New Zealand Fines Its First FileSharer: $616 for Two Pirated Songs

New Zealand Fines Its First FileSharer- $616 for Two Pirated SongsNew Zealand’s three strikes anti-piracy law celebrated its first victim –  the pirate received $NZ616.57 for downloading two songs using a p2p program.

Here we go again – returning to the infamous filesharing cases related to the RIAA. With this case the New Zealand branch of the trade group (RIANZ) triumphantly claimed their first fine from the country’s Copyright Tribunal.

So who’s New Zealand’s first punished pirate ? A woman accused of sharing online two songs, “Man Down” by Rihanna (twice!)and “Tonight Tonight” by Hot Chelle Rae.

In 2011 NZ introduced a “graduated response” system to combat illegal filesharing, a system inspired by the new anti-piracy legislation which comes into effect this month.

While the pirate woman admitted to illegally sharing the Rihanna song, she emphasized that the second download was due to a technical confusion – she didn’t realise that her filesharing client uTorrent was still uploading the song. Her written testimony reads:

The first song downloaded was a song called man down by rihanna. I accept responsibility for this. I downloaded this song unaware that in doing so from this site was illegal. When this song was downloaded to my computer, a whole utorrent program downloaded on it said that the song was still downloading and maybe that caused the song to register twice as it being downloaded? I’m unsure if this is possible or not but I don’t know why it shows that I would try to download the same song twice.

I kept receiving a pop up notice saying it seems like utorrent is already running but not responding, please close all utorrent processes and try again … I figured out how to delete the song that was still trying to download but still couldn’t figure out how to delete the whole program until just recently when I got someone to look at it as after I received the letter, I assumed having this program on my computer was causing the warning regarding downloading?

Currently, eleven more such copyright infringement cases are cued for a similar unfolding, the difference being in the fine given. If the penalty in this case was of $616.57, larger amounts could be fined in future cases.