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NZ ISP piracy law kicks in

Download notices expose appalling musical tastes

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New Zealand’s first crop of internet content stealers will soon receive copyright infringement notices under the recently introduced ‘Skynet’ law.

Around 75 internet users have been issued notices by their ISPs for illegal downloads. It is understood that the bulk of the piracy infringements were detected by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) which directed the relevant ISPs to send notices to the offending customers.

Not only did the illegal downloaders offend under the new piracy act, which was introduced two months ago, but they also displayed a fragrant disregard for any modicum of musical taste: Rhianna and Lady Gaga were apparently the illegal downloads of choice for Kiwi freetards.

Telecom New Zealand confirmed it received notices from RIANZ to issue copyright infringement notices to 42 customers, while ISP Orcon also confirmed that it has been instructed to do the same. Forty of the 50 notices sent to Telecom and Orcon concerned the illegal download of Rihanna tracks and another six for Lady Gaga tracks.

TelstraClear also confirmed that allegations of around a dozen notices had been received and the carrier was in the process of validating them and Vodafone admitted to receiving a few.

Under the procedure RIANZ needs to pay NZ$25 per notice to recompense ISPs for sending the notices to their customers, but are set to recoup the costs if the infringements continue and the internet downloaders are fined after a "third strike".

Consumers accused of internet piracy can be fined up to $NZ15,000 once they have received their third infringement notice, a penalty which takes a Rhianna track far beyond any reasonable notional value.

At the very least, if found guilty by the Copyright Tribunal, users may be forced to stump up $NZ275 in costs for the rights holders for their three infringement notices. ®

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