21st December, 2009

N.Z. introduces three strikes, you’re out.

New Zealand, the homey island not far from here have announced they will introduce a three strikes and your out policy, aimed at curbing peer to peer file sharing.

Under the proposed legislation, file-swappers would receive three warnings from their Internet service provider to stop their allegedly infringing activity — sent at the behest of copyright holders. If alleged infringement continues, a copyright holder may seek a penalty of up to $15,000 (U.S. $10,650) at a newly-created Copyright Tribunal.

In cases of “serious and continued breaches,” rights holders will be able to take an accused file-swapper to court, and seek to have his or her account suspended for up to six months. It’s not as entirely dire as French three strikes where you can permanently get your internet suspended but Commerce Minister Simon Power said the three-notice procedure was the key to the process.

“The procedure will both educate and warn file-sharers that unauthorised sharing of copyright works is illegal, and in turn stop a large proportion of illegal file sharing. A great deal of work has gone into finding a fair, effective, and credible process for the enforcement of copyright against illegal peer-to-peer file-sharers.”

Mr Power said though right holders will be able to seek suspension of accounts through the courts, he expected that would happen only in cases of serious offending.

Can this be the future of illegal downloading ramification here in OZ? For more on P2P check out this post from The Music Network.

For more information on the procedure check out the NZ Govt Site here.