First Three Strikes Case In New Zealand Goes To Hearing
from the and-you're-out dept
Back in 2011, we wrote about New Zealand’s rush to put in place a three strikes law that involved punishment for people accused — not convicted — of copyright infringement online. Having gone into effect, it looks like the Copyright Tribunal set up to deal with such cases is now about to have its first hearing concerning someone who got a third strike. As the report notes, the big labels, represented by RIANZ (the New Zealand version of the RIAA — representing the same labels), has sought action against 17 people who got three strikes. Six cases were dropped (reason unknown, but probably because they paid large sums of money to RIANZ — or because RIANZ realized they were about to be completely embarrassed by someone who had done nothing wrong.), and another 10 sought to have the Tribunal make its decision based on written submissions alone. Only one person sought to have a full hearing which is getting underway soon.
Unlike the US’s six strikes effort, the NZ one is a lot more draconian, with significant fines likely, even in cases of incidental and minimal sharing:
The tribunal can make awards of up to $15,000 against pirates, and Rianz had sought awards of several thousand dollars in at least two of the dropped cases.
In one, Rianz sought about $2700 from a Wellington student whose internet account was allegedly used without her knowledge to download five songs valued at $11.75. That case also seemed destined for a formal hearing.
Yes, RIAA/RIANZ, that’s exactly how to rally the public to your cause. Demand $2,700 for someone who had an internet account on which someone else downloaded $11.75 worth of songs. And you wonder why people think all of these “piracy” efforts are insane… Here’s a tip to the RIAA/MPAA and all related groups: if you want to be taken more seriously, stop attacking your fans and try to figure out how to better serve them.