Melissa Lee, you appear to be a pirate

On Wednesday night, Melissa Lee spoke out strongly in favour of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, which passed into law Thursday morning.

 "Breaking a law, whether it is actually assault on a person or an assault on a copyright, should be punished, not actually excused," Ms Lee told parliament.

Opponents of the legislation were quick to point out a tweet by the National MP, not 24 hours before, in which she said she was listening to a "compilation a friend did for me of K Pop" (South Korean pop music).

Ms Lee shot back that all songs on the compilation had been legally downloaded, and paid for.

So it's all legal, right?

No so fast.

The key point is that her friend made the compilation, then gave a copy to Ms Lee.

Lowndes Jordon partner Rick Shera said it sounded unlikely that Ms Lee's K Pop compilation was covered by the new copyright law's format shifting exception.

Under the provision, music can be copied, but only for another member of the owner's household.

The second exception is if Ms Lee's friend received permission to distribute the tracks from the various record labels whose artists feature on the K-Pop compilation.

A key feature of the new law is that an accused person has to prove their innocence, putting the onus on Ms Lee to convince people that her compilation somehow falls within the bounds of the legislation.

But no warning letters or fine of up to $15,000 will be heading her way, for the offence occured before the new law was passed (it comes into effect September 1).


It occurs to NBR that if a law is so poorly understood, then it's not a good thing to rush it through parliament under urgency.

Ms Lee, who typically types more than 20 tweets a day, has now gone uncharacteristically silent on the social network, ignoring numerous questions about who paid for the now infamous K-Pop collection.

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