New Zealand Outlaws Illegal File Sharing Online

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 is outright 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 copyright."

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!