Studios want cut to 'three strikes' law fees

04:49, Mar 22 2012

Movie studios are about to push the Government to lower the fees they have to pay internet providers to out copyright pirates under the so-called "Skynet" law that took effect last year.

The Economic Development Ministry has kicked off a promised review of the $25 fee that rights holders must pay internet providers to send infringement notices to customers accused of piracy under the "three strikes regime".

Tony Eaton, head of the New Zealand branch of the Motion Picture Association, NZFact, said the issue was on his "to do" list next week and it would call for the fees to be lowered or done away with altogether.

The Recording Industry Association, which represents record companies, is understood to have paid internet providers to send out hundreds if not thousands of infringement notices.

However, it is not clear if any internet users have yet received a "third strike" that could see them hauled in front of the Copyright Tribunal and fined up to $15,000.

A Justice Ministry spokesman said it believed a number of people had received second warning notices but no applications had yet been made for enforcement action by the tribunal.

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Eaton said members had been dissuaded from requesting any infringement notices because of the cost.

"The fees have always been a concern for us and we will be putting in a submission."

InternetNZ chief executive Vikram Kumar saw no need for the fees to change, saying the ministry's discussion paper acknowledged that internet providers were only being partially compensated for the cost of sending out infringement notices as it stood.

Submissions on the fee review close at the end of next month.

The Dominion Post