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New Zealand's 'Three Strikes' Too Expensive, Ineffective

Posted by: , 18:31 AEST, Tue September 15, 2015

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Rights-holders complain about New Zealand's three-strikes regime, saying it's too expensive to pursue pirates
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Image/Photo Credit: Horia Varlan @ Flickr, CC

New Zealand's controversial three-strikes anti-piracy laws are too expensive, says copyright holders who originally lobbied for the regime to be implemented.

As a result, only a single copyright complaint has been filed with the tribunal in charge of overseeing the regime for the entirety of 2015, down from four last year.

The problem, from a rights-holder perspective, are the fees involved in sending warnings. It costs $25 to send one warning, and with three strikes required before further action can be taken, it means a cost of $75, plus an additional $200 after the third strike to file the actual complaint. With hundreds of thousands of downloaders, this would lead to a very expensive way to stop piracy, with the costs being even higher than the actual damage pirates are causing to the industry.

Even pirates that have received three warnings can still pirate content by using an alternative download method that the regime cannot track, or by using VPN services.

Recorded Music NZ general counsel Kristin Bowman spoke to New Zealand's Stuff and explained why the group has stopped pursuing punishments for downloaders.

"We haven’t got rid of [piracy] as the regime, unfortunately, is too costly. It’s really disappointing," Bowman says.

"Every time we send a notice it costs us $25. We would love to do 1000 of those a week, but we just can’t afford it."


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