InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has filed a thorough submission on the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill, noting that illicit file sharing is not proving as damaging as some anticipated.
For example, figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) show that in 2009 New Zealand and Australia digital sales increased by 41.4% and performance rights returns were up 8.6% - for an overall revenue industry increase of 3.5%.
“Despite the claims, the sky is not falling,” says InternetNZ Policy Director Jordan Carter. “While there is no doubt that infringing filesharing is happening - and cannot be condoned - the copyright content industries have been doing exceptionally well in a recessionary environment.”
“Sales are up and more money than ever before is going to Kiwi artists. Furthermore, recording industry ‘evidence’ of massive losses has recently been deemed unreliable by, among others, the United States government.
InternetNZ argues that since the purported impacts of file sharing have not arisen, Parliament should not take complicated and expensive steps to address it, nor impose significant cost on third parties. A proportionate approach, notice and notice, should be taken instead.
“The obvious and proven way to tackle file sharing is to impose a notice and notice regime, where those found infringing are told their activity has been picked up. This is much lower cost to the Crown, to ISPs, to the content industry and to citizens, while still reducing file sharing by as much as 70%.
“It creates the opportunity for all involved to collaborate on educational messages, particularly to younger New Zealanders who are just starting to use and create digital content,” he says.
InternetNZ also continues to absolutely oppose termination of Internet accounts as a sanction for copyright infringement.
“Parliament should not impose termination as a remedy for infringing file sharing. That remedy would be disproportionate to the problem, and would not solve it,” says Carter.