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NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect 329

Posted by samzenpus
from the heat-is-on dept.
First time accepted submitter sfranklin writes "As of Sept 1 at midnight, 'anyone caught downloading copyrighted content illegally could face fines of up to $15,000 and have their internet cut off' in New Zealand. You don't even have to do the deed yourself. The 'account holder needs to know what's going on even if they themselves don't do anything online ...' Scary stuff, although I wonder how much actual enforcement is likely to happen."
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NZ Illegal Downloading Crackdown Law In Effect

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  • Not all bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by atomicbutterfly (1979388) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:00AM (#37272652)

    If I were a Kiwi (slang for New Zealander in case you didn't know), this law would give me an additional impetus to begin searching for free/open-source/creative commons software and media for all my computing and entertainment needs. Sure, I'd buy stuff occasionally as well, but if I had to buy every single thing I was using which was pirated I'd be broke and seriously in debt. Much better to hunt out legally free software and media.

    Having said that, I'm an Aussie (the bigger brother of the Kiwis) and it's a hobby for me to do this anyway even though we don't have such a draconian law. I suppose some others in NZ might find ways to get around it, but I don't see the point of risking it myself.

    • Re:Not all bad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by nospam007 (722110) * on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:12AM (#37272708)

      I'd invest a couple of bucks a month to rent a seedbox in Burkina Faso or Tonga.

      • by nzac (1822298)

        I'd invest a couple of bucks a month to rent a seedbox in Burkina Faso or Tonga.

        The funniest thing about that I think you avoid the law completely (yes its still covered by the general copywrite one) as well as the added bonus of being anonymous to all but the governments.

        IANAL but since you are not torrenting outside the country you can be easily prosecuted for the torrenting from the seedbox/vps. Then since the law only covers p2p at the application level the ftps or ssh downloading to your desktop is fine (yes again there is the general copywrite law).

        I would think that this law wil

    • by ivi (126837)

      Aussie might not have laws like NZ's [yet], but sometimes they don't NEED such laws...

      One person - from Overseas - was sharing his I'net feed with a house mate UNTIL he received a "We see you've been downloading someone else's IP." eMail from his ISP. So afraid that a prosecution (eg, for IP theft, or whatever the crime is in AU) would adversely affect an upcoming decision on Permanent Residence, that they STOPPED sharing their I'net feed.

      I HAPPEN TO KNOW that the Overseas guy kept the router set to use onl

      • IP theft, or whatever the crime is in AU

        Downloading is not a crime in Oz and nobody has ever been sued for it in an Australian civil court, but somehow the Australian government is responsible for Overseas_guy's rampant paranoia? He was never in any danger and should have done what most Aussie's do in that situation, ie: tell his current ISP to go fuck themselves and switch to one of the many ISP's that do not forward AFACT's idle threats to their customers.

    • The parent has a point.

      If measures like this are really successful, they will reveal that the alleged losses that software makers suffer from due to piracy are completely imaginary. Nobody except well-running, larger companies can or will afford to buy the tons of commercial software available and certainly no school kid can afford to buy 10 games at 60 $ every month. The industry's expectations are ridiculous.

      To give an example, when I used to be a very poor student that could barely afford to pay his ele

    • In addition, this law reduces the maximum penalty for copyright infringement from $50,000 to $15,000.

      If you are in the right, you can still challenge this in court. An IP address isn't proof, but it is very strong evidence that someone did something.

      ...and I'm from New Zealand btw.

      • but it is very strong evidence that someone did something.

        And unless they have very strong evidence that that someone was you, I think they should lose instantly.

    • Thing is, this is more likely targetting TV episode/movie/music downloads. Unless Netflix or similar service is in place, people will continue to download.

      Anyone know how easy it is in NZ to get a different ISP?
      What's the ISP market like?

      • Anyone know how easy it is in NZ to get a different ISP?

        Very easy.

        What's the ISP market like?

        Fairly competitive but still overpriced for the small data allowances you get. There's essentially one big backbone ISP (Telecom) and most of the smaller ISPs wholesale connections from them, and regulations prohibit Telecom from blocking competition.

    • You wouldn't have to stop pirating. The law only covers peer to peer and torrent protocols, so as I recommended to my sister who lives in NZ, you just need to rely on streaming, file hosting sites and the sneakernet. The sneakernet is where most of her piracy happens anyway.
    • It is sadly telling that your comment - advocating going completely legit by such means as finding alternative media - currently sits at +4 Insightful, with the very first reply - advocating continuing illegal behavior but in a way that would make it difficult for you to be caught - sits at +5 Interesting.

      As hopeful as I am that people would follow your example - which in the end 'hurts' big media more - I rather suspect they'll go with the alternative.. can't very well miss that latest episode of Game of T

    • But you still have one problem: The patent war/trolls. In the current situation you can not even take a step without "violating" the "imaginary property" of someone
  • As a so-called IPAP, I have so far received a Grand Total of Zero infringement notices for my netblocks.
  • Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sasayaki (1096761) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:02AM (#37272656)

    It'll be enforced almost never, except against people who earn a personal grudge from someone in authority. Turn down that creepy ex-politician for a date? Get a knock on the door from the state sponsored copyright cops. Film a cop beating up a homeless guy and post the video on YouTube? Your NAS gets seized by her majesty's finest.

    It's like criminalizing swearing. Since everyone except extreme outliers is guilty of the crime at some point or another, it's not possible to enforce it properly so the law becomes just something else to throw at people who piss off people with power.

    • Or they could do it like they do in Germany... lawyers contact copyright owners and make a deal (percentage of the money recovered), then they connect to the various trackers to find content belonger to their customers. Once said content is found, they check if there are German IPs in the torrent. If they find German IPs, they go to the judge to get a court order to force the ISP to reveal the account information for that specific IP, with that specific router MAC address, in that specific timeframe. Finall

    • Re:Simple (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:20AM (#37272754)

      It doesn't work like that at all.

      The copyright owners must contact the ISP with proof of an offence (an IP address from a torrent would be enough), then the ISP passes on the warning.
      If you get three notices, then you have to go to court and defend yourself by proving that you didn't download the material.

      That is a terrible link in the summary, more detail about the law can be found here [legislation.govt.nz].

      • If you get three notices, then you have to go to court and defend yourself by proving that you didn't download the material.

        So it's guilty unless proven innocent, then? For all they know, you weren't even the one doing it.

      • by russotto (537200)

        The copyright owners must contact the ISP with proof of an offence (an IP address from a torrent would be enough)

        Right. Because torrent trackers have NEVER been known to include bogus IP addresses which weren't connected.

    • Why do people in real high power approve such shit laws?

      Sure if we all received a nice 350k salary we would never ever pirate anything.

      And stop using the term pirate, we arent raping people on boats.

      Its civil copywrite violations.

      Oh and btw every cop in NZ uses bit torrent to download movies for their kids, they sure dont get paid enough to buy games/movies.

      I wanna see politians on 55k salary.

    • by Dan541 (1032000)

      It's like criminalizing swearing.

      Like they did in Australia?

  • As a kiwi. . (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Master Moose (1243274) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:03AM (#37272660) Homepage

    I don't think that anyone actually wants us to use the internet.

    We have always been penalised because of and by it. Expensive and slow by international standards. . . and now this finally passes (it has been on the books for some time)

    I would write more, but I am likely to go over my data cap any minute.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by miasmic (669645)

      Yeah I'm already over my data cap, I've been waiting a week before I can start watching Youtube videos and download again, only a couple more days to go.

      It really is appalling and a backwards attitude is seen from both Telecom providers and the government here. It results in usage of search engines, smart phone apps etc that's years behind countries like the US and UK, even taking into account population differences. I'm totally disappointed to hear that this passed. The country I feel in many areas takes

    • Totally agree, another New Zealander here, for a country that keeps BSing on and on about wanting to be a technological powerhouse the government does a damn good job trying to supress technology. They let companies like Telecom cap bandwidth to the point that it cripples net use and add so much additional tax on technology items that they can easily cost double what they cost in other countries.

      They are so proud of their fibre to the home plan which will take decades to deliver outdated tech and they have

    • by jamesh (87723)

      When people stopped downloading illegal content over your narrow pipe I bet there will be a lot more available bandwidth you to download the legitimate content you've been waiting for!

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) *

      I don't think that anyone actually wants us to use the internet.

      Of course they don't! They HATE the public Internet that we've been using for the past few decades.

      They want you to move over to their nice new PRIVATE Akamai-run Internet where there's a meter on everything.

      That regular people ever got access to the Internet was a surprise to most companies. Look at the way the telecoms are scrambling to take ownership of the Internet.

      The only reason we ever had a public Internet is that it was developed by

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Do you remember early AOL before you could use it to get to the Web?

        Forget AOL; do you remember CompuServe (or Compu$erve as many called it) before AOL, with their crazy numeric usernames and ridiculous and expensive per-hour charges? I seem to remember charges like $4-8/hour, and this was back in the 1980s when salaries were a fraction of what they are now. Plus there were additional charges for other activities on there.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:04AM (#37272668)
    This should snuff out the last vestiges of culture in New Zealand. The RIAA's own recent study found downloaders are their best customers. If this law is effective in stopping downloaders, the New Zealand music industry should collapse completely. That will be funny!
  • by JustOK (667959)

    Do they mean midnight at the start of 1 Sep or the one at the other end?

  • by digitaltraveller (167469) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:11AM (#37272704) Homepage

    1. All Content is Copyright by default.
    2. How do you distinguish the legal from the illegal content?

    • by russ1337 (938915)

      1. All Content is Copyright by default.
      2. How do you distinguish the legal from the illegal content?

      Exactly. In other countries they refer to the 'sharing' as the illegal part. Here in NZ it appears to be the 'downloading'. Does that mean if I watch 'RayWilliamJohnson' on youtube he can have my internet cut off?

      How am I to know whether the person who posted the video has the rights to post it, or not?

      If they're talking about 'sharing' then it's certainly not very clear in their education campaign.

      • How am I to know whether the person who posted the video has the rights to post it, or not?

        IANAL but I wonder if you could mount a legal defence based on YouTube's user policies and their policing of the content they see to be doing these days

    • by blahplusplus (757119) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @04:47AM (#37273056)

      Copyright is the new enclosure of the commons. The digital commons is being enclosed by corporate/government powers because it is a threat to the status quo.

    • 2. How do you distinguish the legal from the illegal content?

      You're right - we can't 100% distinguish that. Especially not when somebody may have a personal video up on YouTube and in the background happens to be a piece of footage from a film on a TV, and the copyright owner of that piece decides to present a copyright claim.

      And because we can't make that distinction, we might as well download:

      • Don__t_Be_Afraid_of_the_Dark_(2011)_DVDrip_XviD-VRBH
      • TrollHunter.2010.LiMiTED.720p.BluRay.x264-NODLABS
      • Rise_Of_The_
  • At least there are no software patents [itwire.com] there. So free software and creative commons thrive without the impetus that is the idea of people owning applied math on a computational device.

    • by nzac (1822298)

      That has yet to pass the final reading and they gave no good reason for the delay (I would think they are being lobbied by "people" from US). I would think it will eventually pass though.

      The NZOSS did tell MS where to stick their OOXML patent though.

  • how much actual enforcement is likely to happen

    If this were the US, I'd expect it to be like the War on Drugs: Plenty of enforcement, very little justice.

    • Any law that comes with an assurance that it "usually" won't be fully enforced does not belong in a civilised society. Again this is the same as with drug laws where, in the UK, you might be let off with a caution for possession but the law says you can be thrown in jail for up to seven years (for class-A substances such as MDMA).
  • If someone induces government ministers or departments to download your own personally created copyrighted content, you then each and collectively sue the government and it's departments to oblivion.

  • by matrixskp (629075) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:38AM (#37272824)
    http://www.copyright.com.au/Latest_News/New_Zealand_passes_Copyright_Amendment_Bill.aspx [copyright.com.au] http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2011/0011/latest/viewpdf.aspx [legislation.govt.nz] New Zealanders protested quite loudly against this bill - with the internet blackout campaign - http://creativefreedom.org.nz/blackout.html [creativefreedom.org.nz] - , unfortunately it was still passed. More proof that politicians are mostly a bunch of money grubbing ass bandits that will do what ever big business wants them to for a little time at the swill trough!
  • by bunbuntheminilop (935594) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @03:38AM (#37272828)

    I haven't been able to hit 5Mbps for 3-4 years (it's not much, but I'm in rural New Zealand), and I've never been able to stream video in high quality, but tonight I'm totally able to. My ping is only 25ms, and I never thought it would be possible to have a ping so low. Now I can play games online!

    I was against it, but, maybe it's not such a bad thing? What do you guys think?

  • As all such bad laws are. If they prosecuted everyone for it, they'd face a voter revolt at the next elections. They just need to make a few high profile examples to put the fear of God into everyone else.

    If you want to fuck with the system, all you guys down there could start generating your own damn content under the commons. At least until the *AAs come back and get the commons outlawed. One of the nice side effects of all that DRM is it makes it significantly harder for your average user to generate t

  • Some people in Los Angeles have buy some games for 20$. This is because Amazon give discounts. Is all ok, but on the other side of the pacific, people play for the same game maybe 80$. Media in that part of the world are more expensive for not real reason. And I am talking about a digital download. I suppose the media cartel there can use higher prices, since physical good can be really more expensive, if are produced elsewhere and imported. But theres not good reason to apply that to bits. You can h

  • File sharing? Most of us don't even go there anymore. Everything can be taken straight off youtube in broad daylight:
    http://en.crav-ing.com/ [crav-ing.com]

    Another awkward moment for justice, for being able to do the same thing but legally... and for it being powered by google.

  • I have a website, but I didn't explicitly authorize NZ residents to view it. Does that make it illegal for NZ residents to download my copywritten material just by visiting the website? Politicians and lobbyists really do live on another planet.

  • If I lived in a country that had such a law, the first thing I would do is ensure my children never had internet access - since as their parent, I am financially liable for their behavior.

    I would also turn off the wireless on any internet-connected devices and go hard-wired only.

    There are certainly other measures one could take to protect oneself from inadvertently becoming a victim of this sort of law - but those are a couple of basic ones.

    I wonder if the people who voted for the law will like the con
  • I'm all for people being held respnosible for what their computers and connections do - then maybe people will finally start taking some responsability and be careful with online security instead of just bringing their machine to me when they get an infection that stops something working (and tell me when I point out that some of the malware has been on the machine for many months that "I know, but I never put my credit card details in or anything so it couldn't hurt me" - considering the fact they might in
  • The 'account holder needs to know what's going on even if they themselves don't do anything online...'

    So if a lowly government employee downloads a copyrighted MP3 on the government network, the government falls?

  • Some good links (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mistakill (965922) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @05:40AM (#37273264)

    here is some good reading by a leading NZ IP lawyer, on the new law...

    http://lawgeeknz.posterous.com/copyright-cheapskates [posterous.com]
     
      and http://lawgeeknz.posterous.com/nzs-copyright-proposal-guilty-until-you-prove [posterous.com]

  • by nzac (1822298) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @05:44AM (#37273280)

    The law only applies for using p2p at the the application layer. I would think about 3 out of our 120 politicians have a basic understanding of torrents/internet.

    There are so may obvious ways around this but they either cost or are less convenient. http://bayfiles.com/ [bayfiles.com] is just in time.

    It also makes it so you are very unlikely (a little less than before) to be prosecuted under our general copy-write law. I would say the stupidity of discrimination against protocols makes will make piracy easier.

  • I rent a couple of rooms in my house to students and I include free internet. I have no clue what they might be downloading on it.

    If I were a Kiwi, I'd be connecting to my ISP through a cheap shelf company. That way if I get sued, they can sue the empty shelf company and get nowhere. Don't know if that is a loophole or not....

  • by udoschuermann (158146) on Thursday September 01, 2011 @10:01AM (#37274630) Homepage

    Next up: Bot nets start downloading illegal content. Hilarity ensues.

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