September 1st is the start of the new copyright regime, where rights-holders can send infringment notices to people they accuse of infringing their copyright.
We would like copies of those notices. This will allow us to help monitor how the law is being used, including:
- assessing the quality of the notices
- finding out who is sending them and for what sort of works
- help us detect anyone abusing the system
Please email your notices to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to include other information including whether you deny the allegation or not. We promise to keep your name and other identifying details private.
Welcome to the new world of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Act.
This is the law that:
- Makes internet account holders liable for the actions of others, even when there is no reasonable expectation that they could control their behaviour.
- Will make it very hard for anyone, including universities, libraries, motels and cafes, to offer internet access to their patrons as they can't risk penalties of up to $15,000.
- Can fine people for downloading material that isn't even available for purchase in New Zealand.
- Takes away the right to be assumed innocent until proven guilty, by assuming that complainants are telling the truth, leaving people having to prove that they didn't do something.
While the law comes into effect on September 1st, notices can be sent for activity up to 21 days earlier. This means that you could get a notice for any activity from August 11th onwards - today.
The law is meant to be aimed at people infringing copyright by downloading material without permission over peer to peer (P2P) file sharing - BitTorrent, eDonkey, etc. However it is written in such a way that it might be possible to use it for other forms of online infringement such as downloading from websites or watching streaming video. We'll be testing that further from September 1st.
Who is at risk?
The person whose name is on the internet account. They're liable for the actions of all people who use that internet account.
What can I do to protect myself?
If you're the account holder, make sure you know what everyone who uses your internet is doing. Don't let people use your account if you don't trust them not to download infringing material via file-sharing.
- Our article, What you need to know about the new copyright law.
- Flowcharts showing the processes included in the law (thanks to the TCF).
- Think you can become an ISP/IPAP and thereby pass your liability on to your users? Our article explains why you probably can't.
- 13 reasons why the Infringing File Sharing Act is bad for you by Christopher Wood.
- 3 Strikes NZ website about the new law.
- Information from the Ministry of Economic Development.
- The text of the law.
It's a pretty scary thing to receive a legal letter from the law firm of a large corporate, especially when they claim that you're in breach of their rights and then make a series of demands. Going to court is very expensive and even if you're in the right, do you have enough money to be a test case? If you lose you might end up not only having to pay your own costs but those of the company who sued you. The threat of legal action is pretty intimidating for most people.
Sky TV is currently sending such letters to a number of people (see an example here). These are their own paying customers, who just want to watch Sky TV on their home-made entertainment systems. So why is Sky doing it? Before we can answer that question we'll have to explain a little bit about electronic program guides.
Chris Esther has created some useful flowcharts that help explain some of the processes included in the new Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Bill. He has very kindly allowed us to repost them here.
New section 92A of Copyright Act does a far better job of balancing civil liberties and copyright enforcement.
Commerce Minister Simon Power released a statement revealing an intended framework and policy to replace Section 92A of the Copyright Act. This section, meant to come into force this year, was suspended after a broad coalition of rights holders, ISPs, and stakeholders opposed the original vague and ill-defined wording.
The Law Commission is continuing its run of reviewing significant laws (Search and Surveillance Bill, Suppression of Evidence report). This time it's the turn of the Official Information Act 1982. Their work is at a very early stage - they're canvassing views in an attempt to come up with an issues paper to guide further discussion.
Judge David Harvey told the seminar that internet providers (ISPs) should be set up specifically to block suppressed information and issue "take-down" notices to those who had posted it. "Internet content can in fact be managed and controlled. It is a question ... of how far we want to go to do that."
'Alliance' needed to enforce name suppression online, Stuff.co.nz
Seeking to deny the protesters a chance to reassert their voice, authorities slowed Internet connections to a crawl in the capital, Tehran. For some periods on Sunday, Web access was completely shut down — a tactic that was also used before last month's demonstration.
Iran chokes off Internet on eve of student rallies, Yahoo News