A bungled warning notice sent under the three-strikes copyright regime means an alleged music pirate is off the hook for a $1600 fine.
In the latest case decided by the Copyright Tribunal, a Telecom customer was accused by Recorded Music NZ of sharing Amy Winehouse song Body and Soul, Clean Bandit's Rather Be and Lana Del Ray's West Coast.
According to RMNZ, the accused woman admitted a family member was responsible for the infringements.
RMNZ, which is New Zealand agent for Universal Island Records and Warner Music, brought action to the tribunal against this unnamed woman, wanting $1605 from her.
However, one of the three notices sent to her was incorrectly labelled as an enforcement letter rather than a warning.
Under the three-strikes copyright regime, an alleged infringer is sent a detection notice, a warning notice and then an enforcement notice.
There is a disputes process that can be followed once someone receives each notice.
Once the enforcement notice is sent, a copyright owner can then take action at the tribunal.
In this particular case, tribunal member Jane Glover said the "nonconformity" in the notice process was "more than minor".
"From the point of view of an account holder, it is highly material to know whether a notice is a warning notice (in which case there is still an opportunity to ensure than no further infringing activities take place), or an enforcement notice (by which time the rights owner has the right to make an application to the tribunal)," she said in the decision.
Glover said it was apparent the warning notice was not issued according to the law and made no payment order.