Orcon, Vodafone, Telecom, TelstraClear receive infringement notices
UPDATED: Telecom has confirmed it received 42 infringement notices overnight from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz).
An infringement notice is the first step in the so-called three-strikes warning process that can culminate in a $15,000 fine (see NBR's run-down here).
Telecom senior media and communications consultant retail Anna Skerten said the telco had received its first notices over night, with 42 in total coming from the rights holder group, RIANZ.
Of these, 35 had been sent for the download of songs by Rihanna, she said. Rihanna is signed to Def Jam/Island, a record label owned by Universal Music.
Six were for Lady Gaga songs and one for Taio Cruz, Ms Skerten said. (Both artists are also signed to labels in the Universal Music Group).
The notices were all to different IP addresses, Ms Skerten said.
This is as per the Act, and could translate to 42 people who have allegedly infringed copyright.
She said Telecom would be checking the notices were valid and then processing them within the seven day time period allotted by the Act.
Vodafone external communications manager Michelle Baguley said Vodafone had received notices and was processing them, but the telco had decided not to disclose notice numbers. She said Vodafone was suggesting journalists contact NZFACT and RIANZ for detail.
TelstraClear spokesman Gary Bowering said the telco had received 27 infringement notices late yesterday afternoon and was in the process of validating them.
"If they are found to meet the criteria of the new file sharing regulations then we will pass on these allegations to the relevant customers in accordance with the obligations set out in the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act and regulations."
He said it was TelstraClear's policy not to provide detail on matters relating to individual customers or the business of rights holders.
This made a total of at least 75 infringement notices received so far, with at least 48 received overnight from RIANZ.
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.
"We believe a workable solution can be found for all creative communities moving forward and have no further comment to make at this time."
RIANZ said it had no comment to make other than to confirm that the process was now well underway.
Orcon has received its first infringement notices under the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act.
Spokesman Quentin Reade confirmed today that the telco had received six infringement notices overnight, five of which were for Rihanna tracks.
All of the notices were for alleged copyright infringements of music, he said, and were all for different IP addresses.
The telco was in the process of forwarding the notices today, Mr Reade said.
The amendment act came into force on September 1 and a month on, no major ISPs contacted by NBR (Telecom, TelstraClear and Orcon) had received infringement notices.
Vodafone directed NBR to the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT) and the Recording Industry of New Zealand (RIANZ).
The Act was implemented to deter copyright infringement and protect local content, rights owners have said.
The Act has been controversial and generated physical and online protests, with detractors saying the law is weighted to favour rights owners and takes a guilty until proven innocent approach, while rights holders say illegal downloading costs the New Zealand film and music industries millions.
It allows for a maximum penalty of $15,000 after a 'three strikes' process of notices. For a run down of the Act, see here.