Saying no to Hollywood

David Fisher at NZ Herald reports:

John Key went to meet Hollywood bosses with a briefing from officials saying studio bosses were looking for easier ways to target New Zealanders who downloaded and shared films illegally.

Officials told the Prime Minister Hollywood objected to the $25 fee it had to pay each time a notice warning against infringement was issued and wanted to pay less.

Yep, they hate it. They say it should be zero or at best a few cents. They think ISPs should act as their delivery agents for no charge at all, and that they should be able to send tens of thousands of infringment notices per month via ISPs at the ISPs expense.

What they also hate is that the NZ charge may set an international precedent of reasonable reimbursement of costs for ISPs.

The briefing stated the support came through the ’s New Zealand arm – the Federation Against Copyright Theft – which saw the regime as becoming a “gold standard” for similar schemes around the world. Despite the support, Mr Key was told the studios behind the did not use it because the $25 fee paid to internet service providers to send warning notices was too high.

Yep, they threw their toys out. I give RIANZ credit that they are at least using the system they lobbied for.

A recent review of the scheme kept the fee at $25 because lower costs would hurt ISPs, who were forced to pay up to $100 to send each notice. Mr Key was told the MPAA’s involvement would lead to an increase in the number of warning notices sent to people and give a “critical mass” that would bring the cost down.

Opponents of the fee change warned cheaper costs could lead to a rise in vexatious complaints.

As reported, the Government recently decided to not give in to the demands from the MPAA and kept the fee at $25. What is also not widely known is that when the scheme was set up, the (then) MED recommended the fee be only $20 and it was in fact Cabinet that increased the fee to $25.

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