Tech Liberty NZ Defending civil liberties in the digital age

Rights holders to develop centralised infringement notice system?

Posted on September 16, 2011

An update on the enforcement provisions of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Act.

Where are the notices?

We've not received one notice in response to our request for copies of copyright infringement notices sent under the new law. From speaking to ISPs, it seems that very, very few notices have been received at all.

What are the rights holders doing?

Secondly, we heard some very interesting rumours about what the major rights holders organisations are doing. (Please note that this is rumour - but from a source that we trust.)

No one will be surprised to hear that the rights holders were very unhappy about the $25 per notice fee set in the regulations. NZFACT (NZ branch of the US MPAA) believes that they should be "just a matter of cents".

Indeed, we've been told that they're not going to be sending out any notices even though they heralded the law as a vital protection for their NZ$2.5 billion industry.

Instead they are talking to ISPs and offering to fund a centralised system for the management of the infringement notice process. This is obviously with the aim of making it much cheaper for the ISPs, so that they can go back to the Ministry of Economic Development to get the per notice fee reduced at the six-monthly review.

Some questions

This raises a number of questions:

  • How will the centralised notice system work?
  • Who will have access to the system and under what terms? Is it just for the major rights holders or will it be open to everyone?
  • It will be necessary for any system to have some account holder details included (for matching purposes) - who will have access to this information? Won't this circumvent the law's careful approach to maintaining account holder privacy?
  • And finally, what's in it for the ISPs?

Contact us

If you know anything about this proposal we'd love to hear more.

Posted by Thomas Beagle

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. It will be necessary for any system to have some account holder details included (for matching purposes) – who will have access to this information?

    I’d imagine it could be built along multi-tenant lines – so each ISP would run a common system but would have their own dataset.

    A problem is that each ISP is likely to have different systems for accounting and access logging.

  2. The general public commented on the amount of the processing fee and part of that amount was (as noted in the MED discussion document, I believe) to deter fishing expeditions by groups such as NZFACT/APRA/RIANZ.
    The idea that ISPs and NZFACT/APRA/RIANZ can decide without the public is of the first obvious concern.
    While there’s nothing stopping these organisations coming to an agreement to send notices, I would hope that these aren’t considered to be ‘3 strike’ notices under the law. Infact, I very much doubt that they could be.

    What’s in it for the ISPs? Well if the they won’t be recouping sunk costs in setting up systems for the regime because NZFACT/APRA/RIANZ aren’t using it then this might allow them to recover.

  3. “What’s in it for the ISPs? Well if the they won’t be recouping sunk costs in setting up systems for the regime because NZFACT/APRA/RIANZ aren’t using it then this might allow them to recover.”

    Except then they won’t be able to recoup the costs at all because they’ll use it as reason to reduce or remove the $25 fee all together. And they’ll risk losing customers, having them reduce their plans and having less call for the more expensive higher bandwidth plans.


Trackbacks are disabled.