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Fair Deal coalition draws attention to copyright changes

Fair Deal coalition draws attention to copyright changes under the Trans Pacific Partnership

Media Release - 11 July 2012


Today, a coalition of New Zealand organisations concerned about changes to New Zealand’s copyright law under the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will gather to launch the Fair Deal cause. Fairdeal.net.nz is a place for New Zealanders to go to learn more about what’s at stake for New Zealand copyright law under the TPP.

Under the TPP, the United States has proposed that New Zealand change its copyright law in several ways. Changes being considered include lengthening copyright monopolies by 20 to 70 years, making parallel imports illegal, placing onerous legal obligations on Internet Service Providers and increasing civil and criminal liability for copyright infringement. The common thread that draws Fair Deal coalition members together is opposition to these and other copyright changes.

Fair Deal members stand in strong support of the New Zealand copyright negotiators, who, according to a leaked negotiation document, have sought to work within existing legal frameworks in the TPP instead of creating overbearing new ones.

Fair Deal members include InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc), NZRise, the Creative Freedom Foundation, Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, TUANZ and Consumer. All organisations agree that a Fair Deal is one that opens up new trading opportunities for New Zealand without forcing the government to make copyright changes that could damage the economy, chill innovation, further restrict access to content and raise prices of copyright works in New Zealand. Each organisation has certain copyright issues that it is concerned about, highlighting the breadth of the impact that the TPP copyright provisions could have on many sectors across New Zealand.

“All we’re asking for is a Fair Deal,” says InternetNZ Policy Lead Susan Chalmers. “Because the TPP is negotiated in secret, and because trade agreements are not typically at the forefront of our minds, we have this problem of New Zealanders not seeing what is coming – not knowing what changes the TPP will bring to their everyday lives.

“The content industries are at it again – asking more from New Zealand copyright law, wanting to segment this market as much as possible from the rest of the world, despite the fact that we’re just a click away on the Internet. We don’t think that what they’re asking for is fair or reasonable, and we want the public to know about it and have a discussion about the proposed changes before the deal is done and it’s too late to say anything,” she says.

The Fair Deal launch, hosted by Russell Brown of Public Address, will take place on the margins of NetHui, a three-day conference on Internet-related issues. The one-hour event begins at 6.30pm at the Sky City Convention Centre, New Zealand Room 3. Those unable to attend can find a live stream by visiting http://nethui.org.nz/videos.

The launch will feature a brief panel discussion with Don Christie from NZRise, Neil Jarvis from Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind, and Susan Chalmers from InternetNZ. An audience discussion session will follow.

The Fair Deal launch is open to the public. NetHui registration is not required, though RSVPs are encouraged. Please send them to rsvp@internetnz.net.nz

ends

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