1 Sep 2011

Headstart claimed on copyright crackdown

8:21 am on 1 September 2011

Some internet pirates reckon they are already one step ahead of a crackdown on illegal downloading, which took effect on 1 September.

A new law enforces a three strikes warning regime, and possible fines of up to $15,000, but stops short of disconnecting repeat offenders, for now.

Wellington student Finn, 20, is a self-confessed heavy downloader, whose tastes extend to dozens of gigabytes of computer games, TV series and music each month.

He has moved to protect his patch by making his online footprint invisible to any copyright holder who might come after him.

Finn says setting up the proxy was very easy, and he knows a lot of others who have done the same.

Technology commentator Ben Gracewood says such moves are, indeed, by the book.

Internet New Zealand says many account holders are unaware the law makes them liable, whether or not they have done something wrong.

Chief executive Vikram Kumar says it's important that all internet users take notice.

He says websites like YouTube are fine to continue using, and streaming video or music is also fine.

But peer-to-peer file sharing is now more likely than ever to land you in trouble.

The law changes involve internet companies sending warning notices to customers who breach the law.

The Copyright Tribunal also has greater powers of punishment.

The Act also empowers a district court to suspend an internet account for up to six months, but that part of the law is not yet in force.