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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Entertainment Industry Called for Stricter Laws in New Zealand

Movie industry claimed that the local “three-strikes” legislation has halved the number of copyright infringements in New Zealand.

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The Federation Against Copyright Theft from New Zealand claimed that in the first month of operation the legislation managed to half the number of times popular films were viewed illegally on the Internet.

According to a submission to a government review of the law’s efficiency, the ctitizens illegally viewed films in the top 200 on the Internet 110,000 times in August 2011, and only 50,000 times in September after the legislation was enforced.

Nevertheless, the anti-piracy outfit had to admit that the legislation hadn’t done much good after the first month. Another outfit, the local RIAA, complained that 41% of New Zealand users accessed infringing portals in February 2012, compared to 28% on average throughout the world.

The “three-strikes” law allows for fines up to $15,000 on people found guilty by the Copyright Tribunal. It looks like the entertainment industry, instead of admitting that draconian legislations do not work, keep blaming the government for bringing in a small fee payable to cover ISPs’ costs of processing notices.

The anti-piracy outfit claimed that it hadn’t sent out any notices because of that tiny fee, and called for it to be reduced to nearly nothing. They pointed out that thus far, the music industry has only sent out a total of less than 2800 infringement notices, as this appeared too pricey for them. But if the cost of the notice was reduced to a few cents, the RIANZ would send out twice that amount per month.

The creative industry argues that the current insignificant level of notices effectively rendered the law toothless, because the Internet users have figured out that the fear of receiving a notice is minimal. On the other hand, Internet service providers and telecommunication companies want a higher processing fee, as it really costs them a lot of money to prop up the creative industry’s business model.

According to Telecom New Zealand, it had spent over $500,000 to comply with the new legislation. It had to send out over 1,000 notices, each of which cost $400 to the company.

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