First NZ three-strikes case falls through

 

No explanation given for dropped case.

The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) today withdrew one of the first cases of alleged illegal filesharing to be heard by the Copyright Tribunal.

RIANZ did not disclose its reasons for withdrawing the case, which involved the alleged downloading of five songs.

The defendant was a student who shared a flat with others. She was supported pro bono by civil rights lobby group Tech Liberty NZ and lawyers.

Thomas Beagle of Tech Liberty NZ told iTnews that the defendant was the account holder. She denied having engaged in illegal filesharing and believed that one of her flatmates was to blame.

New Zealand's copyright law, enacted last year, allows rights holders to haul alleged filesharers in front of the Copyright Tribunal after issuing three warnings or enforcement notices.

The Copyright Tribunal can award damages of up to $NZ15,000 ($A11,850), although former NZ minister of justice Simon Power called for smaller penalties of NZ$375 – to cover fees.

Beagle said RIANZ asked for a total of NZ$2699.25 in penalties. While the value of the five songs was calculated as $NZ11.95, RIANZ wanted an additional $NZ1075.50 to cover its illegal sharing.

"This is based on RIANZ's notion that each track had probably been downloaded 90 times," he told iTnews. "There is nothing in the Copyright Act or the regulations for it that allow for this.”

Beagle said the deterrent penalty of $NZ1250 was also surprisingly high. "It amounts to an attempt at US-style statutory damages, which we do not have in New Zealand."

He said the student, with the help of lawyers, wrote a letter to RIANZ, outlining her case and offering to settle it for the cost of the fees.

She initially received a “very aggressive” refusal, Beagle said. But after the student filed her submission to the Copyright Tribunal, she received a letter from RIANZ stating that the case had been withdrawn.

The student was terrified by the whole process, Beagle said.

"She cancelled her internet connection after receiving the summons from the Ministry of Justice and refuses to be an account holder again," he said.

"The relationship within the flat soured due to the infringement case, and the student had to move out; it caused her significant distress and worry, and preparing a defence interrupted her studies and part time job.”

Beagle also criticised the student's ISP, Telecom New Zealand, for being unhelpful.

"They made such a balls-up of the third and final notice that it had to be reissued," he said.

"I haven't seen a single infringement notice that is correct, not from any ISP,” he added.

The student claimed that she had never received the first notice and was unable to obtain a copy from Telecom. She had to obtain it from the Copyright Tribunal instead.

A spokesperson for Telecom New Zealand said the telco could not comment on the specifics of individual cases for privacy reasons.

"We have however been meeting regularly with RIANZ and have made improvements to our warning notice letters and supporting communications to ensure they are aware that it may not be the account owner who is illegally downloading music; it could be others in the home," the spokesperson said.

To date, RIANZ has reportedly filed eight claims to the Copyright Tribunal and withdrawn two. There is no timetable to hear the remaining six in the first wave of claims to be filed.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


First NZ three-strikes case falls through
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1455

Vote