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The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill

What it means for you and your business

 

This newsletter outlines developments in law targeted at Internet-based copyright infringement such as the illegal downloading of music and movies.  These developments have an impact on your business – you must be aware of the changes, consider the risks and how you address them, and be prepared for the coming changes.

 

Background & Overview

The government’s controversial Section 92A (S92A) of the Copyright Amendment Act was stopped in its tracks in March last year.  S92A^ proposed termination of a copyright infringer’s Internet connection on an alleged breach of copyright by a copyright owner. 

^At the end of this newsletter are links to articles written by NATCOM last year which explain more.

S92A was repealed this week in an announcement from the government and is being replaced by The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill.  This bill proposes a three-notice system and is touted as a more user-friendly process.  In addition, the bill broadens the definition of an ISP (who are not liable for copyright infringement) to include businesses and universities.  This is good news, as under the repealed S92A, a business’s Internet connection could be terminated due to the actions of a rouge employee.

The three-notice regime is composed of a ‘detection notice’, followed by a ‘warning notice’ if the Internet subscriber is accused of infringing copyright again, and an ‘enforcement notice’ which can lead to a maximum $15,000 fine and a 6-month suspension of your Internet connection by order of a District Court.

A time limit applies to each stage of the regime, one of which requires copyright owners alleging infringement to notify an ISP within 1 week of the alleged infringement occurring.  The ISP must then match the ‘IP Address’ of the account holder whom the alleged infringement relates to, and issue the appropriate infringement notice to the account holder within 1 week of receiving that information.

 

The Notice Process

Detection Notice

A detection notice is issued the first time an ISP matches an account holder with an IP address at which an alleged infringement has occurred.  The detection notice must identify (among other things) the alleged infringement, explain the consequences of further infringement, and explain how the account holder may challenge the notice (within 1 week of notice date).  A detection notice expires 9 months after the date of notice, unless an enforcement notice is issued due to further infringing, in which case the expiry is 4 weeks after the date of the enforcement notice.

Warning Notice

If a further infringement occurs at least 3 weeks after the date of the detection notice, and prior to expiry of that detection notice, the ISP must issue a warning notice to the account holder.  This notice must identify (among other things) the alleged infringement, explain the consequences of further infringement, and explain how the account holder may challenge the notice (within 1 week of notice date).  A warning notice expires 9 months after the date of the preceding detection notice, unless an enforcement notice is issued due to further infringing, in which case the expiry is 4 weeks after the date of the enforcement notice.

Enforcement Notice

If a further infringement occurs at least 3 weeks after the date of the warning notice, and prior to expiry of that warning notice, the ISP must issue an enforcement notice to the account holder.  This notice must identify (among other things) the alleged infringement/s, explain that enforcement action may now be taken against the account holder (by the copyright owner), explain that unless the notice is cancelled, no further notices will be issued until the end of a quarantine period (4 weeks from the date of an enforcement notice), and explain how the account holder may challenge the notice (within 1 week of notice date).  On issuing an enforcement notice to an account holder, the ISP must send a copy to the copyright owner, but must omit any information that discloses the name or contact details of the account holder.

Following an enforcement notice, the copyright owner may apply to a Tribunal or District Court for an order against the account holder.  The Tribunal can make an order for payment of up to $15,000.  A District Court can order a suspension of the account holders Internet connection for up to 6 months, and can order the disclosure of account holder information to a copyright owner.

Account holder name and contacts can only be disclosed to a copyright owner if authorised by the account holder, or by order of the Tribunal or a court.

More information on the bill can be found here >

 

A Solution

In response to the government’s initial S92A bill, NATCOM developed its proprietary SLAM™ Managed Firewall appliance. A key feature of SLAM™ is its built-in and optional Copyright-Infringement-Protection which combats the ease of copyright infringement risks to business by staff and other Internet users.  For more info, see www.slamfirewall.com

 

SLAM Managed Firewall

 

 

SLAM Managed Firewall Appliance

 

 

 

 

News Archive

http://natcom.co.nz/index.php/natcom-announces-the-launch-of-its-slam-firewall-in-response-to-changes-in-copyright-law

http://natcom.co.nz/index.php/no-amount-of-policy-alone-will-ensure-compliance-with-the-copyright-act-section-92a

http://natcom.co.nz/index.php/s92a-copyright-law-is-back

http://natcom.co.nz/index.php/s92a-copyright-debate-continues

 

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