We did it! NZ is (very nearly almost) free of software patents!
"We recommend amending clause 15 to include computer programs among inventions that may not be patented. We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. Under the Patents Act 1953 computer programs can be patented in New Zealand provided they produce a commercially useful effect. Open source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s. Protecting software by patenting it is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no “inventive step” in software development, as “new” software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques. In general we accept this position.
NZ government is negotiating a trade act that will impact your civil liberties. And they are doing it behind our backs — in secret!
"ACTA is a controversial international treaty that impacts digital rights and is being negotiated in secret meetings. ACTA is proposed as a plurilateral trade agreement for establishing international standards on intellectual property rights enforcement. It is being negotiated between the US, Canada, Japan, the European Union, South Korea, Mexico, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, the negotiations have extended beyond trade and physical counterfeiting to potentially cover non-commercial infringement of copyright material by ordinary citizens and issues of digital rights management." — PublicACTA.org.nz
As well as the violating our democratic principles, and the deceitful name of the treaty, ACTA aims to bring back the "draconian" (to quote prime minister John Keys) S92a laws we fought hard against last year with the NZ Internet Blackout.
The NZ SSC has rejected Microsoft's offers for a new licensing contract. This is a big loss for Microsoft (Though I'm sure MS would have you believe otherwise and try to paint the picture back to front) and big win for NZ Government and NZ's IT industry.