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New Zealand’s 3 Strikes law halves film piracy



/ 4 years ago

New Zealand’s entertainment industry is heralding a victory against film piracy. The Federation Against Copyright Theft claims since the introduction of the graduating response 3 strikes policy the number of illegal films watched online has fallen from 110,000 to 50,000. Whilst the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) claims overall peer to peer traffic has fallen 18% in New Zealand since the introduction of the 3 strikes policy, more commonly known as “Skynet”.

The three strikes policy works in a ‘graduating response’ method. Users allegedly caught illegally downloading for the first and second times receive warning letters from their ISPs. People caught for a third time face potential termination of internet services for up to 6 months and fines of up to (US)$12,000/(NZ)$15,000 should the allegations brought against them be proved true.

According to the latest statistics around 41% of New Zealanders with internet access viewed copyright infringing material in February 2012. This is much higher than the global average figure which is around 28%. RIANZ claims that it won’t be able to catch the remaining 41% because the scheme is just too expensive. Currently, ISPs charge RIANZ (NZ)$25 per letter and have sent 2766 notices since last October. They want to start sending 5000 notices per month at (NZ)$2 per letter.  Although that seems highly unlikely, since ISPs want more than (NZ)$25 for the service they have to provide, not a cut to (NZ)$2.

Piracy figures do not include those who continue to access copyright infringing materials through privacy-protecting VPN services such as BTGuard.

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