Copyright issues to be addressed

Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Hon Kris Faafoi today released an issues paper marking the first stage of public consultation on changes to the Copyright Act 1994, saying all Kiwis should consider taking part.

“Copyright affects all New Zealanders. We create copyright works when we take a photograph, record a video, or write an email, and we use copyright works by watching a sports broadcast, streaming a movie, listening to music, or reading a book,” said Mr Faafoi.

“Copyright also gives creators of copyright works the right to prevent others copying or distributing their works without their permission.

“The last significant review of the Copyright Act was completed more than a decade ago, and much has changed in that time. The digital environment has created new opportunities to disseminate and access works. For example, we have seen developments in artificial intelligence, data collection, virtual reality and 3-D printing.

“Kiwis are increasingly using digital content over the internet, sharing platforms and streaming services. So our copyright regime must be robust enough and flexible enough to deal with the challenges of technological advances.”

The Government is also looking at how it should coordinate the Copyright Act review with the protection of mātauranga Māori and taonga works in response to the recommendations of the Waitangi Tribunal’s report Ko Aotearoa Tēnei: A Report into Claims Concerning New Zealand Law and Policy Affecting Māori Culture and Identity (the Wai 262 report).

“We want to hear from anyone interested at this stage where we are sharing the issues paper,” Mr Faafoi said. “Once we have a good understanding of what is important to people and why, we will consider what changes are needed.”

Further information on the review and how to make a submission is available at www.mbie.govt.nz/copyright-review. Consultation is open for just over four months with submissions closing on Friday 5 April 2019.