Updated: IFPI on New Zealand: Good and Bad

POSTED BY Rick Shera
25 January 2012

posted in l@w.geek.nz | Intellectual Property | Copyright



I see IFPI (the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) has published what it calls its annual "report card".

The report comments, with respect to New Zealand's passing of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act: 

Ipsos MediaCT research from August 2011, on the eve of the law coming into force, found that seven in 10 P2P users said they would stop infringing on receipt of a notice backed by sanctions as part of the country’s graduated response programme. According to IFPI, usage of P2P networks fell 16 per cent in the first three months of the law being in force, accompanied by increasing online sales

Of course a drop in usage of P2P networks says nothing about copyright infringement and increasing sales could well be a result of the leadup to Christmas and slightly better economic conditions. But, what this does mean, is there is now no need for the internet account termination provisions of the Act (which have been held in abeyance pending assessment of the Act's efficacy). That is a good thing.

The bad thing is, as far as I know, the research referred to has not been published so we have no way of knowing what methodology was used and how robust the conclusions are. As I've said before, this lack of transparent evidence is no longer best practice (if it ever was).


Further thoughts updated 17 April 2012

It occurs to me also that the above is highly relevant to the review currently being conducted by MED on the fee that rights owners pay to ISPs (IPAPs) when sending in their notices under the infringing file sharing regime.

Given that very few notices were sent in the first few months of the regime and those only by RIANZ (apparently only for non New Zealand music), it can't be that the number of notices is the driver for the success which IFPI mentions.  I expect it's actually got far more to do with the recording companies getting their act together to at last provide multiple legitimate channels for music to be purchased (of which vevo is the latest).  That and the publicity around the new law, its predecessor s92A, #skynet and the general bubbling up of copyright discussion into the mainstream.

Which then leads onto my point about the review.

One of the things that everyone agrees on is that the lower the fee, the more notices will be generated (and there could be a lot if we open the flood gates).  For ISPs this is a disaster because they are already having their lunch cut at $25 per notice (they estimate their costs could be around $50 if volumes increase).

The MED discussion document is pretty blunt about it - do we need to reduce the notice cost so that we get more notices?  Would that make the regime more effective?

Well, I think what we can see from IFPI's own assessment is that there is no need for that. It's not the number of notices that has achieved the wins.

POSTED BY Rick Shera
25 January 2012

posted in l@w.geek.nzIntellectual PropertyCopyright



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