InternetNZ seeks modern balance for copyright law

InternetNZ today launched a position paper on the future of copyright for New Zealand.

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

Under New Zealand copyright law, copying a “work” without permission is infringement. This applies 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. But copyright law has not matched that pace of change. We have an iPod law in a smartphone world,” says Carter.

InternetNZ’s position paper sets out key current issues for copyright and the Internet: cloud computing, text-and-data-mining, and online platforms. For example, cloud backups can help to keep your data safe, but are likely to infringe current copyright law.

“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,” Carter says.

“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,” Carter concludes.

The InternetNZ Position Paper “Getting Copyright right in the Information Age” is available from InternetNZ’s website.

ENDS