File sharing infringement notice fee to stay at $25

Minister of Commerce resists pressure from music and film industry to lower the fees which are paid to ISPs for issuing notices to suspected copyright infringers

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has decided that the fee paid to ISPs for issuing notices to suspected copyright infringers will remain at $25 for the time being.

In a cabinet paper released today, Commerce Minister Craig Foss says that submissions from the music and film industry, which wanted the fee to be lowered, and from ISPs, which wanted the fee to be increased, were taken into account.

However Foss says he considers there is “currently no case for either increasing or decreasing the fee.”

Foss says the current $25 fee is appropriate firstly because, according to submissions, there has been “a significant reduction in the volume of illegal file sharing” in the first six months since the Copyright Amendment (Infringing File Sharing) Act came into force. Secondly, lowering the fee at this time would “impose an inappropriate level of costs” on ISPs.

Several submissions to MBIE cited a Waikato University study which found that traffic downloaded using P2P applications decreased to less than half the volume it had been prior to the Act coming into force, and that this decline had persisted at least until January 2012

However the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) had submitted that “since August 2011 overall P2P use in New Zealand is down 18 percent but still remains at a very high level with over 700,000 people still engaging in P2P on a monthly basis.”

Meanwhile the MBIE says that a submission by the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT had “provided evidence showing there had been around 110,000 infringing downloads of major US movies in August 2011, but from that date downloads had plateaued at between 40,000 and 60,000 per month.”

The cabinet paper also reveals that a total of 2168 infringement notices were sent out in the first six months of the current anti file-sharing regime. Of these notices, the largest number were issued by Telecom (1238) followed by Vodafone (417), TelstraClear (398) and Orcon (115).

See also:

Rianz piracy-accused Telecom customers

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