Eight New Zealanders are now are facing action from the Copyright Tribunal for allegedly pirating music but only one has requested to have their case heard in person.

The Government's three-strikes law requires internet providers to issue warning and enforcement notices to customers suspected of illegally downloading copyright content - such as movies or music - if a copyright holder requests it.

After a third notice, rights holders can bring a case before the Copyright Tribunal, which can fine an offender up to $15,000.

It is believed only the recording industry is requesting notices be sent and has called for eight cases of alleged music piracy to go to the Tribunal since the law came into effect last year.


However, of the eight alleged pirates only one has asked for their case to be heard in person at the Tribunal, a Ministry of Justice spokesperson said this morning.

The other seven accused will have their case heard "on the papers" and will be dealt with through written submissions.

No date has been set for the hearing in front of the Tribunal, which has six members and is chaired by Victoria University law professor Susy Frankel.
According to the Ministry's website a person at such a hearing is not normally represented, though this is allowed in some circumstances.

If an alleged offender disagrees with the Tribunal's decision, they are able to appeal it through the High Court.