InternetNZ calls for copyright law reform

Issues new position paper

InternetNZ is calling for changes to copyright legislation saying the Internet has opened up new opportunities for creative New Zealanders, and the changes are needed to enable them to exploit these opportunities.

It has released a position paper Getting Copyright right in the Information Age

New Zealand’s Copyright Act was written in 1994 and last substantially updated in 2008. InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter said the current legislation amounted to “an iPod law in a smartphone world” and was in need of revision.

"In the 20-plus years since the current copyright law was passed, the Internet has made it much easier for New Zealanders to share creativity with overseas audiences and markets. But copyright law has not matched that pace of change,” he said.

“This report is about finding a modern balance that allows the full benefits of both modern technology and local creativity. We want a balance that works for people exercising creative skills, people pushing the envelope with technology, and the rest of us as well.”

He added: "We will be discussing copyright with a wide audience at a special NetHui Copyright event in March. Feedback on our thinking in this paper and shared at that event will help us refine what we propose to government in the review of the Copyright Act.”

InternetNZ summarises the recommendations in its paper as follows.

•  Protect and respect New Zealanders’ creative works;

•  Encourage new creativity;

Read more: InternetNZ CEO Carter elevated to group CEO under new structure

•  Allow people to add new value to copyrighted works;

•  Make copyright usable by everyone;

•  Protect New Zealanders’ ability to use and access creative works

•  Allow cloud services for backups and personal copying of legitimate copies of works;

•  Permit text and data mining as a resource for new research and business insights;

•  Maintain safe-harbour principles as a shield for Internet-based innovation;

•  Create a broad, open-ended exception to allow our law to adapt as technology changes, and to recognise the potential of local creativity to add new value;

•  Align our permitted acts and exceptions with the more innovation-compatible rules in Israel, Singapore, and the United States;

•  Support consumer access to legitimately provided content, including avenues for self-help where New Zealanders would otherwise miss out;

•  Support continued access to legitimately obtained content by allowing technology neutral shifting between formats and devices;

•  Enable creative online expression including fair quotation and remixing;

•  Balance and monitor enforcement measures, to protect legitimate uses and sharing of content as well as creators’ commercial interests.

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