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Copyright Infringement notices. NetSafe Support for Schools

A recent report in the National Business Review talked about a twitter post that claimed a New Zealand school had recieved an infringement notice from RIANZ regarding a copyright infringement via a file sharing network. Let me say first of all, to date, Netsafe have no knowledge of any school being in reciept of such a notice.

The NBR report went on to say that NetSafe had in place an agreement with RIANZ whereby they would act as an intermediary between the schools and RIANZ. NetSafe has negotiated an agreement with RIANZ and we provided details of it here in our advice to schools published in August this year.

The NBR article has stimulated a few questions around what position this leaves school in, so I wanted to clear some of those up directly.

1. The agreement is between NetSafe and RIANZ. No school is obligated to work with NetSafe in any way. If a school chooses to work with us then we will negotiate with RIANZ on their behalf, allowing the school to maintain their anonimity. Remember, the rights holders have no way of knowing who they are sending notices to until the tribunal stage. In exchange, RIANZ will suspend the notice for an 8 week period, whiler the school attempt to remedy whatever it needs to be remedied. NetSafe can provide advise and guidance here, but schools may also with to engage, IT specialists, legal counsel, or any other group or individual who they feel may be able to assist them.

2. Working with NetSafe does not affect in any way a schools rights under the law, like the right to challenge the notice.

3. No notices are sent to NetSafe. In order for the process to function, schools must contact NetSafe and request our assistance when they recieve an infringement notification. NetSafe does not form part of the notice process which exist between the rights holder, the ISP and the account holder.

I hope this answer some of the questions raised so far. I am sure there will be others, and I encourage you to put them to us here in the VLN, at our website www.netsafe.org.nz or to me directly seanl@netsafe.org.nz and we will try our best to provide the answers, or put you in touch with those that can.

Sean Lyons  (CTO, NetSafe)



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