New Copyright Law and Schools

 The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 – information and implications for schools

  1.  The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 states that anyone found infringing copyright can be taken to the Copyright Tribunal. After three notices a person can be fined up to $15, 000. The law also allows for repeat offenders to have their internet connection cut off for six months but that provision is currently suspended.
  2. The act can be infringed by someone downloading a copyright item from a non-official channel. This could be a movie, music, TV Show or other electronic item. iTunes, Amplifier and other sites where you can pay for music or movies are not affected. Neither are the On Demand TV websites run by TVNZ, TV3, etc.
  3. It appears that peer-to-peer software is the method that is being primarily targeted by the rights holders (at the moment). This includes, but is not limited to, programmes like BitComet, eMule, FrostWire, etc.
  4. Present information received from the Ministry of Economic Development says that YouTube, Grooveshark and other streaming sites will not be included in infringing sites. They also state that people downloading from online file lockers like MediaFire will be not be targeted (at the moment) however these actions could also breach other aspects of the Copyright Infringement Act.
  5. The Internet account holder is liable for the fine. This means that if someone commits an infringing act at school, it is the school that is charged with the offense. If someone commits an infringing act at home, it is the bill payer that is charged with the offense. Parents are advised to talk to their children about this.
  6. The methods used can detect peer-to-peer software that is installed but not active. Users are recommended to uninstall all software and remove any associated folders or files.
  7. The law comes into effect on 1st September 2011 but detections will start 21 days earlier (11 August).
  8. Mobile phones will be included in the law from 1 October 2013.


My position

My employment as a technician in schools means that I have a close view of what is installed on computers, laptops and other equipment inside school networks. If I see evidence of someone using any form of peer-to-peer filesharing software on any school or Ministry of Education equipment (such as TELA laptops) I will be immediately uninstall that software and delete any material that has been downloaded. I will be making a diary note, and giving relevant information to the principal of the school. I am employed by the school to maintain the integrity of the network and ensure that it is available for its intended purpose.


More information  Vikram Kumar – Chief Executive of Internet New Zealand What is covered under the new act – Vikram Kumar – Chief Executive of Internet New Zealand Three Strikes website which has been set up by InternetNZ


Nicki Gemmell   August 2011