While the copyright infringement debate continues heating up in Canada and the United States, the "Skynet" copyright act has been in place for two months now which was passed by Parliament in an effort to combat piracy over peer-to-peer files sharing networks. Rights-holders estimate that the act has halved the number of instances of copyright infringements within the first month.
Telecom has received copyright infringement notices from the Recording Industry of New Zealand asking to notices to 42 customers accused of internet piracy and are in the process if validating them. Spokesperson Gary Bowering of TelstraClear stated that:
If they are found to meet the criteria of the new file sharing regulations then we will pass on these allegations to the relevant customers in accordance with the obligations set out in the Copyright Amendment Act."
Regardless of the relative success with its implementation, holders are still concerned that over 40% of New Zealanders are continuing to download, pirate and otherwise infringe online.
Rights-holders are clamoring to change the infringement notice processing fee payable to ISPs to be dropped from the current $25 to just a few dollars or cents, enabling them to send out thousands of notices every month.
The ISPs want the fee to be increased to over four times the current amount. The submissions for the review of government notice fees are withheld by the government and are not made public.
It will be interesting to see how the online piracy debate plays out elsewhere and if other countries will adopt the New Zealand process as an example of how to implement similar measures in their own countries.