ISPs to charge for notices under 'Skynet' law

ANDREA VANCE
Last updated 14:33 12/07/2011

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Internet service providers can now charge to go after copyright infringers under the controversial 'Skynet' law.

Commerce Minister Simon Power says ISPs can now charge right holders - such as musicians or artists whose believe their copyright has been breached - $25 to process an allegation.

The new Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act - christened 'Skynet' by opponents - comes into force on September 1. The three-strikes warning system aims to stamp out illegal file sharing.

ISPs will send warning notices to customers informing them they may have breached copyright. If offending persists the case will proceed to the Copyright Tribunal.

The application fee to take a claim to the Copyright Tribunal is set at $200.  

The law controversially allows district courts to suspend an internet account for up to six months. But this element of the legislation will only be brought into force if the Commerce Minister considers the three strike system is not working. A review will take place in 2013.

The charges, which are higher than expected, are likely to dismay recording companies and movie studios, whose lobbyists had called for a charge of no more than $2.

Cabinet decided to allow the $25 charge when considering technical regulations. Power initially proposed a $20 fee, but that was upped by another $5 when his proposal was put in front of the Cabinet.

"The Government decided that a fee of up to $25 fee was an appropriate compromise between what rights holders and the ISPs wanted,'' Power said.

"However, we will review that six months after the Act comes into effect to make sure it's at the right level.''

The regulations also lay out what information rights holders must provide to ISPs and the form of infringement notices.

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