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New copyright law for new technologies

Hon Judith Tizard
Associate Minister of Commerce

8 December 2006
Media release

New copyright law for new technologies

Legislation has been introduced into Parliament which will update the Copyright law to include the impact of new technologies especially around copying music the Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard announced today.

The Copyright (New Technologies and Performers' Rights) Amendment Bill seeks to create a more technology-neutral framework for New Zealand copyright law and to incorporate internnational developments in copyright, says Judith Tizard.

"Copyright is of vital importance to our creative industries and the information and communication technology sector and it's a very important tool for digital content delivery and use, commercially and non-commercially.

"Digital technology presents significant opportunities for creators, owners and users of copyright material, but there are also potential risks. Copyright works can easily be copied, manipulated and disseminated with minimal effort, cost or reduction in quality."

The Bill will provide more clarity and transparency of how the Copyright Act works. In particular, the Bill will provide certainty around format shifting - it will allow New Zealanders to make one copy of a sound recording for private or domestic use, for each type of device used, eg MP3, iPod. It will also allow users of copyright material, including libraries and educational institutions, to use digital technology with confidence.

Key amendments include:

- a technology-neutral right of communication to the public;

- a range of provisions limiting Internet service providers' liability for copyright infringement in appropriate circumstances;

- an updated provision relating to technological protection measures offering a means to combat the ease of unauthorised reproduction, distribution and communication of works digital technology provides;

- new provisions to enable the actual exercise of permitted acts where technical protection measures have been applied;

- protections for copyright management information identifying content protected by copyright and the terms and conditions of use; and

- new exceptions for format-shifting of sound recordings for private and domestic use, and for decompilation and error correction of software.

Judith Tizard says the Bill will increase incentives for investment in creative industries, information communication technology development and new business models for delivery of copyright works.

"Increased certainty will further be created by New Zealand's copyright law being more in line with our major trading partners. It will also encourage continued supply of copyright works and means of distribution, such as by Internet service providers, setting conditions to encourage continued access to information and innovations necessary for cumulative innovation."

The Minister is encouraging all interested parties to make a submission on the Bill when submissions are called for by the Select Committee.


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