Reseller News

InternetNZ pushes for “modern balance” of copyright law

New Zealand’s Copyright Act was written in 1994, and last substantially updated in 2008
Jordan Carter - CEO, InternetNZ

Jordan Carter - CEO, InternetNZ

InternetNZ has launched a position paper on the future of copyright for New Zealand, with the industry association seeking a “modern balance” for the law.

“The Internet has opened up new opportunities for creative New Zealanders,” InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter said. “Our paper points to those opportunities, and suggests that getting copyright right would help us to realise their benefits.”

Under New Zealand copyright law, copying a “work” without permission is infringement, applying to a wide range of works, from movies, music, and books, to photographs, websites and computer code.

New Zealand’s Copyright Act was written in 1994, and last substantially updated in 2008.

“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,” Carter added.

“But copyright law has not matched that pace of change. We have an iPod law in a smartphone world.”

As a result, InternetNZ’s position paper sets out key current issues for copyright and the internet, spanning cloud computing, text-and-data-mining and online platforms.

“For example, cloud back-ups can help to keep your data safe, but are likely to infringe current copyright law,” Carter explained. “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.”

According to Carter, New Zealand’s copyright law has “not stood the test of time”, with a balanced law required to reflects the ways that Kiwis use the internet to access, consume and protect copyrighted works.

“This report is about finding a modern balance that allows the full benefits of both modern technology and local creativity," he added.

"We want a balance that works for people exercising creative skills, people pushing the envelope with technology, and the rest of us as well."