New Zealand piracy laws in effect starting tomorrow

Tomorrow is the day that the new piracy laws come into effect in New Zealand. What piracy laws, you ask? You may recall a few months back the New Zealand government pushed through controversial anti-piracy laws overnight under "urgency" which was allowed thanks to the Christchurch earthquake situation. This allowed the government to pass a law that would usually have taken months to create and would require public consulatation to be pushed through within 24 hours and without notification of the public.

Not only is there drama surrounding the actual passing of the law, it turns out that the US government coerced the New Zealand government to create the law in the first place, with the country offering to develop and fund the IP law and enforcement. Ars Technica recently revealed that a UN report that is signed by the US, Sweden and New Zealand condemns the "three strikes" law regimes, which states clearly that "All users should have greatest possible access to Internet-based content, applications and services," and goes on to say "cutting off users from access to the Internet is generally not a proportionate sanction."

The UN has criticized the New Zealand government over the laws, saying that the UN "was alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from internet access if they violate intellectual property rights." The government responded by saying "it will not alter its internet copyright legislation, despite UN criticism that such laws are an attack on human rights."

Today, the day before copyright infringements "start counting" towards infringement notices on September 1, many are not clear on how exactly the law will work, and ISP's still do not have systems in place to handle requests from copyright holders. Businesses and institutes are increasingly worried about the effects on them, as the law doesn't accuse the person who downloaded the material but the connection owner. This means if a student downloads a movie at university, whoever signed the contract in the IT department is accountable for their actions. UniTec said that if it was liable for student copyright breaches it might "have no option but to discontinue the provision of internet access to all library users".

According to the New Zealand Herald, Andrew Cornwell, Sony Pictures general manager said that they weren't targetting the worst offenders, but instead "The whole thrust of it is aimed at middle New Zealand who might do the occasional download." The law only covers peer to peer users, which means many are flocking to direct download sites such as Rapidshare and Mediafire for their downloads.

Originally, the law was provisioned to give users two warnings before a third notice with permanent disconnection of their internet services. However, under the revised law users will be charged up to $15,000 for repeat offenses, with the option for courts to revoke the users connection for up to six months. New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFact) will be actively monitoring torrents, collecting information and notifiying copyright holders about infringments so they may take action.

3Strikes NZ says that "notices can be sent for alleged infringements occurring in the 21 days before the notice," which means that "allegations of infringements from 11 August 2011 onwards count under the new law." Organizations need to be aware that their staff can put them at risk if they use software for Peer to Peer activities, and must mitigate the risk by blocking installation of the software or tracking their users.

The best advice on the new law for home users is to use dilligence with your internet connection. Ensure all members of your household are informed, and don't let anyone use your connection without understanding that P2P software puts you at risk.

Update: For further evidence that the New Zealand government is unaware of what they're doing with the law, watch the video below from parliament last week. At one point, the minister of commerce is asked "What is the government doing to encourage legal sharing or downloads?" and he replies "I have no idea what [Netflix] is."

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21 Comments

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Things like this is the reason the new world order will fail. As Princess Leia told Vader, "The tighter you squeeze the more sand will fall between your fingers."

I'm a little confused. So now instead of two warnings then a disconnect, it's two warnings then a possible $15,000 fine?

I assume the 'repeat offenses' means just two before you're up to strike three and you're out.

Walrush said,
I'm a little confused. So now instead of two warnings then a disconnect, it's two warnings then a possible $15,000 fine?

I assume the 'repeat offenses' means just two before you're up to strike three and you're out.

NO it's 3 warnings no disconnect and a $15k fine only after it's been to court

This author again has used mis-information to prove a point.

I had informed him in previous articles, claiming he understood but it seems he doesn't care. What is wrong? I will say it 3 times.

-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake
-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake
-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake

Not that I agree with government decision, as a New Zealander. Under urgency is a COMMON thing kin New Zealand parliament, it is almost like MP on overtime with few differences that is unrelated to this issue.


This is deceptive journalism, and it is written by an author who refuses to do proper research. To prove a point, first you need the truth. This author had bended the truth. Because I personally had informed him of his errors in the past, this journalist, Owen Williams I know, is essentially a liar. Strong accusatiion indeed I'm levelling at him.

Eddo89 said,
This author again has used mis-information to prove a point.

I had informed him in previous articles, claiming he understood but it seems he doesn't care. What is wrong? I will say it 3 times.

-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake
-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake
-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake

Not that I agree with government decision, as a New Zealander. Under urgency is a COMMON thing kin New Zealand parliament, it is almost like MP on overtime with few differences that is unrelated to this issue.


This is deceptive journalism, and it is written by an author who refuses to do proper research. To prove a point, first you need the truth. This author had bended the truth. Because I personally had informed him of his errors in the past, this journalist, Owen Williams I know, is essentially a liar. Strong accusatiion indeed I'm levelling at him.

So. . .what research proves otherwise?

Eddo89 said,
This author again has used mis-information to prove a point.

I had informed him in previous articles, claiming he understood but it seems he doesn't care. What is wrong? I will say it 3 times.

-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake
-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake
-Urgency has nothing to do with the Christtchurch earthquake

Not that I agree with government decision, as a New Zealander. Under urgency is a COMMON thing kin New Zealand parliament, it is almost like MP on overtime with few differences that is unrelated to this issue.


This is deceptive journalism, and it is written by an author who refuses to do proper research. To prove a point, first you need the truth. This author had bended the truth. Because I personally had informed him of his errors in the past, this journalist, Owen Williams I know, is essentially a liar. Strong accusatiion indeed I'm levelling at him.

you mean we should question the source of the information we find on the internet? WHAT? if it's on the internet, you know it's true. otherwise it would just be on the news on your TV.

That is the saddest piece of video I've seen in a while. The horrendous misunderstanding and stupidity allowed to continue in that house is just sad.

The guy was being completely reasonable and trying to point out that the law was a complete waste of time and was written by people who don't understand very simple concepts surrounding internet usage and the technologies that govern it.

I'd love to see what equation told them that someone should owe 250-750x the cost of something they downloaded. I'm really sure I've cost them an additional $13,000+ because 3 other people got 2% of the file from me while I downloaded it [/sarcasm]

omnicoder said,
I'd love to see what equation told them that someone should owe 250-750x the cost of something they downloaded. I'm really sure I've cost them an additional $13,000+ because 3 other people got 2% of the file from me while I downloaded it [/sarcasm]

I don't see the point in your statement, I guess you are ignorant to how criminal law works?

Please explain what you are trying to say.
Under criminal law its OK to fine a starving family $25,000 for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their children. But under criminal law its not OK to fine a tech-savvy Internet Subscriber $15,000 for downloading a movie that is $20 to buy in the store?
I don't follow your logic.

Ruciz said,

I don't see the point in your statement, I guess you are ignorant to how criminal law works?

Please explain what you are trying to say.
Under criminal law its OK to fine a starving family $25,000 for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their children. But under criminal law its not OK to fine a tech-savvy Internet Subscriber $15,000 for downloading a movie that is $20 to buy in the store?
I don't follow your logic.

can't you see the ending of his Sarcasm? ;o

anyway.. in any rate.. It's never OK to fine people that amount of money when they can barely get the bread.

In your opinion however, 15000 Dollar.. is still more then a normal user can get overnight, in a month even he would take out a loan which would make him just as poor as the people with no bread. But loans can be payed back.

Surely, you see A movie Isnt the same as a car? Like.. If you steal a car.. you might get teh fine being the prize of the car and then some jailtime? ..

If they'd do the same with "So called stealing of a movie" then people should pay the fine /~ maybe a warning from ISP aswell? and some jailtime?

its chaos in New Zealand, with all of the folks at home...

enable an unrealistic law without public consultation and then enforce it without accurate means of personal identification.

As a country - everyone should can their internet. Phone up and cancel for tomorrow morning. If they ask why, say their internet is too insecure and you feel as under the new law you will be harassed and wrongly charged with a crime that can't be proven.

Im sure the ISP's once they start losing thousands of customers will stand up for the public. If not, time to start New Zealand net!

Anyone know of any New Zealand proxies?

how to get around this? A simple free proxy will do, is this true?

So only illegal torrents are not allowed to be downloaded anymore? Are downloading TV shows like BBCs formula 1 broadcasts via torrent a copyright infringment?

vitaminX said,
how to get around this? A simple free proxy will do, is this true?

So only illegal torrents are not allowed to be downloaded anymore? Are downloading TV shows like BBCs formula 1 broadcasts via torrent a copyright infringment?

Not sure about BBC stuff, but most network TV is copyrighted. I can't really see them going after people, BUT it sounds like whoever is watching over the network you're on might? Who knows at this point?

Ridlas said,
Yep I downloaded a 20 dollar movie, and now they want me to pay 15k in fines? Yep, makes sense alright.

Of course it does! You have to realize that the blah blah blah impacts the blergh blergh blergh. If you continue to bleh bleh bleh, blah blah blah blergh blergh!

ROFL and they've made it considerably costly $22NZD processing fee for IP owners to actually go after offenders so I can't see it making a whole **** lot of difference