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The Infringing File Sharing - Amendment Act 2011 put landlords on risk, who provide free Internet access. How to deal with that and limit Internet costs read here

 

 

Free Internet Access

Are you as Landlord on Risk?

 

Sharing information—Everybody does it

 

You did it, I do that—we exchange information, share files for instance as email attachment etc. File sharing in general is not illegal. However, sharing downloads and copyright protected content to others is illegal.

 

In the meantime everybody has heard about Kim DotCom, a gamer, fighter, innovator, entrepreneur, … but you as landlord should  also be aware of the Infringing File Sharing - Amendment Act 2011.

 

 

 

Internet Access as part of the rental agreement

 

 

Landlords who are providing Internet access when renting furnished or holiday homes are liable for the actions of their tenants. Similarly, you will be liable for the actions of guests using your Internet account at home.

 

The Infringing File Sharing - Amendment Act 2011 makes changes to the Copyright Act 1994 for cracking down on peer-to-peer file sharing on the Internet. The law came into force on 1st September 2011. By definition “File sharing” is:

 

· material uploaded or downloaded from the Internet, and

· using an application or network that enables the simultaneous sharing of material between multiple users.

 

 

The law says that the person who owns the Internet account (account holder) is liable, even if he/she was not the person who broke the law. In other words for the landlord it will be hard to give evidence or reasons not to be guilty.

 

The process is to get two notices before the hearing of Copyright Tribunal. If your tenant signs a related clause on the tenancy agreement, you will be able to act accordingly. Otherwise the minimum penalty is $275 and goes up to $15,000.

 

Scotney Williams, from Tenancy Management Services, advised that “landlords should protect themselves after one Dunedin landlord fell foul of what they claimed was the tenant's activity.”

 

 

 

How can landlords manage Internet access and risks?

 

 

The risk for the landlord (Internet account holder) is when tenant’s Internet behavior becomes illegal, down-loading or sharing copyrighted movies, copyrighted songs (music), computer software, games,  and so on to other people who have not purchased that content on the Internet.

 

The account holder of the Internet pays for the traffic (usage of bandwidth). If the tenant has unrestricted access that could trigger bills of thousands of Dollars for downloading movies, uploading videos to YouTube.com, streaming radio and online television or it could open a door for illegal activities.

 

To deal with that risk you could limit the traffic to a certain amount, lets say 50 GB, add a clause to your tenancy agreement for restricting the Internet usage and all costs exceeding this limit will be passed on to the tenant.

 

Be smart—have happy tenants

 

 

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Internet Access - part of the rental agreement