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1st Strikes Issued Under New Zealand Anti-Piracy Laws 123

Master Moose writes "New Zealand's largest ISPs confirmed yesterday that they had received their first notices under the government's new copyright regime, which came into effect on September 1. All the notices received so far appear to be from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Telecom, for example, received 42 notices — 35 for alleged download of songs by R&B star Rihanna, six for Lady Gaga tunes and one for British recording artist Taio Cruz. Curiously, it was the music industry, rather than the movie industry, that fired the first shot. It was believed the Motion Picture Association was keen to go after copyright infringers."
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1st Strikes Issued Under New Zealand Anti-Piracy Laws

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  • It was believed the Motion Picture Association was keen to go after copyright infringers.

    RIAA is already pretty universally hated. They killed Napster and are the ones who usually make the headlines. It makes sense from a PR standpoint to let them fall on the sword.

  • Kiwis that object to this system, feel free to take action [].

    P.S. No, writing to elected officials will not work.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )
      I'm disconnected as bro.
      Is it mean bro.
      yeah, mean as bro.

      Wait, I've got one more,
      Once were warriors, now a luddites.
  • At least they weren't labelled as child pornographers. I have to wonder just how much longer people are actually going to put up with this crap.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The only way people won't put up with this crap is if everyone (not literally, but enough) to overwhelm the system into being incapable of stopping it. In a democratic society, if everyone broke the law, then not would the law fall under that it is not the will of the people anymore?

      • by Aryden ( 1872756 )
        in a perfect system yes, the only times you truly see this happen is on votes that the people actually make. Amendments and what not. For most of this stuff, it's the elected officials that make the decisions and by the time the decision is made, voting them out does not necessarily fix the problem.
      • Re:Thanks ICE (Score:4, Interesting)

        by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:19AM (#37916566)

        Everyone (not literally, but enough) is already breaking the law. That doesn't do anything to get laws overturned. That only works if everyone is also held to the law (sued/arrested/fined/etc). Ex - speeding. Damn near EVERYONE speeds, but that hasn't done a damn thing to get rid of that law. They just limit how many people they ticket to socially acceptable level.

        I think there is another option, and believe it's time will come. Going back to the car analogy, this would be like filming the cops that are always filming us...

        * Share non-RIAA artists' music (doesn't matter who does this)
        * Log downloading/uploading IP's via a bunch of clients (bittorrent)
        * Watch for RIAA related IP's (them, or the hired lapdogs that do their work)
        * Have non-RIAA artist sue the RIAA for copyright infringement under the same laws they use. (or have them sign over their management of their "IP" to your organization)

        Do this enough, and it won't be profitable for the RIAA to do their tracking/monitoring/prosecuting of the P2P networks. That's how they're finding people right now - by joining the same P2P share, and watching for the IP's the upload parts of the content to them. This would make a great EFF or similar project.

        It would take very little to pull this off. There are fairly small companies doing this for the RIAA already. Just do the same for non-members but only sue the RIAA related people. Those non-RIAA artists would also benefit from an RIAA with reduced power and influence, as they'd be more likely to be seen and distributed in mainstream places.

        If the claim is made that you are targeting them and not protecting your "IP" from all the other downloaders, there is already a precedent set for that - the RIANZ, in this case, is only suing a handful of people... and there were certainly many others they saw while doing their tracking. Ditto on the relatively small number of RIAA suits in USA versus the number of people downloading/uploading.

        The other possible outcome would be that the precedent is set such that, if one is doing this kind of monitoring/prosecuting, they must do it to all offenders that they ID. That would actually be great because a HUGE carpet bomb of claims to LOTS of people would have to be sent out by the RIAA and, while that might scare a lot of people, there are going to be FAR FAR FAR more people that are horribly pissed off by it, including many people in power positions. That shit would end quick.

        One disclaimer - I don't believe in violating copyright and do not endorse it, but I do believe there are fair use situations (sharing a song with a couple friends; getting a drm-free copy of content you already purchased; format shifting (downloading a vhs rip of a vhs you already own)) that are perfectly acceptable (though possibly illegal).

      • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

        Well, have you seen the US law? In total, it's so big that it's pretty certain that EVERYONE is breaking some law.

        Does that mean it's undemocratic? If so, why is it supported and not fixed by democratically elected legislative body?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Here in New Zealand the bandwidth usage for the whole country dropped by 15% following September 1st when the law came into effect. It will be interesting watch how all of this unfolds.

    • Still, knowing somebody from NZ I can very well assure everybody that they haven't pirated only 42 files in the last 2 months. In the last two miliseconds maybe...

    • Oh good, let's see the extra income these industries suddenly started getting on Sept 1st.

  • by syousef ( 465911 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:27AM (#37916142) Journal

    You know where they can stick their umbarrreellla-ellla-ellla-aaayyyy-ayyyy.

    • by Aryden ( 1872756 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @12:31AM (#37916162)
      don't blame the artist, they are getting shafted by the same ass-clowns that are issuing out these notices. The RIAA steals so much money from them it's unbelievable. I just wish that the suit against the Canadian RIAA hadn't been settled and had gone the course. Then, at least, the artists would have had some semblance of hope in seeing some money back from the thieves ill-gotten gains.
      • don't blame the artist, they are getting shafted by the same ass-clowns that are issuing out these notices. The RIAA steals so much money from them it's unbelievable. I just wish that the suit against the Canadian RIAA hadn't been settled and had gone the course. Then, at least, the artists would have had some semblance of hope in seeing some money back from the thieves ill-gotten gains.

        Part of what needs to happen is the artists need to stand up for themselves and stop being the slaves that the **AA turn them into.

        Unfortunately most of them are stuck on the golden hamster wheel and are afraid to get off.

        • It doesn't help that for many of them the alternative is a distribution system that amounts to "Thanks for the freebies." They might see some money from the evil record companies (and they are indeed evil, thieving bastards), but they aren't going to see any from The Pirate Bay.

          • by Sasayaki ( 1096761 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @01:26AM (#37916368)

            Google Sam Tsui, or Kurt Hugo-Schneider. Easily the most talented singer sI've heard in a while. While I couldn't find any information on their income, they appear to have made music their full-time job and obviously have enough money to buy expensive cameras and drum kits and the like.

            You can make money without a record label. The book linked in my sig is now finished, undergoing the last few revisions before I put it to the Kindle store. I'm not expecting it to be the next Star Wars, but the point is, the barrier to entry is very low.

            Record labels, publishing companies, other 'talent aggregators'... are now essentially obsolete.

            • And the signal-to-noise ratio is extremely high.

              I'm by no means defending the status quo, but having produced music and books which have been freely available for years, I've learned one thing. Marketing is a major hurdle that any independent content producer will have to learn to do effectively in order to make money. The barriers to entry have been lowered, and that has introduced a flood of competition, so that it's extremely difficult to find an audience even at a price of "free" without resorting to

              • by Anonymous Coward

                The signal to noise ratio in the commercial industry is already as high as it can get as far as I am concerned, add more noise to the system and it would make no difference to me - it is all noise at this point (music industry specifically here). Every new artist I have discovered as a listener in the last 2 years or more has been through word of mouth of some sort, be it friends or discussion on the internet. The commercial distribution of music has nothing to do with quality anymore, or if it does then it

                • I agree 100%. The radio has been a joke for a decade at least, ever since Clear Channel bought up all the commercial stations in the country, we've been suffering under modern day Payola [] crap. You hear the same 30 songs in rotation all day long, and at night when a lot of them switch over to computer it seems like they play even less.

                  MTV hasn't played music since sometime in the early 2000's (last time I even watched the channel was when The Osbournes was on, and they didn't play music then). I suppose Y

          • Oh jeez do you actually believe this?

            They can sell their music cheap and DRM-free. Then there will be no incentive to pirate, and there will be no parasitic middleman to pay off.

        • by Znork ( 31774 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @04:33AM (#37917210)

          Artists are a dime a dozen. The publishing industry knew that even when they lobbied for copyright from the start; simply taking somebody elses work and getting exclusive rights to it because you published it was a bit strong to pass politically so they used artists and creators as an excuse.

          From the perspective of economics and power it didn't matter anyway if the creators got a pittance, they'd never get more as there is and has always been a vast overproduction of creative materials. The scarcity is in channel space and consumer attention, not in getting material to shove in there.

          Had copyright ever been for the sake of creators then reproduction and distribution would have been unhindered but with the creator automatically entitled to a share of every sale. As it is now, they're the weak party to the bargain and as long as copyright works the way it does, they're screwed, and if they don't want to get screwed anymore, they'll be replaced with someone else.

      • by syousef ( 465911 )

        don't blame the artist

        - Buying music by these artists funds this extortion.
        - If I can't blame the artists for their own act of signing up with a recording label, who exactly should I blame?
        - The most popular well known artists typically are not poor unless they've squandered their money or made terrible busienss deals. (I'm sure there are exceptions but that's the rule).
        - I also blame others like corrupt politicians that allow petty copyright infringements to carry heavier penalties than violent crimes.

        • What we need is "FairTrade" music. Much like the movement for Fair Trade food/coffee etc. we need a label to stick on music that indicated it is fair trade, and then people can boycott music that is not Fair Trade.
      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        I feel somewhat bad for all the current artists getting screwed (and less so for the popular ones, because even with the RIAA taking a lot of money they're still fucking rich), but the RIAA is going into the shitter. They're essentially irrelevant now - more and more music is being sold via iTunes and other services. Pretty soon, CDs will be a novelty like vinyl records.

        Every musician I know who aspires to become a professional performer is very aware of the raw deal artists have been getting for decades an

      • by mjwx ( 966435 )

        don't blame the artist, they are getting shafted by the same ass-clowns that are issuing out these notices.

        Nope, they are willingly putting out for these people.

        Whilst I dont blame a battered wife for getting hit, the simple fact is they do have to do something about it themselves, otherwise the beatings will continue. These "artists" (I use the term very loosely when talking about Rhianna) will continue to be abused until they stop willing to be abused.

        As an old /. sig once said "the music industry cares about artists in the same way a parasite cares about its host".

      • All the big artist support these actions not just by signing up but by active lobbying for even stricter laws. Only a tiny handful oppose this, the rest, the drug addicts and the moralists evade taxes and want strict draconian rules to save guard their own income.

        Look at the actions of say a U2, Bono the great moralist who played for the apartheid regime in South Africa, uses every tax dodge imaginable and whines about people "stealing" music.

    • As if you would have bought from those artists anyway. That's why boycotts don't work......half the time people calling for a boycott are the ones who wouldn't have shopped there anyway.
  • The real offence here is horrible taste in music!
  • I always thought it was uploading that was illegal (making available). As far as downloading goes, all of those songs are available officially (and unofficially) on youtube for free. Given that cracking down on these downloads makes less and less sense as you're certainly not missing out on any lost sales. My girlfriend's roommates listen to music exclusively on pandora and youtube (yes youtube). Other than Pandora license fees, the RIAA isn't getting a cent out of them or any of their friends. Time to

    • by chiguy ( 522222 )

      When torrenting, you are usually downloading and distributing simultaneously. I suppose you could be a just a leecher, but most bt clients throttle you for this.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Some countries indeed had the making available clause in most of their laws. However the new laws that implement 1-3 strikes (ACTA, TPP and alike) actually make downloading (consuming) media (any) illegal in any type of fashion which you haven't payed for. Even if someone would upload a video to Youtube without full and proper licensing (such as an artist promoting their album), you downloading it would be illegal.

    • by Nursie ( 632944 )

      I always thought it was uploading that was illegal (making available)

      Then you were always wrong. There have historically been harsher penalties for distribution, but downloading is still a copyright violation.

      Not to mention that most people using P2P upload anyway.

      • You may well be correct from a legal standpoint in some jurisdictions, but regardless of the law, 'downloading is a copyright violation' is just plain fucking braindead. Not least because it's inconsistent with how copyright licensing actually works.

        When I download a song from iTunes, I rely on someone on the other end of the wire having a legal right to make that copy. I don't have to obtain permission from the publisher or artist, it's up to Apple to ensure the transaction is legal. The understanding i

  • Any /. lawyers on here care to explain just how legal weight a copyright warning holds?

    If someone received a warning from their ISP and were able to track the company responsible for identifying you, how much weight would their supposed evidence hold in a court? I don't know about New Zealand, but hasn't the legal strength of an IP address being used to identify someone been successfully challenged in court before. Furthermore should a user be disconnected by their ISP, could a user then go after one of th
    • Not a Lawyer, am a New Zealander. After the 3rd warning notice the copyright owner can take you (the account holder of the IP address, as they are the one's liable) to the Copyright Tribunal (not a standard court), if they win it is damages in the range $275 to $15000.
      For more information see the 3strikes website [].
      • Actually that sounds kind of reasonable. When I heard about 3-strikes, I thought it was like the French one, where after the third strike you lose your use of the internet, which is obviously bad.

        But in this case it's like a buffer, you have two warnings before they can take you to court. And once they do take you to court, the damages aren't outrageous.....nothing in the millions range like here in the US. Seems like a reasonable solution to the problem......unless you want to get rid of copyright altoge
        • Re:Legal Weight? (Score:5, Informative)

          by mudshark ( 19714 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:17AM (#37916858)

          It's hardly reasonable. I'm also a Kiwi, and I'll tell you what's wrong with the law:

          1) Infringement notices are deemed valid on their face and not subject to review of their methodology.

          2) Presumption of guilt on the part of the alleged infringer, which runs counter to the established notion of common law which heretofore held sway in NZ.

          3) The tribunal does not have the same procedures as a normal court of law, in spite of its ability to hand down punishment. Rules of evidence and testimony are cut down, and the accused does not have any right to counsel.

          4) If and when the tribunal gains the power to order service termination, a wrongly accused individual could lose internet connectivity with no recourse available.

          5) The manner in which it was passed (under urgency) was a flagrant abuse of parliamentary procedure, and only a handful of MPs voted against it. Wikileaks has published diplomatic cables which document the meddling input of the US Embassy in crafting and shepherding the legislation, making New Zealand look ever more like a sad little banana republic eager to turn a trick for the rich foreigners.

          The law reeks, almost as much as the government which imposed it. God save WB.

      • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

        After the 3rd warning notice the copyright owner can take you (the account holder of the IP address, as they are the one's liable) to the Copyright Tribunal (not a standard court),.

        I guess it's a kangaroo court in more ways than one.

        • No, New Zealand does not (natively) have kangaroos, only Australia does.

          • by toriver ( 11308 )

            Maybe it should have been a kiwi law: "This won't fly".

          • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

            No, New Zealand does not (natively) have kangaroos, only Australia does.

            I know, but 'sheep fucking court' doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

        • Kangaroo fucken country, all of our politicians are spouting off about fiscal responsibility when they've pandered to American interests to push through a one sided 'fair trade' agreement which has the potential to see vast amounts of money taken out of our economy and for what? This law is nothing but detrimental for the New Zealand people. (PS i know that pirating=bad but when you see wage stagnation for effectively everyone (lets ignore the 140 something criminals who took home 7.1 billion last yea
    • by nzac ( 1822298 )

      Not a lawyer. The first 2 are just notices/warnings that you can challenge, though you have to prove innocence rather than they have to prove guilt (but i guess you would be able to review their logs they are using to accuse you, false accusations will be expensive in terms of wages).

      Furthermore should a user be disconnected by their ISP, could a user then go after one of these IP enforcement mobs for slander or loss of productivity as a result of one of these warnings?

      Not for any reasonable if any sum of money in NZ. We aren’t big on awarding large damages for anything and you do get two warnings and two months to comply.

      And I would expect that the fines for normal circumstances will b

  • As I have had some of my youtube videos with no music, original video, and me fucking appearing and talking in the video striked as piracy in the past.... (Of course that is resolved, but under this fascist law I am incorrect for publishing MY content just cause some spam monkey troll company thinks so based on a blanket policy).

    Fuck that, and fuck you recording industry, don't you get it? you ceased to matter in 1998, it does not take millions of dollars to produce and publish quality recordings any more,

  • In the past you hang em high if the crime is particularly hard to prosecute. For example, it is a felony to mess with someone's mail even though mail is typically not valuable.

    But in the present, it seems you hang em high if they threaten your business model. Downloading a song might make the RIAA lose pennies on the dollar on average as there is a good chance you wouldn't buy to begin with. Yet they want thousands or millions in compensation?
  • They're at least cracking down on people with poor taste in music. See below.
    "35 for alleged download of songs by R&B star Rihanna, six for Lady Gaga tunes and one for British recording artist Taio Cruz"
    And I'm pretty sure that's a typo, it's Lord Caca.
  • The only way to stop this forever is for everyone everywhere to just stop buying music.
    Don't buy DVDs of movies. Ever. Go to them in theatres if you must. Then remember what they were like, then do something else with your time instead of watching them over and over. You don't need them. They don't improve your live or your health.

    If you must have music that badly, learn to play and instrument. Or two....
    Sing! You have have a voice, USE IT.

    But for the love of God, stop crying 'cuz they make it t
  • For the 6 that downloaded Lady Gaga, they should be automatically declared guilty for bad taste.
    On the serious side, this "auto-guilty" stance is really going to get out of hand.

    • by nzac ( 1822298 )

      "auto-guilty" for this law like speed camera fines will most likely come with fines that amount to a couple of weeks disposable income at most. Proving trivial offences when there is reasonable certainty that you did do it makes it cost more for everyone.

      I do think they should change the law to failing to secure your network against copyright infringement though at least that's what they are actually prosecuting you for.

  • Just stop buying those worthless pieces of crap altogether, Downloading? Go ahead, instill the fear of even touching a "legit" product from said names.

    And then start actually to take note on the alternatives, such as Jamendo [] and the likes. Go to concerts to support the authors you do enjoy and search good music instead that being popularized by outlets such as MTV.

    Only then can true copyright reform begin, and prices drop to affordable levels.

    • by Binestar ( 28861 )

      Go to concerts to support the authors you do enjoy and search good music instead that being popularized by outlets such as MTV

      MTV does music again? When did this happen?

      • by toriver ( 11308 )

        Background music to the reality shows? Music streaming from the new stereo in the "Pimp my Ride" car?

  • by w0mprat ( 1317953 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @02:25AM (#37916590)
    It's really not a big fuss down here. Since september 1st there has only been a few handfuls of notices dished out, to only high profile artists that make millions for a couple of big labels (Rhianna is signed to Sony Music OTTOMH) are getting a few notices sent out. Largely due to the $25 dollar fee to do so, which has prevented litigious rights-holders from sending thousands of notices as the would if it was like $2. It's also only easy to track peer 2 peer that would likely invoke the infringment notices, being BitTorrent without doing terribly much to hide yourself and services like LimeWire, also rather easy to track what you are doing. So it's also only the easy targets.

    I can't count the list of other ways to pirate movies and music, many much less traceable, and can confirm that people have indeed switched to these, if were not using them already.

    Add to that it's only three strikes PER rightsholder, and each warning expires after 9 months. As an IT guy when people are asking for my advice, I say if your not downloading much, your downloading obscure shit and not whatever the most popular Miley Cryus torrent is on some public tracker, your very unlikely to get a notice, and when you do, just avoid that rightsholder till the notice expires.

    Also if the rights-holder has no history of suing anyone, your even more unlikely to get a notice. NZ also being small fry economically, it's also not terrible lucrative to go after pirates.

    By shear fortunate accident of incompetent lawmaking, it's rather neutered and not causing a huge problem... yet. It could have been worse. The whole guilt on accusation is a stilly bit shitty of course. NZers have a way of duly igorning BS laws and carrying on doing what they do.

    But I worry, NZ has lost it's testicular fortitude of late. In the 80s the French showed up in the south pacific wanting to test nuclear weapons, even 3000km from New Zealand, the response from NZ was strong and we ultimately suggested an alternate location they could shove their bombs. Hence NZ passing Nuclear-Free laws. If we still had stones like that, we would have told the foreign corporates somewhere dark to keep their law, and perhaps passed a law making piracy all but legal. Shame.

    We'll get rid of this stupid law when we grow some stones back.
    • by nzac ( 1822298 )

      By shear fortunate accident of incompetent lawmaking, it's rather neutered and not causing a huge problem... yet.

      If it's left as is it could be an example of competent law making.

      I ticks the boxes: 3 strikes law, allowing rights holders to force IPs to convert IP address into Account holders without a Court order and puts the burden of proof onto the infringer. That sounds pretty strict and scary and might implement all of ACTA.

      Yet its about the most toothless piracy law I have seen and you have plain stupid to offend 3 times. It probably costs the rights holders more to use than they will ever gain back. I think if

      • by hitmark ( 640295 )

        The very issue of turning IP into name and address without a court order is enough to give some shivers.

        • by nzac ( 1822298 )

          Sounds like most courts in some countries do it with out a large amount of proof anyway here your are just making sure they pay for each one.

    • You seriously believe that the legislation wont be amended in the future? There's already been plenty of speculation that they're going to go light on the first round of infringements in order to negotiate a reduction in processing fee's(the legislation comes up for review within the next year i believe),
      • by nzac ( 1822298 )

        Yes but keeping our ISPs happy is more important than out Music industry. The government just has to way up increased internet costs against a Fair Trade deal with the US.

        Right now the ISPs make a profit or at least are comfortably reimbursed.

    • Strong response?? Both the captured French terrorists (Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart) were let go when the French government hinted at economic sanctions.
  • by NewtonsLaw ( 409638 ) on Wednesday November 02, 2011 @03:29AM (#37916908)

    As outlined here [], only the completely stupid will be caught by this law.

    More important should be a closer look at the raison d'etre for originally creating copyright laws and how that's been corrupted by the movie studios and recording labels with their fat lobbying wallets.

    As described in the linked article, it's time copyright protection was scaled back to recognize that if the rights-owner refuses to sell their product to a particular market then there can be no losses associated with its unauthorized distribution. To allow rights-owners to prosecute people for copying that which they would otherwise be happy to pay for but aren't allowed to is a license to extort!

    • I actually like the definition proposed there. The basic premise is that if a work is for sale, it's illegal to copy it, but if you can't buy it, then there is no copyright infringement.

      Might be difficult to prove in court though. It doesn't sound very practical.

      If such a law would come into effect, the entertainment industry would probably put their entire back catalog on sale for say a billion dollars a piece. Then technically it would be for sale, just nobody would be able to pay the price. There are pro

  • Couldn't find information anywhere else, so I'll ask: is the issue here really downloading? Like in downloading over HTTP from, let's say, an 1-click-hoster? If so, how do they even find out? Man-in-the-midlle? Hoster giving out the downloader data? Seems not really plausible to me.

    Or is it about torrent, where you not only download, but also upload stuff? No idea, how it is in NZ, but in Europe it is a HUGE difference.

  • They have snipers that will just go out and shoot possible infringes in the head. and then scream.... I AM THE LAW!

  • 35 for alleged download of songs by R&B star Rihanna

    That's terrible. Certainly Rihanna makes enough money that she doesn't have to illegally download songs. And does she really have to go to New Zealand to do it? Seems she's spend more in airfare. She's just pirating music to hurt her fellow musicians.

  • Im betting sales in new zealand of proxy services with encrypted tunneling with exit points in Russia and Serbia are having a spike in sales. When I was a teenager with limited funds we used to swap blank tapes, today I am seeing gamers swapping files in bulk at lan parties thus totally bypassing all the *IAA on-line security. To subvert a star wars byline, the more you tighten your grip the more information flows through the gaps in your fingers.
  • I'd never heard of Taio Cruz until now. Now he/she is in the same sentance as Gaga and Rihanna. You think this is a form of using the Streisand effect for your own gain? Who want's to bet the last one was added in deliberately to boost awareness?

e-credibility: the non-guaranteeable likelihood that the electronic data you're seeing is genuine rather than somebody's made-up crap. - Karl Lehenbauer