Copyright Filesharing - Information and Records Management - University of Canterbury - New Zealand


On 1 Sept 2011 the changes to the Copyright Act come into force under the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011. This provides owners of copyrighted works such as movies, TV shows and music a quicker and easier way to penalise people infringing their copyright via online file sharing. The intention of the law changes is to crack down on peer-to-peer file sharing.

“File sharing” is defined by the new law as:

  • Material uploaded or downloaded from the Internet (and)
  • Using an application or network that enables the simultaneous sharing of material between multiple users.

Anything that doesn’t meet both parts of this definition is not covered by the new law.

Account holders who are identified breaching the Act will receive two notices (warnings) and then, following the third notice, the copyright owner can take them to the Copyright Tribunal. Depending upon circumstances the minimum penalty is $275 and maximum $15,000, payable to the copyright owner.

The person who owns the Internet account (Account Holder) is liable, even if he or she wasn’t the person who broke the law. Allegations of copyright infringement made against you (the Account Holder) by the Copyright Owner are presumed to be correct unless you give evidence or reasons why you aren’t guilty.

Illegally downloading even a single copyright protected work could incur a copyright warning. Many Copyright Owners take detection and prosecution of copyright infringement very seriously, so don’t underestimate the seriousness of the new law.

Please think about these issues in relation to your home, work and study environments. For more information visit:

Filesharing and UC

The University of Canterbury is defined as an Internet Protocol Address Provider or 'IPAP'. If a Rights Owner sends an infringement notice this will come to the University through our Internet Service Provider (ISP). The University will then issue the infringement notice to the offending Account Holder (student or staff member). If an Account Holder receives three notices within nine months that relate to the same Rights Owner, the Rights Owner may choose to take a claim for up to $15,000 to the Copyright Tribunal.

The process also provides two ways in which Account Holders can dispute infringement allegations, either directly with the Rights Owner, or if a claim is made, at the Copyright Tribunal.

Infringement Process

infringement process flow chart

The University takes infringement of copyright very seriously. It will not indemnify staff or students if they are found to have breached copyright. Infringement by an employee or by a student could result in a civil or criminal action against that employee or student. Infringement by an employee may also be considered to be misconduct or serious misconduct and therefore may result in a warning being given or in dismissal. Infringement by a student may also be considered as a disciplinary matter.

For further information please see the Copyright Policy

Section 122T(4) of the Copyright Act (“the Act”) Compliance Note

In accordance with section 122T(4) of the Copyright Act ("the Act") The University of Canterbury (UC) confirms that it has complied with section 122T of the Act for the period 1 October 2011 to 30 September 2012. In particular UC has:

  1. In accordance with section 122T(1) has retained, for a minimum of 40 days, information on the allocation of IP addresses to each account holder;
  2. In accordance with section 122T(2) has retained for a minimum of 12 months the following information:
    1. All information about infringements that was sent by rights owners to UC for the purpose of matching infringements to account holders (none received); and
    2. All infringement notices issues to account holders (none sent); and
    3. All challenges to infringement notices and all responds to them (none) and
    4. Information on cancelled and expired infringement notices (none).
  3. In accordance with section 122T(3) UC confirms that it has not released the name or contact details of an account holder unless authorised to do so by the Account Holder and/or the Copyright Tribunal.