The Coldplay song Paradise and Kesha's We R Who We R have cost a 50-year-old man $557 as he became the second offender punished under new laws banning illegal online music sharing.
The Copyright Tribunal handed down the decision on Friday evening - and several more are in the pipeline thanks to an aggressive approach to illegal file-sharing by the industry body, the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.
The offender, who has name suppressed, blamed his 12 and 8-year-old sons for downloading bitTorrent, a programme which allows computer users to illegal download and upload music files.
He said he didn't believe he was the type of offender the new law was intended for and said the family had financial problems because his wife was out of work - but had ignored three warning notices for sharing the Kesha song. The Coldplay song then triggered legal action.
Rianz, which must pay $25 for each warning letter sent, wanted him to fork out $1681 in fines and expenses, and suggested the tribunal consider the amount people are fined for driving without a licence or parking in disabled parks, or fines of up to $480 handed out in Germany for the same offences.
But the tribunal was unmoved, and ordered the man to pay $557.71 - of which $7.17 was the price he should have paid for legally downloading the songs.
- Sunday Star Times
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