Section 92a of the update Copyright Act says the following:
92A Internet service provider must have policy for terminating accounts of repeat infringers
“(1) An Internet service provider must adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides for termination, in appropriate circumstances, of the account with that Internet service provider of a repeat infringer.
“(2) In subsection (1), repeat infringer means a person who repeatedly infringes the copyright in a work by using 1 or more of the Internet services of the Internet service provider to do a restricted act without the consent of the copyright owner.”
David Farrar has an excellent article at NZCPR that discusses the ramifications of this far better than I. Here, I wish to make a single point:
None of this will bring at extra income to copyright holders.
There are two types of people who take copyrighted material from the internet. The first is taking bits and pieces to create something else (as in a mash up or a picture with an amusing caption). They do this for fun. It is not dishonest except in an absurdly legalistic sense. They will not be interested in paying for material for their amusement, they will simply use non-copyrighted material. Their creativity will be stifled, at no gain to the copyright holder.
The second type is the “thief” – the guy who downloads mp3s, movies and TV shows. This is dishonest. However, the downloader is doing this because either he cannot legally obtain the file in this country, or he can’t afford or is unwilling to pay for it. Only the lattermost category might be willing to pay for copyrighted material, but even this is dubious. Such people usually do the same thing at their poorer friends and swap and copy their CDs and DVDs.
Net gain by clamping down on this copying: ZIP
Now if the copyrighted material was available for download over high-speed broadband at low unit cost, (just a few dollars) the whole equation may change. Paying a few dollars for a song to use in their video or a dollar for a picture to use on their site would be a much more reasonable option and would make the copyright holders more money than they are making now (i.e. nothing at all)
I did not mention that “illegal” downloading is also free advertising (remember, the downloader would not be paying for it anyway)