The Twitter Blackout

If you use Twitter you may have noticed that recently some people have started to replace their avatars with simple black squares. This gesture is in support of a political protest going on in New Zealand over an amendment to the copyright law due to come into force at the end of February. The Guardian reports that:

The law in question is Section 92a, an amendment to the country’s copyright law that is due to come into force at the end of February.It [] tells internet service providers that they “must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination” of accounts used by anyone deemed a “repeat infringer” – regardless of whether the person has been convicted of a crime or not.

As part of the protest, New Zealand’s Creative Freedom Foundation is asking internet users to replace their photos and icons with blank spaces to give people an idea of what the internet could look like under the new regime.

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, director of the CFF, says thousands of New Zealand musicians and artists have signed a petition against the law, and that the public needs to voice its frustration.”While copyright infringement is a problem for artists, our petition shows that thousands of artists think that it is a greater problem for people not to get a trial,” she said. “Treating fans as guilty until proven innocent isn’t what artists want done in their name, and many see that as being damaging to creative industries.”

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