Welcome to thecopyrightlaw.org.nz. This site exists to give you a balanced view of the new legislation that aims to combat infringing file sharing on the Internet. We explain "what the new law is all about", we outline "your rights and responsibilities" and we provide a bit of background about what copyright is and what the law is trying to achieve. When you ask questions, we'll provide answers in the FAQ section.

This law could affect anyone who has an account with an ISP in New Zealand. Take the time to find out more and make sure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities.

What is the Copyright (infringing file sharing) Amendment act?

The new law states that it “provide rights owners with a special regime for taking enforcement action against people who infringe copyright through file sharing” It is quite specific because it only applies to infringing material which is uploaded or downloaded via file sharing applications or networks. There are two concepts there – first, the material has to be infringing. …

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What is copyright?

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 – we’ll call it “the copyright amendments” for short – added new material to New Zealand’s copyright law. Copyright law has existed in New Zealand in some form or another since 1842. Back then, only book authors could have a copyright, or the right to make copies of their books. This right lasted 28 …

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Does this law cover the use of online “file lockers” or downloading from YouTube?

Maybe, but not for now. InternetNZ sought an official statement on this matter from the Ministry of Economic Development on this subject and was informed that the intention of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 is to quell infringement occurring over peer-to-peer (“P2P”) protocols and networks like bittorrent or gnutella. This does not include video or music streaming, …

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An account holders responsibility

Infringing file sharing is against the law. You are responsible for decisions you make about the use of copyright material.  Our advice is to only use material that you now you have the right to use. This law makes you responsible for everything that happens on your Internet account. Anybody using the Internet provided by you (e.g. family members around …

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