Copyright Act review a chance to strengthen New Zealand's voice

Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) has welcomed the release by the Government of the Issues Paper on the review of the Copyright Act.

“This review is an opportunity to future-proof our copyright laws so that they can play their rightful role in supporting Kiwis ability to tell, gain access to, and learn from their own stories”, said Copyright Licensing New Zealand Chief Executive, Paula Browning.

The New Zealand publishing industry is underpinned by a robust and fair copyright system.

The books and stories that we all love and have such an important role in our national identity are only possible because of the commercial certainty and earnings that copyright delivers to our creative economy.

We look forward to working through the Issues Paper in detail and making a full submission on it.

It is vital through that any changes to New Zealand’s copyright law arising from this process reflect the Government’s own stated goals in the review’s terms of reference.

That is they are effective and efficient, be clear and certain, facilitate competitive markets, minimise transaction costs, and maintain integrity and respect for the law.

Any deviation away from these principles will be detrimental to our authors and publishers and our ability to tell New Zealand’s stories.

Over the review process CLNZ will be placing a particular focus on ensuring that any proposed changes to our copyright law support our education publishers.

Education publishers are a New Zealand success story contributing over $70 million per year to GDP. As well as providing invaluable education material to our students, they have enjoyed significant export growth and customer demand in offshore markets.

This growth has been possible because of balanced and effective copyright law.

It is vital that it is not put at risk by any negatives changes to our copyright law. The Copyright Act has not been reviewed for over a decade and over that time the creative economy and the way we access content has evolved considerably.

“The review is a timely opportunity to update it and strengthen New Zealand’s voice into the 21st century. The Government is to be commended for progressing this work and we look forward to engaging in the process closely”, concluded Ms Browning.

Photo by Hitoshi Suzuki on Unsplash

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