Google’s plan to steal author copyright is the flip side of New Zealand’s copyright regime. says New Zealand authors are angry Google plans to digitise their books.

I understand why they are upset. The New Zealand government, like others, is happy to bend our laws and traditions to give extraordinary levels of copyright protection to the huge movie industry corporations, but is unwilling to stand up to Google when it wants to strip the rights of local copyright holders.

Could it possibly have anything to do with the local authors not being able to finance teams of expensive lawyers and lobbyists?

Here’s the current state of play:

  • A child in New Zealand downloads a movie from a huge multinational reducing its profits by a tiny amount – perhaps there’ll be one less caviar egg on the table at the next Hollywood indulge-fest. The child will lose its internet connection, pay a huge fine and could face a criminal record.
  • A huge multinational can steal intellectual property from a New Zealand author, wiping out their livelihood and reducing our cultural treasures – Maori have a good name for it Taonga.