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New Zealand three-strikes gets underway

By | Published on Tuesday 1 November 2011


Strike one has begun in New Zealand’s efforts to crack down on internet piracy.

As previously, there were a few false starts when the New Zealand government tried to launch a graduated response system for combating illegal file-sharing, with initial legislation rather lacking on how accused file-sharers could appeal claims made against them of copyright infringement. But a fuller system has now been put in place, and according to local reports the Recording Industry Association Of New Zealand has now filed 42 infringement notices, which will be passed to the internet service providers of suspected file-sharers.

Under the new anti-piracy laws – which are similar to those provisions in the UK’s Digital Economy Act that puts in place a graduated response anti-piracy system over here (though, of course, the UK system is yet to go live) – ISPs will now be obligated to send warning letters to those suspected of sharing unlicensed content online illegally. File-sharers who ignore three warnings could find themselves before the country’s Copyright Tribunal, which has the power to fine a proven illegal file-sharer up to NZ$15,000.

As previously reported, various countries have been considering the so called three-strikes system, or variations thereof, for combating illegal file-sharing. The process is probably most advanced in South Korea, where the local music industry has seen a resurgence of late, which could be partly attributed to the tougher piracy rules.

In the UK there have been numerous delays in getting three-strikes going, amid continued opposition to the measures from some ISPs and web user rights groups. In France, hundreds of thousands of warning letters have been sent out under their three-strikes system, though strike three is only just beginning now and it remains to be seen what sanctions are used against the most persistent file-sharers.

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