Is peer-to-peer file sharing wrong? Is it illegal? Is it a crime to
engage in it? If you're just casually reading that, you may say: "Of
course!" But read it once again. We didn't specifically say which kind
of file sharing; just file sharing in general. Different story!
Thankfully, we're still not living in a world where P2P
forbidden from top to bottom, but one nation is taking a serious stand
against the illegal kind. New Zealand just passed a law against online
piracy, which "outlaws file-sharing and threatens repeat offenders with
having their Internet access cut off."
The new law allows for penalties of up to NZ$15,000 to be paid back to
the copyright owner, and if this isn't good enough, the criminals can
have their Internet access yanked for up to half a year. Commerce
Minister Simon Power said the following: "Online copyright infringement
has been damaging for the creative
industry, which has experienced significant declines in revenue as file
sharing has become more prevalent. This legislation will discourage
illegal file sharing and provide more
effective measures to help our creative industries enforce their
It's a pretty bold law, and it could trigger a series of similar laws in
various nations around the world eager to put a stop to these kinds of
activities. The new law will go into play on September 1st, but it won't
apply to mobile networks for whatever reason until October of 2013.
You've been warned!