New Zealand Law Society - Review of the Copyright Act 1994

Review of the Copyright Act 1994

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The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Kris Faafoi has announced the release of an Issues Paper on the Copyright Act review, signalling the first stage of public consultation on the copyright regime.

There have been significant technological changes since the last significant review of the Copyright Act in 2004, which impacts the way professionals create, distribute and consume content. Insights into this environment were highlighted in the government’s study of the role of copyright and registered designs in the creative sector, completed in 2016.

The government is undertaking a review to ensure that our copyright regime continues to be fit for purpose.

The objectives for the review are to:

  • Assess how well the Copyright Act 1994 is meeting the objectives for copyright,
  • Identify any barriers to achieving the objectives and how these affect creators, publishers, distributors, users and consumers,
  • Put together a plan to address any issues that are identified.

The Issues Paper provides an introduction to copyright concepts and the copyright regime, the proposed objectives for New Zealand’s copyright regime and potential issues with the way the copyright regime is working.

The consultation period closes at 5pm on Friday, 5 April 2019.

“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,” says Kris 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.”