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Amendment to make performers’ rights tech-neutral

19 December 2003 Media Statement

Amendment to make performers’ rights technology-neutral

Existing performers’ rights will be made technology neutral so that performers’ works will be protected irrespective of medium, says Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard.

The proposed amendment to the Copyright Act 1994 (“the Act”) is the outcome of a review of how digital technology impacts on the rights of performers under the Act.

“As changing technologies make more opportunities available for performers, we want to make sure that the law recognises their rights whatever medium they use now and into the future,” said Judith Tizard.

“I propose to amend the Act to ensure that the existing rights of performers are technology-neutral.

“I am, however, mindful that some of New Zealand’s closest trading partners have yet to implement all of the necessary changes to their performers’ rights regimes to accommodate the additional rights included in the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) Performances and Phonograms Treaty and the proposed WIPO Audiovisual Performances Treaty.

“I have therefore recommended that New Zealand wait to see the effect of granting additional performers’ rights in these countries, but that officials keep this issue under active review.”

Judith Tizard said a robust intellectual property and copyright environment is essential to enable strong and confident creative industries, and is an important part of the government’s Growth and Innovation Framework.

The review of performers’ rights follows the review of how digital technology impacts on copyright law which the Minister announced in June this year.

“It is the final stage of the government’s review of the impacts of new technology and international developments on copyright and performers’ rights. I hope to introduce legislation to amend the Copyright Act 1994 next year.

ENDS

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