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Piracy Your Rights Online

First Three-Strikes Copyright Court Case In NZ Falls Over 80

Posted by timothy
from the unbalanced-as-it-was dept.
Bismillah writes "The 'Skynet' anti-filesharing law introduced last year in New Zealand is starting to bite, with people being hauled in front of the Copyright Tribunal by the music industry after receiving three notices. Of the three Copyright Tribunal cases to be heard currently, the first one's just been dropped. Why? Nobody knows. RIANZ isn't saying. Interesting things: the accused was the ISP account holder, a student sharing a place with others who also used the Internet connection. The cost of the five songs downloaded is NZ$11.95 but RIANZ wanted NZ$1,075.50 because it estimated the music was shared/downloaded 90 times in total. A high deterrent penalty of NZ$1,250 was also asked for."
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First Three-Strikes Copyright Court Case In NZ Falls Over

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  • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:04AM (#41713193)

    The cost of the five songs downloaded is NZ$11.95 but RIANZ wanted NZ$1,075.50 because it estimated the music was shared/downloaded 90 times in total.

    That line of reasoning only works if this one guy is the only person they're going to punish for the filesharing. i.e. Once he's fined, the other 90 people who downloaded songs are free and clear, since the punishment for sharing 90 songs has already been meted out.

    If instead they're also planning to go after the 90 others who downloaded the song, and slap them with fines for it being downloaded 90 times, then they're effectively fining for 90*90 = 8100 songs being illegally downloaded. Clearly erroneous since it was only downloaded 90 times.

    That's what this boils down to. Either fine each filesharer for a single download (the copy the downloaded for themselves). Or fine one filesharer for all the downloads, but in the process give up your rights to prosecute the other filesharers. The "making available" argument is so mathematically nonsensical it can fabricate fines for billions of downloads when there were in fact fewer than 100,000 downloads.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by shentino (1139071)

      YOu have exposed t heir desire to have their cake and eat it too.

      They know damn well they'd be double dipping.

      • by MMC Monster (602931) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @06:51AM (#41713695)

        Double dipping is nothing.

        This is exponential dipping.

        • I prefer the term 'fractal dipping' because I like to think of it like a tree. 1 person with 90 branches. Those 90 branches each split into their own 90, which each split into their own 90, You get the idea.
          • Pyramid Dipping.
            • My idea is that it grows in several directions simultaneously in 3D space from a single point, similar to how one can jump and fall, move forward/backward and side-to-side in either direction. You might think of it as a web. Obviously there could be some connections between two seemingly unrelated parties such as mutual friends may who don't know they're mutual friends. Oops. I guess I've been thinking about the Xanadu project a bit too much lately, and how it could relate to social networking.
        • Even with the faulty logic and extra dipping, the fine is low compared to similar cases in the US. It's actually low enough that a normal person could pay it without going bankrupt....
    • by ae1294 (1547521)

      or fine everyone, even people who didn't download it and we're never run out of hookers and blow!

    • by aleph (14733)

      I only see a problem with this if you're *not* a rent seeking industry organization or an artist with an incredible sense of entitlement.

      If you're not one of those, then your opinion doesn't really matter, does it?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're applying logic to greed. Don't bother.

      I blame all the greed in this case on RIANZ, what I don't understand, is how a court justifies using those logs as evidence. The technology simply doesn't exist to track things like that reliably. Especially when you're trying to legally cheat someone out of their life savings.

      Even DNA based evidence isn't always accurate, and when it's used, it's for something like rape or murder.

      I think these judges, should be rotated, once in a while to have all kinds of cases

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @05:37AM (#41713443)

      Even if they were going to go after this one person, how many casual torrenters have a ratio of 90:1?

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        That's assuming they were even going by a ratio.

        What if they just went by the number of peers that connected and downloaded a part?

    • by chrismcb (983081)

      That line of reasoning only works if this one guy is the only person they're going to punish for the filesharing. i.e. Once he's fined, the other 90 people who downloaded songs are free and clear, since the punishment for sharing 90 songs has already been meted out.

      It doesn't work that way. They BOTH broke the law. Just because one person paid, doesn't been the ones who downloaded shouldn't be punished. Of course they should be punished, but not pay restitution, as that has already been paid.

      • by dudpixel (1429789)

        Have another read of the comment you replied to.

        If they all broke the law, then they should all be penalised, true - but they should only be penalised for what they actually did. Charging one person for the crime that 90 other people did is not fair - they should all be charged equally since he and all the 90 others effectively committed the same crime.

    • by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @10:10AM (#41714305) Homepage

      I don't know about New Zealand, but generally speaking, it is uploading that is illegal, not downloading.

      In the offline world, if someone is selling dodgy CDs at a car boot sale, it is the person selling them that gets prosecuted, not the customers.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The offline world is irrelevant. This is p2p. How many different people uploaded parts of the file to the same person? There is double dipping going on here even if you just take into account the uploading, and it's quite difficult to prove a single thing.

        Why they allow copyright holders to 'estimate' is beyond me.

      • The RIAs and MPAs of the world don't equate this to bootlegging, they equate it to theft. In the offline world, at least in the US, both seller and purchaser of stolen goods are criminals.
      • As someone in New Zealand, my understanding of the law is that it can only be used against someone who is downloading copyrighted material for the purpose of making it available to others. In other words, if we watch something on YouTube we're not going to get snapped, but instead the law is going after P2P specifically. I would hazard a guess that if you're not uploading (or you're avoiding popular songs/movies that are more likely to be tracked), you probably won't show up on their radar. But, IANAL. :

    • by jon3k (691256)
      I had an interesting thought about "making available". What if I use a bittorrent client and I disable all uploading, I just leech. Then I use mrtg or some network traffic logging software and I can show that no data is ever uploaded. Then I download everything I want, get sued and when they claim I should pay some insane fine because I "made it available" I produce all the logs and proof that no one ever downloaded it from me. If even a fraction of people did this, you could make it probably impossibly
  • Estimated? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 20, 2012 @04:10AM (#41713213)

    Gee, yeah we only caught him stealing one apple, but we estimate he took a bag of gold - that we can't proof ever existed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    lashdot eeds ew ditors!

  • Wouldn't it be three 'wides' and yer out, I don't think baseball is that big in NZ.
    • by Bill Currie (487)

      You're showing a lack of knowledge of crumpets.

      A wide is where the bowler screws up and, if the fielders screw up too (or the bowler really screwed up), the runners might run anyway. There are three ways to get out in cricket: the ball is caught off the bat, the ball hits the stumps (either because the batsman failed to block the ball as thrown by the bowler, or thrown/touched by any other fielder while the batsman is outside the wicket), or the ball (when thrown by the bowler) hits the batsman's leg, but o

      • by Dantoo (176555)

        Methods of getting out in Cricket: Laws 30 to 39

        Bowled
        Timed out
        Caught
        Handling the ball
        Hitting the ball twice
        Hit wicket
        Leg before wicket
        Obstructing a fielder
        Run out
        Stumped

        A "wide" in simplest terms is when the ball is bowled so far to the side or above the wicket that batsman is denied a reasonable opportunity to score.
        In other use: "The Slashdot Editor's life looks like being called a wide".

      • by ixuzus (2418046)
        Try 11 ways [wikipedia.org] of which five are very common.

        You're showing a lack of knowledge of crumpets.

      • by Legion303 (97901)

        Calvinball is even stranger than I remember.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        That makes perfect sense. Just a few things....

        What's a bowler, stumps, batsman, or a fielder?

        What game are you even talking about?

  • In the US, this wouldn't be a risk, because all of your strikes will be taken care of by your ISP. Who also just happens to probably be one of the major copyright holders and proponents, themselves. And your accusation, guilt, and penalty will all be taken care of conveniently and easily by your ISP. No need to involve those pesky legal systems, beginning with re-educating you with copyright propaganda classes and ending with restricted or no internet access.

    • by shentino (1139071)

      Which is nice because as a private business your ISP already reserves the right to refuse service for any or no reason.

      Even if you're completely innocent, the ISP's legal department will put pressure on customer service to let your strikes stick anyway simply to save themselves paperwork dealing with copyright interests.

      Key point: Your ISP is a private business and is not obligated to be fair.

      They won't bother standing up for your rights. It's much more convenient for them to take the path of least resist

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        Problem with this logic is that it assumes that piracy is only practiced by a small percentage of customers.

        Once you hit 10% of your customers being 86'd (by SOC#, credit card num, etc.) it will start to affect the bottom line far more than the copyright interests would.

        Put it this way... once 50% of your society is in prison, do you really have a society left?

  • How About (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What about a P2P system that allows (not requires) the user to keep a log of successful downloads of a song or movie, and his/her share of it? For example, if I run a Bitorrent client and someone downloads ten chunks out of 100 of a Michael Jackson song, my client would log 10% distribution of that song. At the end of the month I could make a donation to the artist in the amount equal to the price of their song on iTunes/whatever multiplied by the number of downloads and the fraction thereof. If a user coul

    • You forgot the part where you pay the record label 90% of that 10% that you distributed. And also the donation to the artist must be made by way of that same record label, because they know what they're doing.
  • Sorry at the end of the day isn't the upload ratio 1

  • by Genda (560240) <mariet@got.nERDOSet minus math_god> on Saturday October 20, 2012 @06:41AM (#41713661) Journal

    why does this conversation look like a bunch of chickens discussing the finer points on the morality of being fricasseed?

    Let's get this straight. The recording industry is interested in the executives of the recording industry. All others can snack on feces and die.

    They will make money in the process if they can, but that's not important and its not the point.

    The point is to make huge public example of a few people who will be so horribly mauled by the corporation that nobody will ever think of making that mistake.

    The intention is to create a system that allows a vanishing few to own and control most or all IP to the point that you will have no freedom to hum to yourself without an executive somewhere getting paid.

    This is about control, and ultimately the control of thought. This is about an entitled few who believe its their birthright to milk the entire human race dry.

    Are we now clear about what is actually happening?

    • by brxndxn (461473)

      I don't see what's so funny about this.. It's so blatantly true.

      • Yes, and the public is far too accepting of their high handedness, and too credulous of their propaganda. It's amazing what the public takes lying down: speed traps, parking meters, red light cameras, outrageous bank fees, obnoxious high pressure debt collection practices, reversed or ignored cancellations of monthly services and subscriptions (AOL did a lot of that), slamming, cramming, pages and pages of fine print, purposely confusing terms and fees, surveillance, and more.

        Many local businesses are m

        • Oh they're lions all right. Per the National Geographic discovery a couple of decades ago. Statistically, lions eat carrion more frequently than jackals do, and consequently hunt much less. It took a lot of night camera work to find out, but it's true.

          The analogy is more than apropos.

    • by rtb61 (674572)

      Good thing then that's it's not what is 'actually happening'. Most certainly it is what they are trying to do but they are saturninely getting their ass kicked by the internet. Not that we can sit back and relax but those arse holes will never ever stop trying until they are all finally locked up for being the corrupt douches they are. There is a legislation and political war going on and on one side is the end of freedom of speech and civil liberties and the other side is the fight to retain these most im

  • by xmundt (415364) on Saturday October 20, 2012 @06:42AM (#41713663)

    Greetings and Salutations;
    I have to say that I am glad that the case failed, and, with luck many more will too. The only people that will get nailed by these enforcement measures are, I fear, the naive and (mostly) innocent youth who are not the soulless thieves engaging in the wholesale business of selling copies of the music without passing royalties along to the artists (and, yes, I do include the recording industry in general in that latter category). IN America, the RIAA did, at one time, provide a useful service at a reasonable price to an artist. However, like many organizations, it has evolved to being in the business of getting as much money as possible from the consumer, and, giving as little of it as possible to the artists that provide its life-blood. Speaking of which...thanks to the creative accounting practices of the RIAA, a given artist might expect a royalty rate of 10% to 20% on an album, but, the actual rate never climbs over 2.75%. A quick search turns up a number of detailed articles about how this works....
    But, I digress - so back to copyright infringement... If the recording industry had not spent the past several decades inhaling stupid gas by keeping its head firmly planted in its ass, it would realize that there are some simple steps that it could take to make everyone in the process richer and happier. I would propose these changes:
    1) drop all chasing after individuals, and, go after the companies that do wholesale duplication and flood the market. Frankly, the recording industry's record of suing college students, grandmothers, and, 6 year old girls for mountains of money is not doing anything positive for them. It is not making the purchasing public think "wow...they are really standing up for the artists! I WILL buy that new album for full retail!", nor, is it actually causing a drop in copyright violations or filesharing.
    2) Seriously reconsider the cost of a CD. One of the major reasons that filesharing happens is that few people are interested in paying $25+ for a recording that might have one or two good tracks on it.
    3) Continuing that thought...stop producing mindless, shallow and mind-numbingly boring albums. I, over the years, have bought quite a few albums. One of the criteria I use to decide if I am going to spend my hard-earned money on the recording is the question - can I tell what track is being played? If I have an album where there are a dozen tracks, all of which sound identical to each other...I probably will pass on that recording. Now, here, part of the problem does lay at the feet of the artists. I think that they have realized that it is all about money, and that the music means nothing. This has depressed their creativity so much that they are phoning in the performances. However, I also believe that if given positive feedback, in the form of fan appreciation, and cash, they might well get that spark back.
    4) realize and accept the fact that file sharing, rather than depriving the company of profit, is the best and cheapest advertising that they could get. The best salesman in the world is the person who has personal experience with the music, and, is pushing it to their friends. When Napster was new, and still legal, the recording industry pushed to kill it by claiming it was the reason that CD sales were down by 15-20%. Well, independent polls showed that people were using it to sample a new artist's music, and, more often than not would go out and purchase that artist's CDs if they liked it. At the time, I was in a fair number of chat rooms, and, I always made it a point to ask how folks were using Napster. About 1 person out of 100 said they were using it to get as much music for free and they had no intention of buying any more CDs. The remaining 99% were using it as a s

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...Continuing that thought...stop producing mindless, shallow and mind-numbingly boring albums. I, over the years, have bought quite a few albums. One of the criteria I use to decide if I am going to spend my hard-earned money on the recording is the question - can I tell what track is being played? If I have an album where there are a dozen tracks, all of which sound identical to each other...I probably will pass on that recording. Now, here, part of the problem does lay at the feet of the artists. I think that they have realized that it is all about money, and that the music means nothing. This has depressed their creativity so much that they are phoning in the performances. However, I also believe that if given positive feedback, in the form of fan appreciation, and cash, they might well get that spark back.

      While I appreciate and agree with your feedback here, let me expound a bit on this particular problem. The music industry does not go after "artists" anymore. They go after brand names. Pretty boy toys and pedo-riffic little girls that they can dress up and whore out and slap their face on every piece of product they can, which most products have absolutely nothing to do with music. Oh and speaking of music, let's touch briefly back on that. You want to save music? Start by making autotune illegal, an

    • One of the main reasons I refuse to buy new albums is that in most cases, I know only a few pennies of my money goes to the artist; I attend live shows & buy t-shirts at them instead. This article [negativland.com] is the best I've seen for detailing the matter.

      In fact, tonight I'm seeing an older artist called Les Chambers in concert that, despite being the lead singer for a couple of hits that have been used all over the friggin' place since the 60s, was never paid any royalties [facebook.com], even ended up homeless for a while (I

  • easy solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Don't buy and don't copy/share/p2p/whatever major label music. There are a lot of musicians that distribute their music outside those channels - on jamendo for example. Look for what you like, get a legal, drm-free download and please: donate where you know the money actually ends up with the musicians. Just let the major labels die. Don't give them money or even attention (e.g. by sharing songs by artists in their thrall).

    • should get an account so you can harvest some karma.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Karma is irrevelant and pointless.
        It's not worth the potential problems of having yet another account on yet another site.

        If the statement or opinion is good. It will stand on it's own. Logged in or not.

        • (1) It will help you survive troll mods. (2) Many readers ignore ACs by default. (3) Context of authorship is information.

          However suit yourself, a person's identity is their own resource.

  • Those with resources sell them, and invest the profits back into the developed world, in return for paper. The paper is backed by debt servitude of people in the developed world –Mortgage Back Securities, student loans, etc. This is the price you pay for staying in a carbon economy. It can come to an end whenever people are willing to take the medium term hit of going to an electrical economy. But old people won't and they can rent enough not so old people for a while. Also, it would take a party of g
  • If they're only asking for a total of ~2400$NZ it would probably be less to just settle the case than to go through the whole trial and legal nonsense of it. Compared to the ~7,000,000$US that some cases over here have demanded of people for the same offense, it's a pretty good deal for getting busted when you pirate music.

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