The Supreme Court of New Zealand has held that digital files in a CCTV system are property and could be stolen. Thus someone who accessed the system and uploaded the files to YouTube was convicted under the NZ criminal code for accessing a computer system without colour of right to obtain property.
The Court of Appeal had held that the digital files were not property, but the accused could be convicted of accessing the system to obtain a benefit, since he tried to sell the files before uploading them (not having found a buyer).
This seems like quite a change in the law. Would it have some impact here? Would the impact be in civil cases as well as criminal?
Canada’s law on unauthorized access bans access to computer systesm done “fraudulently and without colour of right”, but does not insist on a criminal motive beyond that. So the issue would not have arisen here in that context.
Views? Thin edge of wedge? Dead end? Property law rocked to its foundations?