Song warning for Sarsha

BEMUSED: Timaru's Sarsha Thompson is bemused after receiving a copyright infringement notice in the mail.
BEMUSED: Timaru's Sarsha Thompson is bemused after receiving a copyright infringement notice in the mail.

A Timaru woman was bemused rather than aggrieved at a copyright infringement notice she received for a download she says she never knew about.

Sarsha Thompson was sent the notice by Telecom, advising her of the infringement, saying it was a detection notice on this occasion but further action would be taken if it occurred again.

"After I laughed I was just gobsmacked really, because I honestly don't know how I got it."

Mrs Thompson had no idea how the offending song, Fly, by Nicki Minaj, had been downloaded.

"I'll be honest, I'm not into Nicki Minaj. I don't think my husband's done it.

"The only thing I can think of is that I accidentally hit something [on the laptop]."

According to the notice, the company that the infringement was against was Cash Money Records and occurred on April 11.

"They've even got the time [it happened]."

She had the option of challenging the infringement but decided it was not worth it.

"It's just a song. As long as I'm not going to get charged [it is OK]."

The notice was not much of a deterrent, she said.

"I don't really think it's a big deal. Everyone does it. It's one of those things that's out there."

Three Telecom customers have been taken to the Copyright Tribunal by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz) for illegally downloading music.

Telecom spokeswoman Jo Jalfon said the customers may be required to attend hearings at the Copyright Tribunal.

"Telecom takes the issue very seriously and will continue to work with both the Justice Ministry and Rianz."

She said Telecom was conscious of the need to educate all internet users and would be reminding customers of their legal obligations.

Rianz represents several record labels, including giants EMI, Sony, Universal, and Warner. It had previously limited itself to sending more than 2700 warnings to alleged pirates.


The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act came into force on September 1, 2011. It applies only to infringing material which is uploaded or downloaded via file-sharing applications or networks. Offenders can be taken to the Copyright Tribunal. The penalty is a maximum fine of $15,000. Warning letters are sent to offenders. After three warnings the copyright owner can take their case to the tribunal.

The Timaru Herald