Avoid illegal file sharing

It is usually illegal to share material online without the permission of the person who created it. Make sure you understand the laws around copyright, and what may happen if you breach these laws

On 1 September 2011, the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act came into effect. This prohibits file sharing of copyrighted content online. We think it’s important for our customers to understand this legislation and what it means for them.

File sharing is the common name for sharing electronic files. For example, to or from another computer over the internet. In New Zealand, the Copyright Act 1994 protects owners and producers of content. Copyright protects original works - whether in hard copy or electronic form - across literature, music, film, art, computer programs and communications.

The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 allows the owners of copyright works (Rights Owners) to enforce their rights against people who use file sharing applications or networks to illegally make available or download copyright works (content) via the internet.

The law applies to:

  • Downloading and uploading of copyright works (such as movies, songs, and software) illegally
  • Peer-to-peer sharing* of copyright works using a file sharing application (including storing copyright works in a shared folder accessible by a peer-to-peer program)
  • Posting copyright works on websites, and enabling others to download them

What it means for you

If you share a copyright work illegally, the owners of that work may take legal action against you, and you may be fined or made to pay damages. Right now, the infringing file sharing provisions only apply to fixed line internet. However from late 2013, they will apply to mobile broadband and mobile phones too.

What it means for us

As a provider of fixed line internet, we have to send notifications to the account holder when a Rights Owner informs us of an alleged infringement of copyright.

Remember that if you are the account holder, you are responsible for any copyright infringement via your internet account, regardless of who actually downloaded the material.

How to stop it happening on your account

  • Make sure your Wi-Fi connection is secure by setting it up with a strong password
  • If your children or friends use your computer, make sure they talk to you before they download anything – to make sure it’s legal

You Tube, streaming movies and music

You can still watch content via YouTube. Streaming music or a movie direct from a website may be impacted by the law, depending on the website. Websites may host legitimate content agreed by Rights Owners and charge either a one off fee per download or a subscription fee.

As a rule of thumb, if it’s commercially produced content, not just there for promotional or marketing purposes, and you’re not paying for it, then downloading or sharing it is likely to be prohibited by copyright law.

*File sharing networks are not illegal in themselves. However, much of the content that is shared on file sharing networks is music, film, television, books or software that is protected by the Copyright Act 1994.

 

The infringement process

The infringement process
 

Challenge process

If you've received an infringement notice from a Rights Owner and would like to challenge it, you can do this using our online form

What do I need to know before submitting the form?

  • This will be sent to the Rights Owner, who will either accept or reject your challenge of the detection notice
  • The Rights Owner has until the end of the On Notice/Quarantine period to respond
  • If the challenge is accepted it will cancel the Infringement notice and time that the challenge was accepted
  • At no point during the process will any of your personal account details be provided to the Rights Owner
  • Only an Account Holder can challenge an infringement notice
  • We will notify you the outcome of your challenge via email to the contact email address on your account
Challenge an infringement notice
 

Statement of compliance

Section 122T of the Copyright Act 1994 requires Vodafone New Zealand Limited to retain specified types of information for specified lengths of time. That section also requires Vodafone to protect the confidentiality of its account holders' names and contact details by not releasing those details to a rights owner unless authorised by the account holder, or required by a Court or Tribunal. In accordance with section 122T(4) of the Copyright Act, Vodafone New Zealand Limited is pleased to report that it has fully complied with its obligations under section 122T during the period from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016. More specifically, Vodafone New Zealand Limited has:

• Received 0 referrals from rights holders
• Issued 0 infringement notices to account holders
• Received 0 challenges to infringement notices issued to account holders
• Recorded that 0 infringement notices have been cancelled
• Recorded that 0 infringement notices have expired
• Recorded that 0 orders were made under section 122P suspending an account holder's account at Vodafone