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The First File-Sharer Fined in New Zealand
Added: Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010,

The country’s “three-strikes” anti-piracy legislation can celebrate its first victim – one of the infringers received a fine for downloading two songs through a peer-to-peer application.

New Zealand seems to return to the infamous file-sharing cases related to the Recording Industry Association of America. With this case the local branch of the trade group recently claimed their first fine from the New Zealand’s Copyright Tribunal.

The first punished pirate of the country appeared to be a woman accused of sharing two songs on the web – one of Rihanna and one of Hot Chelle Rae. The first song was for some reason downloaded twice. A year ago, the country implemented a “graduated response” regime to fight unauthorized file-sharing – a system inspired by the new anti-piracy law which comes into effect this February.

The accused woman admitted to illegally sharing the Rihanna song once, but claimed that its second download happened due to a technical confusion – the woman didn’t realize that her file-sharing application was still uploading the song. She provided written explanation to her deeds, saying the first song downloaded was “Man down” by Rihanna and she accepted responsibility for that. The woman explained that she downloaded the song in question unaware of the fact that doing so from that website was against the law. However, when that song was downloaded to her PC, uTorrent client was still saying that the file was downloading. She assumes that might cause the song to register twice as downloaded. Although the woman was unsure if that was possible, she had no other sane explanation to why she would try to download the same song twice. She kept receiving a pop-up warning saying that it seemed like the file-sharing client was already running but not responding, but only figured out how to delete the file that it was still trying to download. However, the woman still couldn’t delete the whole application until just recently when she got someone to look at it. The matter was that after she received the warning letter, she concluded that having uTorrent on her PC was causing the warning regarding downloading.

At the moment, 11 similar copyright violation cases are lined up for unfolding, with the only difference being in the size of the fine. The penalty in this particular case was $NZ616.57, but future cases could see larger amounts issued.