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Amended Copyright Act (1994)

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Started by Tessa Gray 01 Sep 2011 11:48am () Replies (11)

The Copyright (infringing file sharing) Amendment Act comes into effect as of today. Recently, this has been highlighted across the media channels. But what does this mean for schools? What do you think the implications are? How might we address this?


  • John Dorman (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 12:00pm ()

    From my understanding there is a three strike scenerio that gives us some room to try and stop the problem. I also think that the new law says that the school could be responsible for the $15,000 fine. Is this correct? How would the Ministry react to the operations grant being spent in this way? Would our  insurance cover this kind of expense? I hope I don't have to find out! 

  • Judi Buckley (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 12:57pm ()

    I feel it is worth reading the Netsafe advice for schools that you have provided a link to Tessa to get a better understanding of what the implications for schools could be. It seems that schools need to know that if they are unsure about what to do on receiving a notice, that they contact NetSafe immediately. It would be timely to discuss this in schools so that everyone has an understanding of what the changes to the Act mean, as I am sure that many of us don’t have a clear picture and we all need to be ‘in the know’.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 1:39pm ()

    There is a lot to unpack here. NetSafe (which is Ministry funded) has some invaluable support material for schools on what this act is about as well as support for schools to how to prepare for the copyright law changes. As you say Judi, NetSafe invites schools to contact them directly if they need further clarification. The direct link can be accessed here http://www.netsafe.org.nz/content/copyright-and-schools/ 

  • Jo Fothergill (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 1:03pm ()

    It's my understanding that the legislation applies to (a) infringing material and (b) such material downloaded using a p2p type file sharing network - I would be checking with Watchdog or whoever acts as your upstream firewall to make sure they've got those applications blocked. 

  • Tim Kong (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 1:12pm ()

    The stupid thing is there are very valid and legitimate reasons to be using p2p file sharing to move files. It's one of the most efficient ways to move digital files. Most Linux and open source materials are shared using torrent protocols.

    It's like saying we'll ban metal knives and forks on planes, to stop the spread of terrorism.

    Oh wait...

  • Annemarie Hyde (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 2:38pm ()

    I believe Skype is a p2p file sharing set up so I DON'T want that blocked, and I imagine Watchdog would find it hard to differentiate between legal and illegal.  Certainly I want a clearer outline, a definitive one page statement and agree with the conversation here which discusses how waffly the ninformation is right now.

  • Tim Kong (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 3:25pm ()

    Skype is p2p traffic, but I don't think it's going to be targetted. Even though it's technically possible to 'share' a digital file using Skype.

    Watchdog are not the ones who will be determining legal and illegal. Copyright holders will be sending notices to your ISP (who could be Watchdog) - who will then process the details, and forward the infringement notice on to you.

    It's not going to get any more precise until we get some precedent - from the courts and the tribunal.

    I was incorrect in earlier post. The MED has published information about the Bill - details here.


    I think it's up to each school to consider the documentation to help understand the issue.

    IMO the waffle of the original legislation is still present in the MED papers. 

    Exhibit A: "What is file-sharing? File sharing is the common name given to the sharing of files over the internet via specific “protocols” or computer languages, known as ”peer‐to‐peer” protocols."

    This is wrong on so many levels. File sharing is file sharing. It's irrelevant what technology protocol you use to share it. I could use VHS/DVD or 16mm film to record last nights Shortland Street episode - and I could use NZ Post, my own two feet, or a hand-crafted 50 foot high catapult to deliver that recording to you - I'd still be infringing copyright.

    But we're not banning NZ Post, walking, or the use of VHS, DVD and medieval weaponry in the suburbs are we? :)

    Which leads me to exhibit B from the MED:

    "What isn’t covered by the notice process?

    The Act does not cover streaming sites such as you tube, and file locker services. However accessing copyright works via these methods can also infringe copyright, and would be covered by the rest of the Copyright Act 1994. New Zealand’s law aims to be technology neutral in this respect, so any method of performing a restricted act it is likely to infringe copyright.

    What? What? The act doesn't cover streaming sites such as youtube, or even as I understand any media accessed using standard http protocols - the "file locker services". So again, while these acts may infringe copyright, and are in fact "file sharing" - they're not covered by the "Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment act.

    If a student of mine handed this writing in - I'd be marking them 'below standard' - on the basis that it's contradictory and doesn't make any sense.

    The MED documentation also has several visuals to outline the infringement notice process - and how it works. It's convoluted, and will ultimately be ineffective, but some in parliament feel like they've done something about something. 

    As I said on the MLE list - this bill will do as much to stop copyright infringment and downloading of movies, as national standards will do to raise student achievement. It is bad law, derived by bad process and will have no notable effect on habit or practice.

    It will require an increased amount of compliance and cost for schools to enforce and cover themselves over - and by design (guilt on accusation) require them to pay to defend themselves when charged.

    It might just be easier to turn off the internet.

  • Tim Kong (View all users posts) 01 Sep 2011 1:09pm ()



    As I understand it, as schools that provide internet access - they are IPAPs as outlined in the new legislation.

    An IPAP = Internet Protocol Address Provider.

    IPAPs are liable for any and all network traffic that passes through their systems. So yes - schools will be liable and responsible for the $15K fine.

    There are conflicting reports on what to do - some useful technical advice was provided on the MLE list - I'll try and do a summary and post it up. There are technical ways and means to:

    1. Prevent file sharing software, specifically torrent software, from being used on any machine on your school network.

    2. Map every single IP address to a machine on your network - and keep a log of who is using that machine at specific times. IP addresses will be used to accuse your school - so you have responsibility to know who is doing what on any machine at a given point in time.

    Yep - it's rather onerous this law.

    Couple of useful sites - I don't think there is one absolute place. The law is so ill-thought out that not even the MED can given any really useful information - to any other govt. department - hence the absence of info from the MOE.



    The law is targetting P2P file sharing - that's using torrent software to share files. But it doesn't say that - it says "file-sharing" - so you have the asinine case where youtube videos that are copyright infringments - won't be targetted, even though they are being 'shared' across your network.

    It's a guilt upon accusation law - so we do have to wait until the notices start coming out from copyright owners to find out. And then you have to prove the negative - that you didn't commit the file sharing transgression.

    If schools ran these sorts of contradictory rules in there classrooms - no student would pay any attention.

    At any rate - someone's already downloading copyrighted content from inside parliament's network - so I'm expecting the govt. to be disconnected by the end of the month.

  • Enabling e-Learning (View all users posts) 09 Sep 2011 11:20am ()

    If you want the official words, as it were, it might be useful for interested folk to pop into the Netsafe group - Sean Lyons (Netsafe) has started a thread and provided a link to useful resources.

    The Ministry's e-Learning groups on the VLN will be maintaining strong links with Netsafe, going forward, to make sure we join up our thinking:-)

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 29 Nov 2011 8:11am ()

    Sean Lyons of Netsafe has published a post in response to the recent story of a school who may have been issued with an Infringement Notice. Here's his post from the Netsafe Group: /mod/threaded_forums/topicposts.php?topic=205324&group_guid=16278

    In it, he clarifies Netsafe's position in relation to schools and the Copyright Amendment Act.

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