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Competition Shows Students Understand Copyright

13 June 2006

New Competition Shows Students Understand Copyright Law But Some Schools Still in Breach

This year saw the first copyright essay competition for secondary school students. In an effort to increase student’s awareness of copyright law Copyright Licensing Ltd (CLL) presented a $500 prize to Anna Devathesan of Pakuranga College, and a $50 prize to Mark Thomson of Kings High School in Dunedin.

The essays submitted for the awards highlighted the fact that many students understand the issues surrounding copyright law.

Most schools throughout New Zealand are licensed under a CLL scheme which allows them to make copies of works at no extra cost. However, there are still a number of New Zealand schools that remain unlicensed. These schools deny authors fair payment for the work copied by them. There have been examples of schools not only photocopying books and distributing them to students but of placing books on to CD-Rom, and in some cases, publishing them on the internet.

Competition winner Anna Devathasan aptly explained the effect of piracy on copyright holders in New Zealand and the rest of the world. “…many up and coming artists need to rely on the funds especially when a project requires large initial capital. When an artist’s work gets repeatedly copied causing a huge loss of revenue, an artist may have to turn to more conventional forms of income. Without the protection and incentives offered by copyright, creativity in the realms of art and literature may be severely limited.”

In response to this continued problem CLL urges the New Zealand government to invest in a media campaign to raise awareness of copyright and piracy issues.

Copies of the winning submissions will be published on the CLL website


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