Week In Review The

InternetNZ is wishing New Zealand’s up to date Copyright Act will “go longer than UHT milk”, with copyright holders no longer chasing after Kiwi pirates using the so-called ‘Skynet’ legislation. MBIE closed consultation on their overview of the Copyright Act last month after seeking opinions about how well the law is working, with InternetNZ among those submitting on several aspects, including New Zealand’s controversial anti-piracy file-sharing enforcement rules.

In following years, a small number of cases were taken to the Tribunal – almost all of them by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, which is currently Recorded Music NZ. However, MBIE and industry representatives are now saying regulations was not used for a long time, is dysfunctional, and looks to have become almost completely redundant. In Recorded Music NZ’s 2017 response to the review’s conditions of reference, they elaborated on the many problems they faced with all the regime.

InternetNZ engagement director Andrew Cushen said his company welcomes the review, and that New Zealand’s copyright rules around file writing has become completely irrelevant and unused. The file-sharing legislation addressed a temporary problem. In the MBIE discussion paper on the review, it was confirmed that Kiwi file-sharing pirates are not being chased any longer essentially.

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Although a number of infringement cases using the infringing document sharing provisions were brought soon after the regime arrived to effect in 2012, we understand that the regime is no longer being used by copyright owners. A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said that, while their ministry administers the Copyright Tribunal, they were unable to supply the true amount of notices sent, and referred 1 NEWs to MBIE, which administers the Copyright Act. However, a spokesperson for MBIE also said they don’t have any record on the number of notices issued.

Spokespeople for four of New Zealand’s largest ISPs – Spark, Vodafone, 2degrees and Vocus (Slingshot/Orcon) – either didn’t react to a demand to supply the number of notices issued, or dropped to provide them. Independent research commissioned by Vocus, released this year in February, suggested services like Netflix have led to a dramatic decrease in peer-to-peer piracy.

Submissions to the review are being considered by MBIE before cupboard policy decisions are created and a draft costs is released – no timeline has been given. Google is voluntarily tugging down a huge selection of websites involved with pirating popular movies and tv shows after years of intensifying criticism from local film businesses and content makers. Village Roadshow chief executive Graham Burke said there experienced so far been 832 sites obstructed by the multibillion-dollar search platform, within a new collaborative strategy between Google, internet providers and content owners.

Mr Burke previously accused the US tech giant of “facilitating crime” for allowing pirate websites to be found in search results and told Google to “sue” him within the responses. He has been arguing for changes in the manner the technology company grips illegally shared content over the last five years. Since 2015, there have been laws allowing copyright holders to secure a courtroom order to pressure internet providers to obstruct pirate websites.