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Cabinet approves notice fee for copyright regime

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Commerce


12 July 2011 Media Statement

Cabinet approves notice fee for copyright regime

Commerce Minister Simon Power today announced that internet service providers will be able to charge rights holders up to $25 for processing an allegation of copyright infringement.

The decision was made by Cabinet when considering technical regulations to underpin the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011, which comes into effect on 1 September.

“The Government decided that a fee of up to $25 fee was an appropriate compromise between what rights holders and the ISPs wanted.

"However, we will review that six months after the Act comes into effect to make sure it's at the right level.

“For rights holders, the fee level ensures the regime is a more cost-effective enforcement measure than what is currently available through the courts, and allows them to pursue a reasonable number of alleged copyright infringements to educate internet users.

“For ISPs, the fee level prevents them from being inundated with alleged copyright breaches to the point they find it difficult to comply with the regime, and allows them to recover a reasonable proportion of their costs.”

The regulations will also prescribe:

• The information that rights holders need to provide to ISPs in order to trigger the infringement notice process.
• The form and content of infringement notices sent to internet account holders by their ISP, including a requirement that notices must include information on the operation of the Act and general copyright information.
• The method by which the Copyright Tribunal determines the amount of an award (up to $15,000) for copyright infringement arising from file sharing.
• That the application fee to take a claim to the Copyright Tribunal is $200.

The Cabinet paper on the regulations can be found here.
[Scoop copy: Cabinet_Paper__Copyright_Infringing_File_Sharing_Regulations_2011.pdf]

Background:

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 establishes a three-notice regime to deter illegal file sharing. It involves ISPs sending warning notices to their customers informing them they may have infringed copyright. It also extends the jurisdiction of the Copyright Tribunal so it provides an efficient, low-cost process to hear illegal file-sharing claims.

The Act also includes a power for a district court to suspend an internet account for up to six months, in appropriate circumstances. However, this element of the legislation will not be brought into force unless the Minister of Commerce considers that the notice process and the remedies by the Copyright Tribunal are ineffective. This will enable the Government to work with stakeholders to monitor and review the situation and determine when a further deterrent may be needed. It's expected the issue will be reviewed in two years’ time, coinciding with the five-year review of the digital copyright amendments that were passed in 2008.

ENDS

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