Orcon's copyright infringement notice under scrutiny

ISP waiting for legal advice

A detection notice sent to an Orcon customer claiming a breach of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Act may be legally non-compliant.

A posting on the 3Strikes website from an Orcon customer included images of the detection notices. The customer claimed that after receiving the first notice they removed from their PC the file, the torrent, and “any software capable of downloading/uploading”, so they were surprised to receive a second notice a month later, which they intend to challenge.

The notices have been scrutinised on the Tech Liberty blogsite. In a posting, co-founder David Zanetti notes five “problems”, which include missing details such as the nature of the breach, and the file sharing application or network not being specified.

Tech Liberty spokesperson Thomas Beagle says the notice doesn’t say what the customer has been accused of downloading, or how they have been doing it, and without that information they can’t defend themselves.

In addition, Zanetti writes: “We are also deeply concerned that the notice makes the claim that your internet connection can be suspended by the District Court for up to six months. This part of the law has not yet been activated, and it is alarming that notices are already misleading users on possible penalties.”

Orcon spokesperson Quentin Reade says the company is seeking legal advice on whether its notices are compliant and expects to hear back in a few days.

The Recording Industry Association (RIANZ), which asks ISPs to issue infringement notices, has emailed the followed comment to Computerworld: “We are confident the rights owner notices we provide to IPAPs (Internet Protocol Address Providers) are in accordance with our obligations under the Act. It is up to the IPAPs to ensure the notices they send to their customers meet their requirements under the Act.”

According to stuff.co.nz Telecom and TelstraClear are confident infringement notices they have issued to customers comply with the Act.

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