Downloader fined $616 in first Skynet case

Last updated 17:27 30/01/2013
Rihanna's Man Down

APT CHOICE: Screencap from the video for Rihanna's single, Man Down.

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The music industry has won its first case under the controversial Skynet anti-piracy regime.

Rihanna's Man Down and Hot Chelle Rae's Tonight Tonight costs a few dollars on iTunes.

However, an offender has copped a $616 fine for illegally downloading these tracks in the landmark music piracy case, the Recording Industry Association (Rianz) says.

Rianz is an organisation representing big record labels and has been fighting music piracy in New Zealand.

Internet users who receive "three strikes" warnings for pirating music through a file- sharing services can face a fine of up to $15,000 under new Skynet rules.

This first offender to be fined received first and second warnings for downloading the Rihanna song twice and the third and final warning for the Hot Chelle Rae track.

In a statement released today, Rianz said the Copyright Tribunal found in favour of their claim against the unidentified offender.

The Rianz statement said illegal file sharing has done enormous damage to the creative industries.

"However, we take no satisfaction from having to file with the Copyright Tribunal in the first place.

"It is disappointing some account holders do not take meaningful action when first advised their connection was being used to flout the law."

The ruling has been touted as an important test case in fighting music piracy.

Rianz has issued 6000 warning notices since the Copyright Act was amended in 2011.

Hay said this had cost the company $250,000.

There are 11 alleged music piracy cases still before the Copyright Tribunal.

Greg Hay, a spokesman for Rianz' public relations firm Pead PR, said the organisation's campaign has never been about penalties. "It's really about protecting the rights of the people in the creative industry."

Many of the alleged music pirates are caught with popular music, like Rihanna, he said.

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