NetSafe advice to schools: What to do if your school receives an infringement notice from your ISP


Ethernet connection

Netsafe and rights holders working for schools

Netsafe are working, on behalf of schools, with key rights holders to ensure that schools are given the opportunity to resolve any issues with file sharing taking place across the school’s internet connection.

RIANZ, the agents for the major New Zealand music rights holders has entered into an agreement with Netsafe. This allows Netsafe to work with schools to resolve any issues with file sharing activity, and delay the ‘three notice’ process until those issues are resolved.

NZFACT, the agents for the major movie rights holders in New Zealand, are still negotiating with us as to how best handle the notice process for schools. We will publish further information as we progress these negotiations.

Contact us directly for more information on the RIANZ agreement.

What does this mean for schools?

Rights holders are collecting the IP addresses of computers or networks that are file sharing works which infringe their copyright. When they instruct an ISP to send an infringement notice they do not know the identity of the account holder. i.e. they do not know that you are a school.

If your school’s ISP account holder receives an infringement notice from the ISP we recommend that you take immediate action. The notice indicates that the school’s network is being used for peer-to peer file sharing activity.

If you are unsure of why you have received a notice, or are unsure what the notice means, contact NetSafe immediately.

We will contact the rights holders on your behalf to explain in confidence:

  • that you are a school
  • that you will work with Netsafe to identify the problems, and take action to prevent further infringing file sharing on your network.

While this does not guarantee that no future action against the school’s account holder it clearly signals to the rights holder that the infringement is unlikely to be intentional.

There is a process in place to resolve any issues.


  1. Chris Magill says:

    Does anyone know if suitable documentation is being produced (by Netsafe or a Govt organisation) that schools can give to students and/or caregivers (such as a pamphlet or other media), which will give clear advice to them about this law amendment?

    • Chris Hails says:

      Hi Chris, the Ministry of Education asked NetSafe to produce guidance on the new copyright Act and how it affected schools and students. You can access this directly at

      All information that NetSafe publish on this site is available for reuse under a Creative Commons license. Therefore you are welcome to create a pamphlet for your students and caregivers and we’d love to see the results made available for other schools via our digitial citizenship portal at

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