The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act has introduced a new process around the infringement of copyright across file sharing networks.
The Act lays out a “three-notice regime” which the owners of copyright in a work can use when their work is being made available via a “file sharing network”. The Act also allows rights holders to take claims for compensation to a newly formed Copyright Tribunal at the end of the three-notice process.
When a rights holder believes that their rights have been infringed, they must collect evidence of the IP address, the time at which the infringement occured and the file which is being shared.
They can then pass this information to the ISP (or IPAP as it is referred to in the Act) that is associated with the IP address, and request that the ISP sends a notice to the account holder, informing them that they are infringing their rights as defined by the Act.
Each account holder can receive only 1 notice per rights holder per 21 day period, and they have the right to challenge any notice. The ISP can send up to 3 notices per infringement.
If, once the three-notice procedure has been completed, the rights holder does not feel that a satisfactory conclusion has been reached, they can take a claim to the copyright tribunal. The account holder has the right to appear at the tribunal hearing to argue their case. The tribunal has the ability to award up to $15,000 in damages.
Read more about the Copyright Tribunal on the Ministry of Justice website.