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But gains stall in following months and government is stuck in telecom-vs-media battle over fees

New Zealand, like many nations, is struggling with how to balance the rights of big media investors that claim their work is being incessantly stolen by the masses, with the public's rights to privacy and due process.  New Zealand contemplated a "three strikes" plan, which involved sending pirates two warnings, then severing their internet service.  But unlike the outcome in most other regions where similar contentious plans were struck down or modified, the New Zealand plan passed, largely unchanged.

I. No Progress, After Modest Initial Gains

With all eyes watching, media attack dog New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZ FACT) has looked to track the bill's performance, in hopes of showing its efficacy.

The results were impressive -- for a month.  In one month, the top 200 movies were illegally viewed 110,000 times in August, but only 50,000 times in September, the month the law took effect.  But the group admits that in the months since there has been no "discernible progress" in terms of decreased piracy.

Kiwis (New Zealanders) have taken to referring to the laws as "the Skynet" bill.  The bill creates a Copyright Tribunal, which has the power to fine citizens up to $15,000 NZ ($11,870 USD).

You're out
After early gains, New Zealand's "Three Strikes" plan to ban copyright infringers has stalled, with 4 out of 10 citizens still regularly pirating. [Image Source: Ed Zurga/AP]

So far, fewer notices have been sent than some expected.  Aside from government officials double-guessing the passage of the bill, one obstacle to mailing notices has been the $25 NZ ($20 USD) reimbursement fee under the law which media companies must send telecoms to cover their processing costs.

II. Debate Over Notice Fees Rages

NZ FACT has not mailed any notices, but the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) -- the sister organization to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) -- has managed to send out 2,766 infringement notices between October and April.  Of those, only 58 were challenged.  And only two individuals won their challenges before the Copyright Tribunal.

The RIANZ is pushing for the fee to telecoms to be cut the review fee to a few cents.  Telecoms are upset about this, saying it will not cover the cost of warning and cutting off customers.  

The largest telecom in the nation Telecom New Zealand says it lost approximately $431.68 NZ ($342 USD) per user to verify and process the notices.  It sent 1,238 notices and thus lost approximately $400K USD complying with the ruling.  The carrier and internet service provider is pushing the government to raise the fee to $104 NZ ($82 USD) to come closer to covering the costs. 

Telecom New Zealand
Telecom New Zealand complains its lost hundreds of thousands of dollars
complying with the new law. [Image Source: TechDay]

New Zealand's Ministry of Economic Development is currently contemplating whether to cut the fee or raise it.

However, one thing is certain -- in recent months the bill is making little progress.  While the global average for citizens who commit at least one copyright egregious infringement per month is estimated at around 28 percent of the population, the RIANZ estimates that 41 percent -- or approximately 2 out of ever 5 Kiwis commit such an offense, as of Feb. 2012, despite the threat of the three strikes law.

Sources: Fairfax NZ News, Ministry of Economic Development

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Since Mick doesn't read his posts
By TheJian on 7/23/2012 6:50:34 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe someone should just to point out how bad it is. Perhaps you'll actually start reading what you post before pushing the button:
"The RIANZ is pushing for the fee to telecoms to be cut the review fee to a few cents."

The RIANZ is pushing for the fee to telecoms to be cut to a few cents.


Can you honestly tell me you read that and thought it made sense? Fire the editor? I realize all people make mistakes. But when it's your JOB to write surely you could read it once before posting it to find silly errors like this. If you're not expected to read your own crap before posting it, surely you have an editor that does it? It detracts from your stories to see this in EVERY one of your articles (if you could call puff blog troll pieces that to begin with).

Apparently we're not just 17th in math and science? Reading too? LOL. I'd hate to give you a hit for every article just to point out your lack of desire to apply a bit of spit and polish to your work (I'm not interested in reading half or more of it), but you're making America look bad. :) As if that's even possible with most countries laughing at the dumba$$ we have in the white house. He shows no desire to do his job either and instead chooses to slander/punish those who do!

Regarding the actual post (ROFL); I'm not sure why it costs $342 or to send an email and verify it (is that like sending a 2nd email or something?...LOL). And here I thought most Americans were overpaid. Mind you, I'm mostly speaking of govt. workers in which I'll include our president :) I mean 100+ fund raisers, 10+ golf outings and not one meeting with the jobs council? Only two with the senate? Those numbers are just from this year (he's been basically fund raising for 3.5 years). What the heck does he think his JOB is? Fund raising and spending our money foolishly apparently.

Even $40 seems high for sending and verifying anything. At $342 that's basically 16hrs of work by a pretty good wage earner in USA. Seriously? But I do hope the telecom wins this...LOL. That price will surely cut down on suing dead old farts and granny without a pc. :) What they should realize is the number that are left will NEVER pay for the software. I can't say I blame them when you can't return a piece of crapware the moment you unwrap it. On top of that software is RARELY worth the price they charge. Diablo 3 can be finished in less than 13 hours for $60 and DRM to boot. Meanwhile, for $13 you could download and play LEGENDS OF GRIMROCK which is also about 13-15 hours with NO DRM from gog on the day it came out. It only took 4 guys to make it also...LOL. Diablo who? They made that game in 1yr and made enough money in a few weeks to cover their next 2-3 years of developing the next game. I can't wait to see what they do with 2 years of dev and maybe a few more people. I'd happily pay them $30 for something with 30+ hours and no DRM again. I love GOG :) No I don't buy games like Diablo despite REALLY wanting to. Vote with your WALLET!

By semiconshawn on 7/24/2012 1:08:58 AM , Rating: 1
Dude. Stay out of your kids ADD meds. You started bitching about editing, followed that up with how Obama sucks then onto piracy, game development, stem cells I think. Who the hell knows. SHUT UP!

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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