According to the BBC article US piracy crackdown delayed until 2013, dated November 29, 2012:

New Zealand claims that piracy has halved since it introduced a "three strikes" rule.

After a little searching, it turns out by "New Zealand" the BBC means "the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand", per the BBC article Three strikes rule has 'halved piracy' in New Zealand from July 23, 2012. I did not find any other source for the claim other than the RIANZ.

Are there any independent sources that verify the claims by the RIANZ that the three strikes rule has halved piracy since its introduction? If so, has the halving of piracy been persistent or was it a short-term effect (i.e. does the effect continue to today)?

  • 3
    Or made 50% of pirate activity go "under the radar"?
    – Sklivvz
    Nov 29, 2012 at 23:13
  • 1
    I had a look at the RIANZ web-site, expecting to find a report that explained their methodology. Couldn't find anything, so I emailed them.
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 3, 2012 at 23:30
  • Thanks @Oddthinking. Good idea. Maybe someone could email the author(s)/editor(s) of the BBC as well, as perhaps they have seen the actual report. Dec 3, 2012 at 23:53
  • @Oddthinking any luck?
    – Sklivvz
    Dec 20, 2012 at 1:12
  • @Sklivvz: no. No response.
    – Oddthinking
    Dec 20, 2012 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


This question is addressed in (Gilbin 2013). At p. 41, she specifically mentions the claim in this question:

The New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZFACT) claimed that the number of major US films shared by New Zealand users each month effectively halved when the law came into operation, before increasing slightly and then plateauing.

Gilbin says that "the underlying studies and methodologies on which these claims are based are not publicly available".

Gilbin also talks about "[a] much more transparent study was conducted by researchers at Waikato University". "The study suggested that P2P traffic and the number of users engaged in P2P file sharing decreased by at least half after the law came into force." (Citing Alcock and Nelson 2012)

Gilbin adds though:

However, as discussed in more detail below, it [Alcock 2012] also found a massive increase in the amount of HTTPS traffic. HTTPS if a form of encryption which prevents traffic from being easily analyzed. The researchers theorized that this increase was caused by a shift towards non-P2P sources of infringement, which fell outside the scheme.


There is no public data supporting the claim that internet piracy has halved. The group claiming the halving of internet privacy has not released their studies. Another group that witnessed a drop in P2P traffic also noticed an increase in HTTPS traffic, and could not rule out a shifting of piracy behaviours.


Alcock, S. and Nelson, R., Measuring the Impact of the Copyright Amendment Act on New Zealand Residential DSL Users, WAND NETWORK RESEARCH GROUP (2012)

Giblin, Rebecca, Evaluating Graduated Response (September 6, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2322516

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