Copyright “three strikes” process is working just fine

Wah, wah, wah, the music industry, which makes billions, is complaining about the oppressive cost of our copyright regime.

Illegal downloaders are escaping punishment as record companies give up chasing them through the courts.

Just one complaint has been laid, and upheld, with the Copyright Tribunal this year, compared with four last year and 18 in 2013.

The recording industry say the process, which takes too long and costs too much, is stopping them from holding people accountable.

To get nabbed for illegally downloading, rights holders such as film studios or record labels have to identify an illegal downloader and file a notice with their Internet Service Provider (ISP). The ISP then passes the notice to the account holder with each notice costing $25. Three notices are required within a 12-months before a complaint can be laid with the tribunal.

At that point, the complainant has to pay $200 to formally lodge it.   

Tech Liberty spokesman Thomas Beagle said the industry had more or less given up on filing complaints because of the cost.

“My understanding is that the Copyright Tribunal process is too expensive and a lot of people are switching to streaming services,” he said.

“It’s about $25 a notice and you have to send a whole bunch of them and even then you don’t know if it’s getting to the right person.”

The industry wanted the ISP companies to foot the bill, or at least get the Government to subsidise the fees, Beagle said.

“They [ISP’s] are the ones that make the profit from their subscribers, so maybe they should pay.

“While $25 seems like a low cost, it turns out to be quite expensive considering they are losing so much money to piracy.”

Record Music NZ general counsel Kristin Bowman said the recording industry lost millions of dollars every year to people who illegally downloaded music.

“We haven’t got rid of it [piracy] as the regime, unfortunately, is too costly.

“It’s really disappointing.”

Boo fricken hoo…they wanted a regime like this and now they are moaning like unpaid hookers.

The fun part of this is that they take people to court and charge them with tens or hundreds of thousands in damages due to lost business, and they whine about a $200 cost to bring the case to the tribunal?

 Can anyone see the disconnect here?   

The truth is that rights holders have been excessively predatory when taking these cases to court, and if an entry fee of some hundred dollars is too much, then I think it is doing the job of stopping having vexatious cases brought to the court.

Their business model is done…it’s over…find another way pals.

 

– Fairfax


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