intellectual property

Government’s shameful move on plain packaging. They’ll come for fat and sugar next

Despite no evidence to support the initiative the gutless cowards in the government have caved to the health troughers and brought in plain packaging for cigarettes.

Watch for international retribution, particularly from Indonesia, but also watch for calls for plain packaging for sugar and fat and anything else these wowsers want to control.

Cigarettes will start appearing on the shelves next year in drab packets with a big health warning plastered on the front.

Parliament on Thursday passed the plain packaging bill which has been in the works since 2014.

“There’s no other product which is so widely used and poses such a high risk as tobacco,” Associate Health Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said.

“This is the next significant step in reducing the devastating harm.”   Read more »

Apparently Maori are as special as Muhammad


The outrage started yesterday on Twitter and naturally it is now news, that some Maori are mortally offended by…shower curtains.

An American online store selling shower curtains depicting historic Māori is being called deplorable for the culturally inappropriate items.

Images of about 15 of Gottfried Lindauer portraits, including those of Māori leaders, are being sold as shower curtains for just under $100 by the Fine Art America website. Lindauer painted the detailed portraits of Māori in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Art historian Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, also a descendent of some of the Lindauer subjects, said Māori culture was being exploited, and it was appalling.

She said Māori images on teatowels and crockery were bad enough – but this was much worse.

“To actually see Wiremu Kingi as a shower person is absolutely extraordinary and profoundly hurtful. The arrogance of art producers in Western creators’ commerce never fails to amaze me.

“In traditional cultural terms, in the context of tikanga Māori of Māori values around the sanctity of the body and the intimacy of the bathroom, to have an ancestor as a shower curtain is profoundly insulting.”

The images include iwi leader Rewi Manga Maniapoto, and the Taranaki leader and chief of the Te Ati Awa Tribe, Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitake.

Read more »

Indigenous Intellectual Property?

I love how this always goes just one way.

Of course there is outrage…outrage I say, on Facebook too; it must be serious.

A car dealer has fired back at critics who questioned the wisdom of it using Maori culture in an advertisement to promote its Waitangi Day sale.

2 Cheap Cars brand manager Jared Donkin admitted its advert, which shows a Pakeha girl dressed in a kapa haka costume and swinging a poi, was “a bit tacky”.

But he said the firm wasn’t trying to cause controversy and questioned why it was wrong for a Pakeha girl to “join in with Maori culture”.

Donkin said 2 Cheap Cars had sought out the views of “Maori staff, family and outsiders” and they believed it was the girl’s “skin colour that people are getting tied up about”.

The video post on Facebook has sparked some criticism from viewers.

Cushla Tangaere-Manuel posted: “This is sooooo WTF…tokenism much” while Rose Posie said: “Taking the piss and clearly uneducated”.

Ann-Marie Kennedy a senior lecturer in marketing at Auckland University of Technology’s business school, said the company was obviously using indigenous intellectual property – from the costume to the poi – to make money without necessarily giving anything back to the culture it took it from.   Read more »

Is there anything that Kim Dotcom won’t steal?

Kim Dotcom is wanted in the US on copyright, money laundering and racketeering charges.

He claims he is innocent and hasn’t stolen a thing, nor made any money from stolen works.

But it isn’t just the US studio who he thieves from, it appears he has also directly stolen or plagiarised the BBC’s award wining show Top Gear.

On 21 November 2004 Top Gear went to air with episode 5 in series 5. In that episode was a piece where Jeremy Clarkson had to drive a diesel Jaguar S-type around the Nurburgring in under 10 minutes.

After much practice, Clarkson took a diesel Jaguar S-Type around the Nürburgring at 9:59, just under ten minutes. His instructor, Sabine Schmitz, exclaimed “I could do that in a van”. She then took the Jaguar out and recorded a lap time much quicker on her first try, at 9:12.

At the start of the clip was an overview of the Nurburgring by Clarkson.   Read more »

Labour’s great big education McCockup

Labour has bombed another social media release and following on from the Greens have nicked a private company’s intellectual property in order to score political points.

Megan Woods kicked it all off posting this image.


She was quickly followed by NZ Labour and David Cunliffe both tweeting it and whacking it on Facebook.   Read more »

I knew nuffink, I was just providing storage…bullshit

Billy Big Steps should get used to wearing orange

Billy Big Steps should get used to wearing orange

This is the standard defence of Kim Dotcom from his apologists and publicists and biographers…it goes something like this.

He is not storing the files, he is providing space with a set of rules to be used. The users of that space have a choice to follow the rules or not and store legitimate data or store illegal files etc.

He receives take down notices and acts on them. What else is he supposed to do?

Would you like Google to shut down as well?

Followed by this:

What do you mean by theft and copyright infringement? Do you also wish for the owners of YouTube to be lynched for providing a medium of copyright infringement? Or are you referring to the false accusations of years ago? About the trial that the US has delayed numerous times, assumingly because they have no real evidence against him after illegally stealing his property under no warrant after bribing Key? Again, I can tell your hearts are in the right place, but your government is the true enemy of the people. NZ, US, wherever. They’re all tyrannies, US especially.   Read more »


US manning up against Chinese

The US is fighting back against the Chinese PLA hackers and getting stroppy over intellectual property theft.

With President Obama preparing for a first meeting with China’s new president, a commission led by two former senior officials in his administration will recommend a series of steps that could significantly raise the cost to China of the theft of American industrial secrets. If milder measures failed, the commission said, the United States should consider giving companies the right to retaliate against cyberattackers with counterstrikes of their own.  Read more »

Protect Marriage’s morals don’t extend to copyright laws

the tipline


As you’re probably aware, ProtectMarriageNZ recently used a song from YouTube without permission from their owners.

I thought you might also like to know that the wedding ring in their logo is stolen.

To be specific, they have literally searched “wedding ring” in Google images and take the first suitable result. (It’s about 6 rows down when I search, it may move up or down a little due to the magic of Google). This is a quite blatant form of theft, which Google has recently tried to address by including a ‘royalty free’ image search, but apparently they decided to ignore this and take the image they wanted instead.

The image itself is here – On The Grooms List – I got in contact with the site owner on twitter, they sourced the image from Prestige Wedding Bands.

I can’t see the image on their site, so it may be that it’s actually a stock image, but if that’s the case, I highly doubt they actually paid for rights for it (especially since every time someone posts this information on their Facebook wall it gets deleted quite rapidly).

It may be considered petty to attack them over something like this, but if you’re going to build an organization based around a moral standpoint, you should at least follow those morals through….and not steal songs or images.

And they wonder why I call them repeaters

Stuff has stolen my photo and written a story based on my post (Don’t Come Monday) of yesterday about a staff member “cocking up” a Dio school magazine. Despite the licensing on my blog being Creative Commons – Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike they have not provided a single link, or even a mention as to where they go the story and photo from. You can tell it is my photo because I blurred the faces. Given that Stuff actually named the gorl concerned when I did not shows they had no need to blur the photo. It is doubtful they could obtain the photo from anywhere else.

As readers can see I have attributed this post. You would think a responsible media organisation could do the same.

I think I will bill them. For want of a link they could have avoided that. Does anyone have an idea of going rate for use of photos?

A disgruntled employee sabotaged a commemorative booklet for his boss’ teenage daughter, drawing a lewd image on her photo that was then printed and distributed to her school friends.

Emily O’Halloran, 18, is captain of the rowing team at wealthy private Diocesan School for Girls.

With the rowing season just finished, she planned a 40 page booklet for her team-mates to celebrate her final year at the Auckland school.

The school’s ”purpose statement” is to: Be more than you ever imagined!

She unfortunately got much more than she imagined.

Emily’s father Martin O’Halloran, chairman of influential advertising group agency DDB, volunteered to organise design and printing through his business.

But a staff member involved had a dispute with O’Halloran midway through the project and drew a large, comical male genitalia on a photo of Emily posing with team-mates.

The drawing went unnoticed and the booklet was printed.

”It was a silly and stupid prank by someone who is no longer with DDB,” O’Halloran said.

Everything is a remix

Great video about the problems of intellectual property law and how the laws are being used to actually constrain development:

Our system of law doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity. Instead, ideas are regarded as property, as unique and original lots with distinct boundaries. But ideas aren’t so tidy. They’re layered, they’re interwoven, they’re tangled. And when the system conflicts with the reality… the system starts to fail.