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Information released to aid compliance with copyright laws

Hon Simon Power
Minister of Commerce

17 August 2011

Information released to aid compliance with copyright laws

Commerce Minister Simon Power today welcomed the publication of information to help people comply with new copyright laws which will come into effect on 1 September.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 repeals the controversial Section 92A of the Copyright Act and replaces it with a three-notice regime to deter illegal file sharing.

The system involves internet service providers sending warning notices to their customers informing them that they might have infringed copyright via file sharing networks. It also extends the jurisdiction of the Copyright Tribunal to provide an efficient, low-cost process to hear illegal file-sharing claims. The tribunal will be able to make awards of up to $15,000 based on damage sustained by the copyright owner.

Mr Power said the Ministry of Economic Development website contains specific information for rights owners, internet protocol address providers (IPAPs), and account holders, including:

• Information on how to minimise the risk of illegal file sharing occurring.
• An overview of the notice process, including a detailed timeline.
• Account holders’ rights and obligations under the notice process.
• An outline of the challenge process.

“Information released today on how to minimise the risk of illegal file sharing will also be sent out from 1 September with infringement notices.

“This issue has had a long and chequered history and I’m looking forward to the regime coming fully into force on 1 September to provide more effective measures to help our creative industries enforce their copyright.”

The information can be accessed on the MED website here. [Scoop copy]


The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 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.


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