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Illegal music downloader fined $616

Wednesday 30 Jan 2013 9:35 p.m.

The first person to be found guilty of illegal file sharing under the 'Skynet' law has been fined $616.57.

The female internet user was fined by the Copyright Tribunal after the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (Rianz) alleged she infringed copyright for sharing music illegally three times.

On the first two occasions the song involved was Rihanna's 'Man Down', while the last one was 'Tonight Tonight' by Hot Chelle Rae.

The user was sent an initial warning notice by Telecom's copyright infringement team on November 24, 2011, over 'Man Down'.

A second warning notice alleging further infringement of the 'Man Down' copyright was sent on June 19, 2012, and the enforcement notice over 'Tonight Tonight' was sent on July 30.

The user admitted the first infringement, saying she was unaware that downloading the song was illegal.

She denied downloading 'Tonight Tonight', saying that "if I find the person responsible for downloading this through my internet then I will definitely enforce the consequences behind doing so".

Rianz said the user had referred only to downloading but there was evidence the songs in question were uploaded from her account.

Tribunal member Jane Glover said she was satisfied the file sharing took place as alleged.

The $616.57 fine includes a deterrent sum of $360, reimbursement of the application fee to the tribunal of $200, $50 towards the fees paid by Rianz to Telecom, and the $6.57 it would have cost to buy the songs legally.

Fines of up to $15,000 can be imposed for breaking the law.

Rianz said the law was in place to protect the rights of artists, songwriters and those who invested in them to make a living.

"It is disappointing some account holders do not take meaningful action when first advised their connection was being used to flout the law. New Zealanders have one of the best choices of legal digital music services in the world."

Another 11 cases are still before the tribunal.

NZN

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