all before anyone is found
    guilty of anything.

    And in USA, JotForm.com was taken offline, shutdown without warning or
    reason.
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/jotform-domain-seizure/
    JotForm is now back on line, but it and its customers must have suffered
    much inconvenience and loss with this little exercise. It certainly will
    have advantaged JotForm's competitors.

    In the UK, RnBXclusive.com has been taken down, and visitors to the site
    warned that they could face up to 10 years imprisonment.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-17039722

    This appears to be developing as a way of wiping out potential commercial
    competition. Just accuse them of copyright infringement, and get some over
    enthusiastic (but ignorant) government department to take your competition
    out. It doesn't matter whether they have actually done anything wrong.
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111208/08225217010/

    This is getting out of hand. The bad guys need to be stopped, but the law
    must follow the "innocent until proven guilty" principle.
     
    Peter, Feb 17, 2012
    #1
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  2. Peter

    Ted Guest

    Money talks.

    Power corrupts.
     
    Ted, Feb 17, 2012
    #2
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  3. Then there's always the frivolous lawsuit over some far fetched patent
    of copyright infringement that can put your smaller competitor out of
    business by way of legal costs.
    Aided and abetted by Ignorant and Stupid (as seen on nz.comp).

    It's been seen again and again that politicians without a clue
    rush to do their corporate masters' bidding without considering
    the consequences in the larger context. Or simply acting out of
    paranoia, if you consider the Blair and Brown initiative of making
    ISPs hold and forward to the police all British emails (that was a few
    years ago now, and was scuttled by the House of Lords, fortunately).

    Generally speaking, legal minds seem to be a bit more cautious and
    discriminating - but they often only get involved after the
    stormtroopers have done their bit.


    -P.
     
    Peter Huebner, Feb 18, 2012
    #3
  4. Peter

    Geopelia Guest

    They say the Americans read every email, anyway.

    The more I see of poor old Dotcom, the more I feel on his side,
    though I could never use the stuff he is said to have invented.

    I stick to Gutenberg, that's free and legal.
     
    Geopelia, Feb 19, 2012
    #4
  5. Peter

    peterwn Guest

    So this means that murderers, rapists and burglars should also remain
    free and continue to go about their business until they are actually
    found guilty.

    Looks like those behind the Megaupload site were themselves
    deliberately uploading copyright content for their customers to
    download. If there is a fuzzy legal line whether a file sharing server
    operator is a party to copyright breach because users upload copyright
    works, both USA and NZ law are breached when the file sharing service
    provider itself uploads copyright works without the holder's consent.
    It is on the same level as DVD piracy and maximum penalty under NZ law
    is 5 years in jail.

    Incidentally a crime victim can seek return of property, reparation or
    damages even if the accused is found not guilty. The lower standard of
    proof 'balance of probabilities' applies. Same with 'proceeds of
    crime' seized by the Crown since legislative changes a few years ago.
     
    peterwn, Feb 20, 2012
    #5
  6. Peter

    Geopelia Guest

    So this means that murderers, rapists and burglars should also remain
    free and continue to go about their business until they are actually
    found guilty.
    ................................

    Aren't they remanded without bail now?

    If remand prisoners are officially innocent until proven guilty, shouldn't
    they have better conditions than convicted criminals?
    ................................................



    Looks like those behind the Megaupload site were themselves
    deliberately uploading copyright content for their customers to
    download. If there is a fuzzy legal line whether a file sharing server
    operator is a party to copyright breach because users upload copyright
    works, both USA and NZ law are breached when the file sharing service
    provider itself uploads copyright works without the holder's consent.
    It is on the same level as DVD piracy and maximum penalty under NZ law
    is 5 years in jail.

    Incidentally a crime victim can seek return of property, reparation or
    damages even if the accused is found not guilty. The lower standard of
    proof 'balance of probabilities' applies. Same with 'proceeds of
    crime' seized by the Crown since legislative changes a few years ago.

    .............................

    That's good to know. I wonder how many people know and use that right.
     
    Geopelia, Feb 20, 2012
    #6
  7. Peter

    peterwn Guest

    Yes, in appropriate cases. Similar reasoning applies to Mr Dotcom
    Very slightly. AFAIK they can wear their own clothes and have slightly
    freer access to a pay phone. The cost of keeping remand prisoners in
    motel type accommodation for example would be extremely large.
    Prisoners even if subsequently acquitted have very little political
    clout - far less than Sensible Sentencing Trust, so governments are
    not going to improve accommodation for remand prisoners even though it
    is philosophically warranted.
    Not too many. Most criminals are virtually penniless. The cost (you
    generally need a lawyer) and hassle means it is generally not
    worthwhile. It is mostly drug barons etc who have amassed significant
    assets and money who would get stripped eg Mr Dotcom.
     
    peterwn, Feb 21, 2012
    #7
  8. Peter

    Geopelia Guest

    Yes, in appropriate cases. Similar reasoning applies to Mr Dotcom
    Very slightly. AFAIK they can wear their own clothes and have slightly
    freer access to a pay phone. The cost of keeping remand prisoners in
    motel type accommodation for example would be extremely large.
    Prisoners even if subsequently acquitted have very little political
    clout - far less than Sensible Sentencing Trust, so governments are
    not going to improve accommodation for remand prisoners even though it
    is philosophically warranted.
    ............................................

    Does New Zealand have Habeas Corpus like Britain? Could that be used to get
    a remanded prisoner tried within a reasonable time?
    If a remanded prisoner is acquitted, is there any provision for compensation
    for the time they have spent on remand?
    (Don't worry, I don't intend to commit any crimes!)

    ........................................................
    Not too many. Most criminals are virtually penniless. The cost (you
    generally need a lawyer) and hassle means it is generally not
    worthwhile. It is mostly drug barons etc who have amassed significant
    assets and money who would get stripped eg Mr Dotcom.
    ...........................................

    I thought his alleged crime was some sort of copyright offence.
    Isn't it more of a civil affair than a serious crime?
     
    Geopelia, Feb 21, 2012
    #8
  9. Peter

    peterwn Guest

    He is a German citizen. He wants to be deported to Germany as much as
    Brer Rabbit wanted to be thrown into the briar patch. No doubt his NZ
    lawyers have checked for possible means to force NZ Immigration
    Service to order his immediate deportation to Germany. As a German he
    would not be deported from there to USA. For some peculiar reason
    there is no extradition treaty between Germany and USA so he cannot be
    extradited from there.
    It is because some people consider that NZ copyright law is
    inappropriate especially with regard to criminal and other sanctions.
    I have some sympathy here, US entertainment interests have coerced the
    US Government to widen copyright law and to extend copyright periods
    (such that there would be indefinite copyright), and the US Government
    has used its superpower strength to coerce other nations like NZ into
    line.
    Virtually all 'rich pricks' granted NZ residency do behave themselves
    and benefit the NZ economy. It would be unreasonable to close this
    immigration 'channel' just because of Mr Dotcom, as much as Winston
    Peters would like to.
     
    peterwn, Feb 21, 2012
    #9
  10. Peter

    peterwn Guest

    NZ has Habeas Corpus and the NZ judges take it very seriously, even
    the Supreme Court will hear a Habeas Corpus appeal on an urgent basis.
    However it applies only where a prisoner is unlawfully detained,
    either through corrupt behaviour of officials (common historically but
    very rare today), or incorrect interpretation of the law (eg regarding
    actual release date).

    Habeas Corpus cannot be used to release a remand prisoner held for a
    long period unliss presumably the wheels of justice have stopped
    turning completely. A prisoner remanded in custody must appear in
    court periodically (video link may be OK. Depending on circumstances
    judges may dismiss cases where delays are excessive. Simon Power's
    reforms are supposed to try and speed things up.
    Possibly the same as for sentenced prisoners where convictions are
    overturned. the remand prisoner would need to show on the balance of
    probabilities that he or she was innocent, and unless the police and
    Crown Law have goofed up, this would be very rare.
     
    peterwn, Feb 21, 2012
    #10
  11. Peter

    Geopelia Guest

    NZ has Habeas Corpus and the NZ judges take it very seriously, even
    the Supreme Court will hear a Habeas Corpus appeal on an urgent basis.
    However it applies only where a prisoner is unlawfully detained,
    either through corrupt behaviour of officials (common historically but
    very rare today), or incorrect interpretation of the law (eg regarding
    actual release date).

    Habeas Corpus cannot be used to release a remand prisoner held for a
    long period unliss presumably the wheels of justice have stopped
    turning completely. A prisoner remanded in custody must appear in
    court periodically (video link may be OK. Depending on circumstances
    judges may dismiss cases where delays are excessive. Simon Power's
    reforms are supposed to try and speed things up.
    Possibly the same as for sentenced prisoners where convictions are
    overturned. the remand prisoner would need to show on the balance of
    probabilities that he or she was innocent, and unless the police and
    Crown Law have goofed up, this would be very rare.

    ................

    Thank you.

    It seems a very long time before a trial starts, but I suppose all the
    evidence must be gathered first.
    There must be many cases that get no publicity.
     
    Geopelia, Feb 21, 2012
    #11
  12. Peter

    Peter Guest

    No, I think bad guys need to be stopped.
    Or are you saying it was right to take down JotForm without giving any
    warning, reason or justification?
     
    Peter, Feb 23, 2012
    #12
  13. Burgalrs usually do. Murderers and rapists sometimes do. To compare owning a
    web site to these things is ... kind of stupid. :)
    I note also that those that steal millionhs of dollars are usually on bail
    too. :)
    This "crime" seems to have been blown out of any proportion.

    Ah well ... welcome to the usual crap jouranlism. :) :)
     
    Bruce Sinclair, Mar 5, 2012
    #13
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