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Music Piracy

NZ Copyright Tribunal Fines First File-Sharer 102

An anonymous reader writes with news that the first successful case was brought before the copyright tribunal under NZ's three strikes law. From the article: "The first music pirate stung under new file-sharing laws has been fined $616 but 'didn't realise' the actions were illegal. The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) — which represents music studios — took an unnamed offender to the Copyright Tribunal last year for sharing songs on the Internet — a track by Barbadian pop-star Rihanna on two occasions and the other by Nashville band Hot Chelle Rae. In a decision released today, the tribunal found in RIANZ's favor and ordered the offender ... to pay a penalty $616.57." Torrent Freak has a slightly different perspective: a lack of evidence and pushback from the tribunal resulted in much smaller fines than the RIANZ wanted.
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NZ Copyright Tribunal Fines First File-Sharer

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  • by SJHillman ( 1966756 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:06AM (#42736979)

    The whole thing is pretty reasonable.

    - $6.57 to cover the cost of the tracks
    - $50 to cover RIANZ's costs of sending the notices (and presumably other administrative costs)
    - $200 to cover the cost of bringing it before the copyright body
    - $360 ($120 per infringement) as a deterrant. The only actual punitive cost.

    Seems to me to be a perfect balance between high enough to deter people and low enough not to bankrupt people over an activity in which no one could be injured, no property can be destroyed, no one is harassed and economic damage is negligible.

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:14AM (#42737043) Homepage

    I would guess that if you stole, say, $6 worth of products from a store and got caught, they would charge you something similar, so yes it appears reasonable (unlike the "more than the earth is worth" fines that have been bandied about in other countries).

    - Cost of the product (though whether you experienced "permanent deprivation" of that cost is dubious, I'd award it you anyway so that people who pirate $1000 pieces of software are $1000 times as fined as someone who pirated a $1 piece of software).
    - Plus administrative fees.
    - Plus legal costs once a denial has taken place in front of a tribunal and you're still found guilty.
    - Plus a punitive damage for actually doing the naughty thing in the first place.

    Seems to be the first SENSIBLE ruling in terms of copyright on the Internet in years, in fact.

  • Absurd (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:21AM (#42737101)

    I was convicted the other year of property damage. You know, actually breaking shit. Total fine, including replacement for the property fucked up and court costs? Roughly the same as this lady has to pay for downloading three songs. That's really fucked up. I went out and deliberately and maliciously broke shit. I was caught and convicted. This lady (allegedly) downloaded three songs (one of them twice...).

    So she could have gone and thrown a rock through the RIANZ front window and got off with less*. That says something about the fucked upness of this whole situation. Hell, she probably could have gone and punched the head of the RIANZ in the fucking face and got off with a smaller fine (though probably some community work as well).

    * assumes the front window isn't a huge plate.

  • by Slippery_Hank ( 2035136 ) on Wednesday January 30, 2013 @10:38AM (#42737269)
    I'm aware of the rational behind laws and fines. My point is not that the fine should be lower, but that because of penalties record companies seek (millions) that we already consider a 100x fine to be low.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama