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Copyright law won't cover streaming: MED

21 Jul 2011

The Ministry of Economic Development (MED) has confirmed that the new Copyright (infringing file sharing) Amendment Act 2011 will target file sharing through peer-to-peer protocols, and not streaming sites such as YouTube, when it comes into force on September 1.

The question was raised by advocacy group InternetNZ, due to concerns about the law’s scope.

InternetNZ chief executive, Vikram Kumar, says the clarification means the use of video sites likes YouTube and music sites like Grooveshark will not be covered by the law, although he emphasises the final word will only come if the law is tested in court.

"It keeps the scopt of the changes narrowly focussed on copyright infringements by online file sharing via peer-to-peer networks and applications,” Kumar says.

"However, despite the intentions behind the law, the definitive interpretation will come from decisions made by the Copyright Tribunal and Courts.”

Kumar says streaming websites usually provide copyright owners with a more direct means of enforcing their rights, allowing them to remove material if necessary.

Commerce minister Simon Power recently set the fee for pursuing investigations into copyright infringement at $25, payable by the rights holder to the ISP. Read our story here