Soldier pinged by Skynet while on duty

TOM PULLAR-STRECKER
Last updated 12:12 13/03/2013

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A member of the armed forces has been pinged $255.97 by the Copyright Tribunal after his internet account was used by flatmates to illegally download and share Rihanna and Hot Chelle Rae tracks while he was on tour in Afghanistan.

The award is the fifth and smallest so far handed down under the three-strikes "Skynet" regime which was introduced in 2011 to provide "fast track" justice for rights holders trying to prevent music and movies being pirated through file-sharing services such as BitTorrent.

In its fourth judgement, issued late last month, the tribunal awarded $457.16 against a TelstraClear customer who had illegally downloaded and shared Coldplay and Beyonce tracks. The sum included a "deterrent" of $200.

That followed earlier awards of $616, $557 and $797 in its first three judgements. So far all the cases have been brought by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz), which represents major record labels.

The fifth culprit wrote to the tribunal in November after he received his third and final "enforcement notice", saying he had just returned from Afghanistan and was not aware of the infringing.

He said it had been impossible to find out which of eight flatmates had downloaded the music as they were then "deployed around New Zealand". However, he said he took full responsibility.

Rianz decided not to ask the tribunal to impose a deterrent, but still requested an award to reimburse it for the fees it had incurred issuing the three strikes and the $200 cost of bringing a case to the tribunal, plus direct compensation of $5.97 for the downloaded music.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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