No action for copyright tribunal

The Herald reports:

The first “three strikes” notices issued to alleged internet pirates have not resulted in action before the Tribunal, where the accused could have been slapped with a fine of up to $15,000.

Both TelstraClear and Vodafone confirmed last month they had sent a “enforcement” notice to a customer at the request of the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), which represents music and recording artists.

Under a law passed last year, internet providers are required to issue warning and enforcement notices to customers suspected of illegally downloading copyright content – such as movies or music – if a copyright holder requests it.

After a third notice, rights holders can bring a case before the Copyright Tribunal, which can fine an offender up to $15,000.

But according to intellectual property lawyer Rick Shera, a third notice (the “enforcement” notice) expires after 35 days and rights holders can only file action against an accused within that time.

I understand that in one of the case the “downloader” has contacted RIANZ and presumably reached some sort of agreement not to proceed. This is sensible, but it will be interesting to see what happens if a case ever does reach the tribunal to see what level of proof is needed, and what defence if any is put forward.

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