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Music Industry Devastated By Parallel Importing Ba

Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton could end up devastating the local music industry by banning creative industry parallel imports, said ACT commerce spokesman Stephen Franks.

Print publishing may not be far behind, as ‘print on demand’ book technology develops.

Mr Franks was commenting on the Government’s boast that New Zealand was being removed from the United States “301 Watch List” for nations with inadequate copyright protection laws. Mr Anderton is attempting to “strengthen” intellectual property laws by banning the parallel importing of new CD’s, videos, books and computer software.

“Mr Anderton is forcing a 1950’s solution onto New Zealanders who are no longer trapped behind Government controlled fences. The global marketplace has changed dramatically since the last time Mr Anderton had an influence on Government policy.

“By banning parallel importing to increase prices he will create incentives for New Zealanders to download music off the internet for free.”
Many internet sites using mp3 technology allow New Zealanders to download new releases straight onto CD free of charge. New Zealand has over one million regular internet users with the figure expected to rise be two million by 2004.

“People who previously bought CDs and respected copyright resent the Government’s attempt to confine them to New Zealand artists. That will justify their response, to pursue the cheapest option; download off the net.

“Ironically by driving people to the Net, Mr Anderton will ruin the local creative industry by removing paying customers from stores and turning them to music-for-free net customers.

“Parallel importing benefited all consumers at the expense of a few monopoly licence holders. The Government should not turn the clock backwards by legislating price increases that will benefit nobody but monopolists,” said Stephen Franks.


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