New Zealand's three-strikes law reportedly halved movie piracy

By on July 24, 2012, 6:30 PM

Online piracy has been drastically reduced in New Zealand since the introduction of a graduation response system last year, according to the entertainment industry.

The nation passed a three-strikes law (dubbed "Skynet") last April that works similar to France's policy: alleged first and second-time offenders receive warnings from their ISP, while folks caught a third time risk penalties including the loss of their Internet service for as long as six months and fines of up to NZ$15,000 (about US$12,000).

According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, that measure immediately halved the rate at which top-200 movies were being viewed in New Zealand (110,000 in August to 50,000 in September, when the three-strikes law was implemented).

Meanwhile, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) estimates that the overall use of peer-to-peer filesharing services has dropped 18% since Skynet's rollout. However, both outfits note that progress has plateaued with existing anti-piracy efforts.

About 41% of New Zealanders accessed copyright infringing services in February, higher than the global average of 28%, and RIANZ says it'll be costly to corner the remaining filesharers unless ISPs charge less to send infringement notifications. Currently, the group pays NZ$25 per letter and it has sent 2,766 notices since last October. RIANZ wants to scale this up to 5,000 letters per month at NZ$2 per letter, though that's easier said than done, as ISPs reportedly want to raise the existing price several fold.

Telecom, one such provider, wants the rate bumped to NZ$104 as it spent over half a million dollars to comply with Skynet, yet it has only sent 1,238 notices ($30,950 at $25 each). Despite pushing for more infringement notices, RIANZ failed to act on three opportunities to bring third-strikers before the Copyright Tribunal, which would have potentially resulted in hefty fines. It's also worth noting that the piracy figures don't account for those who continued infringing through a VPN after Skynet's introduction.




User Comments: 29

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Guest said:

And yet, no stat to show how much more money they made through official channels since the actions, relative to the drop in P2P usage.

Here's a hint - it wasn't 1:1.

Tygerstrike said:

Bravo New Zealand!!! Excellent job. See now we have proof that if you make it a sticky situation for the thieves you will see a drop of in piracy. Ppl are so comfortable sitting at thier PC commiting piracy that they tend to "forget" its illegal. It makes me proud to see that atleast someone is trying to curb piracy.

I would suggest that NZ makes the ppl who did the piracy pay for the letter. Just add it to thier bill. Maybe if the fines are immediate and costly they will see the drop continue.

treetops treetops said:

I wonder if they had a increase in movie sales.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:
killeriii said:

"About 41% of New Zealanders accessed copyright infringing services in February"

So...59% of the country is calling the other 41% criminals.

I think they need to re-evaluate what they consider a crime there if that much of the population is considered criminal.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Probably more people paying for anonymous web browsing/downloading solutions, and surely the isp's are in a bad spot $25 for a letter is not bad income down to $2 and potentially losing alot of custom maybe not. also agreed im sure if legit sales were on the increase they would be quick to state that it is more the chance to fine people a few thousand dollars for downloaded content probably not worth the price of the letter in the first place. and if they do kick people off the internet would they not be losing potential custom for online sales anyway this system is just pure scare tactics and hoping for it to work on the masses why dont they wake up and just rival the current pirate torrent sites with a better legit paid for service with access to the same content and a lot more.

1 person liked this | ikesmasher said:

people would be less eager to pirate if companies didnt charge ridiculous prices for media.

Lurker101 said:

Now here's the real question. Has piracy actually dropped by about half in New Zealand, or has piracy detection halved, as people move onto alternate methods and start learning about digital lockers and proxies?

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I honestly don't care if anyone pirates movies.

Guest said:

hey cliff, XZ here

what gets me is paying $25 to send a letter for a $20 movie.

so you'r down $20 already and spend another $25 to stop it???

you be better off not sending the letter (and spending the $25) and let them have the move

(basically use the money you use for the letter to pay for it)

and ISP's want to go to $100??

I don't know spending $100+ labour (Film studios/copyright holders) for a lost $20 DVD and not get a sale?

they be better off not sending anything and find a method to let people view for free

(while getting advertisements during downloads)

this method they maybe be spending more than they will ever collect

hence they be better off working with sites and letting people view for free like TV does

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the movies should be free. It's just I get tired of hearing a thief complain about another thief.

morip said:

yeah, I also taught about that months ago but many vpn and related services are run by the FBI/government.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

All this probably did was weed out the casual pirate who is not able to figure out how to download stuff without getting caught (which is ridiculously simple).

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

yeah, I also taught about that months ago but many vpn and related services are run by the FBI/government.

Many will comply with local & federal laws and hand over logs if ordered. However, there are several who for just this reason keep information limited and in varying jurisdictions, just gotta make sure you know who's who.

morip said:

Many will comply with local & federal laws and hand over logs if ordered. However, there are several who for just this reason keep information limited and in varying jurisdictions, just gotta make sure you know who's who.

well duh but I am also talking about "bulletproof vpns" if you know what I mean...

fimbles fimbles said:

Why dont customers send their notices back and ask for proof that they were the party actually using that ip at the time the content was downloaded?

Spyware, malware, viruses, hackers, botnets, unsecure wirless network... ect.. ect

DanUK DanUK said:

"About 41% of New Zealanders accessed copyright infringing services in February"

So...59% of the country is calling the other 41% criminals.

I think they need to re-evaluate what they consider a crime there if that much of the population is considered criminal.

So you're implying they should just say "you know what.. nevermind.. you go ahead and steal all you want! Lets legalize downloading copyrighted material for free!" ?

Hey everyone lets all go out and start robbing banks.. if enough of us do it then maybe it will be ok!?

wiyosaya said:

Bravo New Zealand!!! Excellent job. See now we have proof that if you make it a sticky situation for the thieves you will see a drop of in piracy. Ppl are so comfortable sitting at thier PC commiting piracy that they tend to "forget" its illegal. It makes me proud to see that atleast someone is trying to curb piracy.

I would suggest that NZ makes the ppl who did the piracy pay for the letter. Just add it to thier bill. Maybe if the fines are immediate and costly they will see the drop continue.

Too bad there is no evidence that the drop in piracy is also bringing an increase in profits from increased use of legal means to obtain the same content.

At least some of the people who are downloading things illegally do it because they will not have to pay for it upfront. While this law might stop people from obtaining the material illegally, it would be interesting to know if it does increase profits from legal means. I would be willing to bet that those who download illegally are more likely to do without than to pay for the same material.

The argument from the industry is that they are losing money from piracy; however, assuming that people who pirate material would not pay for it if they have no means of getting the same material except by paying for it, how is the industry making money on this? To me, this could very well end up costing the industry more because the industry has to pay the costs associated with filing a complaint and enforcement.

The BBC did a survey about a year ago that said that people who pirate are more likely to actually buy the material anyway, so the industry could easily be hurting themselves by aggressively pursuing legal action against pirates.

I think it is pretty easy to arm-chair enforce something like this, however, I think the issue is much more complex.

AqworldThunder AqworldThunder said:

"1,238 notices ($30,950 at $25 each)." HA! I laugh at the terrible attempt to stop piracy, your going to stop piracy by sending notices that cost $25 each? Well you won't be making much money, people can use vpn and peerblock and tor to avoid detection, so therefore you are wasting your time. You are only going to catch people who don't really know how to protect their privacy.

ramonsterns said:

So you're implying they should just say "you know what.. nevermind.. you go ahead and steal all you want! Lets legalize downloading copyrighted material for free!" ?

Hey everyone lets all go out and start robbing banks.. if enough of us do it then maybe it will be ok!?

Intellectual Property =/= Concrete Capital, your argument is invalid

Pirating is a result of lack of convenience.

If I pirate a movie I can:

1. Not feel buyer's remorse if I thought it was utter crap.

2. Not have to go to the store to buy it.

3. Can watch it whenever I want, wherever I want.

4. Can download it again if lost or damaged.

If I buy a movie:

1. It could be a digital download with an expiration date.

2. If damaged, I must BUY another copy. So I neither own the movie or the license to watch it.

3. I have to go through all the ads and warnings.

4. I have to go to the store, gas isn't exactly cheap anymore and some things are not within walking distance for some people, on top of the fact the store(s) you visit may not have what you're looking for resulting in wasted time and gas.

DanUK DanUK said:

Intellectual Property =/= Concrete Capital, your argument is invalid

I was exaggerating. I just thought his suggestion that if enough people do something illegal then you should consider to change the law rather than stop the activity seemed ridiculous.

Generally agree with your other points however pretty much all new movies released these days are available for digital download and (providing no expiriation date) the only inconvenience that remains is the "buyers remorse" point. Having an expiriation date seems pretty cheeky anyway! Just checked on my play.com stuff and I can still download items that I bought 3 years ago which is cool.. guess it just depends which company you use.

Guest said:

not paying and never will...they can all go bankrupt for all I care. Let's promote the art and not capitalism. They'll do everything to keep their billions and laugh while the "puny" population pay.

1% shitting on the 99% of the world isn't what I call faire. Wake up people...

Tygerstrike said:

@Ramon

Sorry all I see in your post is self justification. None of what you posted is a legal reason to steal. How you justify it to sleep at night is all on you. But then again so is the theft. Every single reason you have listed is pretty much what every thief says. Me,Me,Me.

Lets examine your justifications.

1. Not feeling buyers remorse.

Guess what....thats why you reaserch what your going to buy. To do anything less is simple laziness on the part of the consumer.

2. Not having to go to the store to purchase it.

You can make the same purchase from the comfort of your computer room sitting in your bathrobe from many LEGITIMATE sites.

3. Can watch where ever /whenever you like.

You can do the same thing with a regualr CD copy of the movie. Most manufactures include digital copies for all your devices.

4. No need to replace if damaged/lost.

First if you are useing the included digital copy for use on devices, you havent lost anything unless your device gets factory reset. If you lost the original disc then perhaps you needed to be more careful with your toys.

Every response you have given can be refutted by maturity and logic. The simple fact is you just want your cake and dont want to have to pay for it. Easy enough to understand, but have you ever considered how many ppl you are actually hurting locally pirating movies??

There are many businesses that need you to step out of your cave and purchase something in order to support the area you live in. By not doing it you are directly responsible for the rising unemployment in your area. You choose to steal instead of purchasing it legally. That lose of income is felt locally. Enough ppl in your area steal as others have, those businesses close down. Ppl lose thier jobs. Friends and family have to move away in order to find work. Its a horrible chain reaction all because its more convenient to steal then it is to play by the rules.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

"Every response you have given can be refutted by maturity and logic"

So which part of "maturity and logic is accusing Ramonstern of being a thief? In short all he said was that the consumer wants control over the products they buy which is fair.

"Enough ppl in your area steal as others have, those businesses close down. Ppl lose thier jobs. Friends and family have to move away in order to find work. Its a horrible chain reaction all because its more convenient to steal then it is to play by the rules."

I keep asking for a list of these "companies" that are going bankrupt and shutting down SOLELY because of illegal downloading. Yet, one has never been produced. Lets see your data instead of your opinion.

McNasty said:

I'll start paying for movies when the 1% start paying as much income tax as I do.

killeriii said:

Here it is in plain English for you people who don't get it:

Copyright infringement is not theft!

It's more like a breach of contract.

The idea of it being theft was just propaganda spouted by the media companies.

(money influences ******)

Might as well call speeding theft. (stealing time by getting there faster. :p)

ramonsterns said:

@Ramon

Sorry all I see in your post is self justification. None of what you posted is a legal reason to steal. How you justify it to sleep at night is all on you. But then again so is the theft. Every single reason you have listed is pretty much what every thief says. Me,Me,Me.

Lets examine your justifications.

1. Not feeling buyers remorse.

Guess what....thats why you reaserch what your going to buy. To do anything less is simple laziness on the part of the consumer.

2. Not having to go to the store to purchase it.

You can make the same purchase from the comfort of your computer room sitting in your bathrobe from many LEGITIMATE sites.

3. Can watch where ever /whenever you like.

You can do the same thing with a regualr CD copy of the movie. Most manufactures include digital copies for all your devices.

4. No need to replace if damaged/lost.

First if you are useing the included digital copy for use on devices, you havent lost anything unless your device gets factory reset. If you lost the original disc then perhaps you needed to be more careful with your toys.

Every response you have given can be refutted by maturity and logic. The simple fact is you just want your cake and dont want to have to pay for it. Easy enough to understand, but have you ever considered how many ppl you are actually hurting locally pirating movies??

There are many businesses that need you to step out of your cave and purchase something in order to support the area you live in. By not doing it you are directly responsible for the rising unemployment in your area. You choose to steal instead of purchasing it legally. That lose of income is felt locally. Enough ppl in your area steal as others have, those businesses close down. Ppl lose thier jobs. Friends and family have to move away in order to find work. Its a horrible chain reaction all because its more convenient to steal then it is to play by the rules.

1. Movies, Games, Books, whatever are reviewed by people I know nothing about. I absolutely loved Earth Defense Force when it came out yet gaming sites gave it poor reviews. Transformers: Dark of the Moon got decent reviews but I thought it was utter rubish.

2. Examples please.

3. Expiration Dates on Digital Copies, CD/DVDs take up space.

4. It's called an accident for a reason.

I want my cake not to leave a bad taste in my mouth or cause me grief to obtain it. More citations needed on business shut down by piracy.

Tygerstrike said:

@ Ramon

I can give you two examples of how theft can shut a business down. Hollywood Video and Game Crazy. Both were taken down by a varity of factors. The main one is bankruptcy. The other reason is theft. I cant tell you how many times I would go to rent a movie from Hollywood video, just to get up to the counter and find out the movie wasnt in the box because some cheapskate decided to take a razor to the side of the box a swipe the movie. Or how many times a new game would come out, just to be rented once and never brought back. Or how many times a Gamecrazy got robbed because someone thought it would be a great idea to run thier car/truck through the doors in the middle of the night.

My point was simply to illistraight how feeble your arguments were. The one that made me laugh the hardest was the buyers remorse. So youre stealing the movie and justifying it by useing buyers remorse!! REALLY!?! You havent even watched the movie yet and you try and use buyer remorse. First you have to BUY something to be remorsful over it.

You are justifying theft with some pretty weak arguments. Now if you had to feed your family and stole food, that would be something ppl could understand. But pirating because in reality you are too cheap or poor to afford ENTERTAINMENT. No one would understand. There are many other ways to keep yourself entertained besides stealing movies. Try reading a book. Go to the park. Go hang out with friends. If you are pirating, then you are stealing because you choose to. No one. Not even the president of the US is forcing you to steal. You choose to do it for your own reasons.

Also Im not calling Ramon a thief, simply refutting his justifications with reality.

ramonsterns said:

@ Ramon

I can give you two examples of how theft can shut a business down. Hollywood Video and Game Crazy. Both were taken down by a varity of factors. The main one is bankruptcy. The other reason is theft. I cant tell you how many times I would go to rent a movie from Hollywood video, just to get up to the counter and find out the movie wasnt in the box because some cheapskate decided to take a razor to the side of the box a swipe the movie. Or how many times a new game would come out, just to be rented once and never brought back. Or how many times a Gamecrazy got robbed because someone thought it would be a great idea to run thier car/truck through the doors in the middle of the night.

My point was simply to illistraight how feeble your arguments were. The one that made me laugh the hardest was the buyers remorse. So youre stealing the movie and justifying it by useing buyers remorse!! REALLY!?! You havent even watched the movie yet and you try and use buyer remorse. First you have to BUY something to be remorsful over it.

You are justifying theft with some pretty weak arguments. Now if you had to feed your family and stole food, that would be something ppl could understand. But pirating because in reality you are too cheap or poor to afford ENTERTAINMENT. No one would understand. There are many other ways to keep yourself entertained besides stealing movies. Try reading a book. Go to the park. Go hang out with friends. If you are pirating, then you are stealing because you choose to. No one. Not even the president of the US is forcing you to steal. You choose to do it for your own reasons.

Also Im not calling Ramon a thief, simply refutting his justifications with reality.

I'm not sure how to respond to your post.

Mainly because you haven't the simplest freaking clue as to what the floating boat you're talking about.

Hollywood Video and Blockbuster* went under because of poor customer service and other businesses with faster, more convenient services showed up, namely Redbox and Netflix. It had nothing to do with actual theft, and it most certainly had NOTHING to do with piracy.

*Blockbuster didn't go under, but filed for bankruptcy.

EDIT: Actually, I just re-read your post, so I'm going to go ahead and deconstruct your argument.

@ Ramon

I can give you two examples of how theft can shut a business down. Hollywood Video and Game Crazy. Both were taken down by a varity of factors. The main one is bankruptcy.

Wait, what? Listen here, bankruptcy is the effect. To reach said effect, you need a cause. Let's see what else you have to say.

The other reason is theft. I cant tell you how many times I would go to rent a movie from Hollywood video, just to get up to the counter and find out the movie wasnt in the box because some cheapskate decided to take a razor to the side of the box a swipe the movie. Or how many times a new game would come out, just to be rented once and never brought back. Or how many times a Gamecrazy got robbed because someone thought it would be a great idea to run thier car/truck through the doors in the middle of the night.

Oh for the love of, FIRST OFF, a business doesn't go bankrupt because of a few missing CDs. SECONDLY, there's better places and ways to STEAL a movie/videogame than a rental store where your name, phone number, and address are confirmed and recorded. Not to mention, which will bring me to my next point, every time I went to Hollywood video, I checked that whatever I was renting hadn't been used as a snowboard on pavement, and more often than not, the CD/DVD was scratched to hell and back. Why the hell would ANYONE in their right mind DAMAGE their vehicle to rob a shitty VIDEOGAME STORE? And you're telling me this was done enough times to make them go bankrupt? You're off your rocker.

My point was simply to illistraight how feeble your arguments were. The one that made me laugh the hardest was the buyers remorse. So youre stealing the movie and justifying it by useing buyers remorse!! REALLY!?! You havent even watched the movie yet and you try and use buyer remorse. First you have to BUY something to be remorsful over it.

You are justifying theft with some pretty weak arguments. Now if you had to feed your family and stole food, that would be something ppl could understand. But pirating because in reality you are too cheap or poor to afford ENTERTAINMENT. No one would understand. There are many other ways to keep yourself entertained besides stealing movies. Try reading a book. Go to the park. Go hang out with friends. If you are pirating, then you are stealing because you choose to. No one. Not even the president of the US is forcing you to steal. You choose to do it for your own reasons.

Also Im not calling Ramon a thief, simply refutting his justifications with reality.

Illustrate*

True, one must have bought something to feel buyer's remorse. I'd call it something else instead, "I thought the product was shit, thank god I didn't buy it." I'm not justifying theft, or piracy for that matter, I only stated the reasons why someone would go through all the trouble of torrenting something instead of buying it. And you are calling me a thief, just because you say otherwise at the bottom doesn't justify it.

Anyways, I'm still waiting for examples of businesses shut down by piracy.

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