On 1st September 2011, The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act inserted sections 122A to 122U into the Copyright Act 1994 (the Act).
These sections provide a notice process to deal with copyright infringements that occur via file sharing networks, including:
What is the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act?
On 1st September 2011 changes to the Copyright Act came into effect. According to the Copyright (Infringing File sharing) Amendment Bill Commentary 119-2: "The intent of these changes to the Act is to provide a more effective means for copyright owners to enforce their rights against people involved in unauthorised sharing of copyright material via the Internet (infringing file sharing)".
Sections 122a-122R of this Act include new enforcement measures against the unauthorised sharing of copyright material via the internet. The revised Act requires Actrix as an Internet Protocol Address Provider (IPAP) to pass on copyright infringement detection notices from rights owners to account holders.
When did it take effect?
The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act came into effect on 1st September 2011, however the act allows for infringement allegations to be submitted up to 21 days from the date of the alleged infringement. The means the act applies to any unauthorised sharing of copyright material from 11th August 2011.
How does the infringement detection notice process work?
Once an IPAP (ISP) has determined which account holder the allegation relates to, they are required to send an infringement notice to that account holder. There are three stages of infringement notice under the process; these are:
1. Detection Notice
2. Warning notice
3. Enforcement Notice
Notices last for 9 months from the date of the original detection notice, or, from the expiry of an enforcement notice (whichever is earlier).
The process also provides two ways in which account holders can dispute infringement allegations, either directly with the rights owner, or if a claim is made, at the Copyright Tribunal.
What are the potential consequences?
If an account holder receives three notices within 9 months that relate to the same rights owner, the rights owner may choose to take a claim for up to $15,000 to the Copyright Tribunal.
For more information please take a look at the following resources:
Ministry of Economic Development (MED)
Telecommunications Carriers Forum (TCF)