This law makes you responsible for everything that goes on on your internet account. Infringing file sharing is against the law. As an account holder you must make informed decisions about how you use copyright protected material.
Our advice would be to only use the material that you know you have the rights to use.
Anyone that is given access to the internet, using your account (family members, friends or vistors) could use that access to file share, either knowingly or by mistake. If this does occur, they are not liable for it. As the account holder, you are.
If you have wireless internet access set up in your home or workplace, and the access is not properly secured, then there is a possibility that others could access your internet account in order to engage in file sharing activities. Once again, you would be responsible.
As the account holder, it is your responsibility to ensure that your internet account is secure, and any wireless access points are also secured. If you need more information on how to secure internet access in your home or work place, go to www.netsafe.org.nz for further advice.
Your rights: Challenging notices
If you receive a notice that alleges file infringing and you do not accept that you have done so, you can challenge the notice.
The way to do this is explained in the notice, and involves you replying to the organisation that sent you the notice (your ISP) using whatever system they have. This may be by return email or via a form on their website. You also have the right to respond directly to the copyright owner or their agent if you wish.
Your rights: The Copyright Tribunal
If you have received the three notices set out under this regime you can be taken to the Copyright Tribunal.
The Tribunal is a government body that can determine whether the evidence that says you infringed copyright stacks up, and then impose penalties on you – of up to $15,000.
Like other Tribunals the aim of it (compared with a Court) is to be fairly informal and low key. This means that there are no lawyers involved – you are able to represent yourself at the Tribunal if you like.
The Tribunal can make decisions based on papers, that is, without a real life meeting with you and with rights holders.
If you are notified that a rights holder is taking proceedings against you in the Tribunal, but think you have not infringed copyright, you have to say so to the Tribunal.
If you don’t raise any objection, then the Tribunal is entitled to treat the allegations against you as fact.
Read more about the Copyright Tribunal on the Ministry of Justice website.