13 Jul 2011
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Copyright fee 'an appropriate compromise'

The cost of investigating and processing allegations of copyright infringement under the new Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act will be $25, payable by the rights holder to the ISP.

Announcing the cost, the government says it has attempted to strike a happy medium between the $40 recommended by the Telecommunications Carriers Forum, representing ISPs, and the $2 or lower recommended by rights holders.

The cost will be payable when rights holders, such as film studios or record companies, identify a suspected offender and want the ISP to step in. The ISP will be able to send three warning notices, and if these are ignored, the rights holder will be able to take the alleged pirate to the Copyright Tribunal. 

This will incur a fee of $200, although the Tribunal can fine an offender up to $15,000.

Announcing the fee, Commerce Minister Simon Power said it was ‘an appropriate compromise’ between the requests of rights holders and ISPs.

"For rights holders,” Power says, "the fee level ensures the regime is a more cost-effective enforcement measure than what is currently available through the courts, and allows them to pursue a reasonable number of alleged copyright infringements to educate internet users.

"For ISPs, the fee level prevents them from being inundated with alleged copyright breaches to the point they find it difficult to comply with the regime, and allows them to recover a reasonable proportion of their costs.”

The fee is to be reviewed six months after the law comes into force on September 1. 

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