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'Three strikes' file sharing law coming sooner than you think

InternetNZ has launched a site that explains the coming 'three strikes' Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act - which will effectively come into force three weeks before its official date of September 1.

While the organisation says it does not like the new law and will advocate for change, it says the Act is still law.  Its website aims to help people and organisations get ready for the new copyright law, a release from InternetNZ said.

The Amendment Act comes into force on September 1, but InternetNZ said copyright infringements start counting towards the notices regime from August 11.

The website provides the basics about the law, some commonly asked Facts and Questions, including whether watching YouTube is infringing copyright (nope), and links to groups who advocate changing the Act, including Tech Liberty and The Pirate Party.

The associated Twitter and Facebook pages are already seeing debate, with 3strikes advising users to remove unused peer-to-peer sharing software, including file folders, from their computers.  Discussion is also occurring under the #3strikesNZ hashtag.

InternetNZ chief executive Vikram Kumar said in the release that with one week to go before, people and organisations needed to take steps to reduce risks from the new law.

“The biggest issue at the moment is a lack of accurate information and, in some cases, complacency.”

Telcos not ready
However, many telcos have said they want more time to implement the Act.

Orcon boss Scott Bartlett recently told NBR his company could not have automated systems in place by September 1, given that final regulations were only set around six weeks before the deadline coming into effect. 

Mr Bartlett said it would take around six months to create automated systems. In the mean time it would have to hire temps to cover up to 10,000 hours in extra work per month sending out notices.

CallPlus chief executive Mark Callander echoed Mr Bartlett's comments. The ISP (which includes the Slingshot sub-brand) is also grappling with how to manually process infringement notices. 

The CallPlus boss said beyond the logistical challenge, his major issue was lack of information. "There's got to be a much higher level of engagement [from the MED] at some point," Mr Callander said.

Mr Kumar said as September 1 approached, InternetNZ would put up more information and advice about notices and the Copyright Tribunal. 

He said schools, universities, libraries and free wifi providers faced big risks and needed to act before August 11 to address them.  He also warned of parents’ liability as account holders.

“We strongly recommend that parents have a discussion with their kids about their use of peer-to-peer software and online file sharing in the next week.”

The organisation is also working with NetSafe to set up, a pure information resource that organisations “may be more comfortable linking to regardless of their views of the law,” the release said.

As the first tweet on @3strikesNZ said “The price of ignorance isn’t bliss, it’s $15,000.”

More by Alex Walls

Comments and questions

go to and/or subscribe to a proxy service. If enough people do this then the law will be rendered useless

So you agree to theft?

i dont understand why our government is prioritizing this over more important laws that need attention.(like the amount of money spent on the doll each year or actually getting ourselves a decent air force seeing as soon other less water rich countries will be knocking on our door).

No problem with a bit of robin hood thievery - which downloading generally is.

and if there was a subscription model to download US and UK TV, I would gladly pay!

There's a little, but late engagement from MED. There's no engagement from rightsholders. A week out from the deadline, we're still getting incorrectly-formatted infringement notices and no details from rightsholders regarding payment.

The easiest thing for an ISP to do will be to carefully match notices against the regulations and throw out the ones that don't match. I vote we give that job to Telecom - they used to be expert at throwing out MAC requests with typos or punctuation mistakes.

Apple TV is avaiable in NZ now, and the prices are reasonable. Digital distrbution infrastructure is the only way of the future.

And it's only stealing when you're copying but not paying someone else's creation, who seeks to make a return on their skill / talent / labour.

Stevie, try renting a TV series on your Apple TV (not going to happen) Try renting a UK or US based TV series via your Apple TV (also not going to happen) Think about it... if they are going to punish people for downloading TV series months before TVNZ gets them then they need to offer a better service for renting and paying for such content.

That was why the twitter server in India ws down for a week or so. Call plus was right about the lack of information point.

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In response to Anonymous | Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 1:36pm
So you agree to theft?

It may be pedantic but you have been convinced by emotive language used by one side of the debate. Theft deprives someone else of property - copying does not and so it's not theft as such. Copying without payment to the rightsholder deprives them of the right to receive compensation under a time limited statutory right. There is no natural right or wrong here - intellectual property like this is protected for a limited time purely as a public policy issue, in theory to encourage creation of material. This is what we should be debating, instead of trying to protect the business model of organisations who have seen technology erode their traditional control of production bottlenecks.

Is youtube converting legal then?

self righteous pricks as if they pay for all the movies and music they have in there possession. bollocks

i download the odd movie/music/program
however allot of the time it is for school work for example ; i have been cutting songs and stuff using Audacity for a school dance i have been downloading songs thorough torrents. why is this such a big deal i understand that allot of work and money goes into these things but its for an education purpose and i"m sure these huge multinational companies have plenty of money already.

The Skynet Big Brother Bill is passed.

The system goes online on August 11th, 2011. Downloading decisions are removed from strategic computer users. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate.

It becomes self-aware at 2:14 AM, Eastern time, September 1st. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

Ta da da dam daum... (insert main theme from Terminator 2: Judgement Day)