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ISP braces for second wave of infringement notices

No more infringement notices have been received by Orcon, TelstraClear and Telecom, but Orcon is expecting more.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act was passed under urgency in April and came into force two months ago on September 1.

The first notices were received by major telcos on Tuesday, with Orcon receiving six overnight for alleged infringement of music (five for Rihanna), TelstraClear receiving 27 in the late afternoon of the previous day, Vodafone receiving an unspecified amount and Telecom receiving 42 in total overnight, all from rights holder group, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz).

Of these, 35 had been sent for the download of songs by Rihanna, who is signed to Def Jam/Island, a record label owned by Universal Music.

Six were for Lady Gaga songs and one for Taio Cruz, both of whom are signed to labels in the Universal Music Group.

Reports on the Facebook page of, an information site about the Amendment Act, said the sixth notice from Orcon was also for United Kingdom musician Taio Cruz.

TelstraClear, Telecom and Orcon said yesterday they had received no further notices from rights holders.

Orcon spokesman Quentin Reade said the company expected the notices to begin arriving in batches every week or so.

Mr Reade said he believed the notices received were all to residential accounts.  

Telecom senior media and communications consultant retail Anna Skerten said the company was unsure as to when it could expect to see more notices come through.

TelstraClear spokesman Gary Bowering said the telco did not know what the rights holders were planning, but that it remained prepared to process any notices it received.

The Amendment Act allows rights owners to issue a series of notices to ISPs notifying them of account holders who are allegedly infringing copyright through file sharing. 

The notices progress from detection, to warning, to enforcement, when a rights owner may apply to the Copyright Tribunal, a panel of five independent experts.  The Tribunal can fine account holders up to $15,000 or take the highly unlikely and much more difficult route of suspending an Internet account for six months from 2013 onwards.

ISPs can charge rights holders $25 for each notice sent to the ISP and rights owners must pay $200 to apply to the Tribunal.Notices cost a rights holder $25 and it costs $200 to apply to the Tribunal.

The Act has caused much controversy with online and physical protests, suggestions the government itself as an account owner could receive infringement notices, claims the Act has a 'guilty until proven innocent' approach, the fact that account holders, such as businesses, are held responsible for the actions of others on said account, such as employees', and more.

Rights holders in turn argue that the fees to send notices and prosecute infringers are high and that copyright infringement costs New Zealand millions per year, and costs local artists their livelihood.

NZFACT executive director Tony Eaton said the organisation was currently considering its options and remained of the view that for the Act to be workable such that rights holders could equitably protect their works, several provisions of the Act needed to be reviewed, including the high cost of issuing notices.

More by Alex Walls

Comments and questions

If rights holders are worried about local artists, why are they paying so much attention to Rhianna?

Also, Rhianna, Lady Gaga and the likes are multi-millionaires not struggling artists. The irony is these artists are making bucket loads of money from the downloaders indirectly through concerts, radio airplay, advertising, TV, movies etc... Selling a song is only one of many numerous revenue streams that a popular artist can make these days.

Absolutely correct, artists don't make as much money off of cd sales they make through concerts etc... Hence why this is being enforced by the record labels.

One would assume that Universal is seeding tracks with cookies or similar to find out who is illegally downloading music they own copyright to in places where people will download them such as torrent sites. And so it begins, ISP's become forced to attack their own clients and companies are going to have to beef up their computer policies because they can be penalised for staff activities. What happens with public WiFi suppliers like city libraries or other services.
Of course if everyone had low cost high speed internet, we could legally stream any music we like, such as on YouTube etc. A quality service like Pandora would be good in New Zealand too. Maybe Universal should be looking at ways to collaborate with the Telco's and ISP's to make it easier to legally access any music, anywhere, any device instead of antagonising their customers.

I like how this law was marketed to protect New Zealand artists, yet the first wave of notices goes out and not one kiwi musician among them.

Personally I don't think politicians without a background in I.T should be able to vote on such laws, otherwise this is what happens.

ISP = International Search Police

lets penalise teenage girls (and Chris Keal) who download rihanna.... this law is crazy and more sane alternatives exist out there such a lavvying a tax on broadband, routers and PCs

@ All Commenter's.

And yet the public still remain oblivious to these problems and most barely know of the exsistance of the law.

Don't the providers track downloads by employing 3rd parties to "seed" downloads, then recording the IP addresses of those downloaders. Entrapment perhaps?

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