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Tougher Counterfeiting, Piracy Penalties

Hon Max Bradford
Minister for Enterprise and Commerce

Media Release

11th August 1999

Tougher Counterfeiting, Piracy Penalties

Tougher measures to protect intellectual property rights will be introduced, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford announced today.

The measures would include the creation of a new criminal offence and new remedies for the courts to apply to those found guilty of counterfeiting trademarked goods.

"The Government proposes to increase the existing penalties for piracy of copyrighted goods, including increasing the maximum term of imprisonment from three months to five years.

"These increased penalties will also apply to the new criminal offence of counterfeiting of trade marked goods," Mr Bradford announced.

Mr Bradford said these new measures would send a strong message
to those involved in piracy and counterfeiting that the Government regarded
such activity as serious and criminal.

"It also ensures penalty levels are consistent with those in other comparable jurisdictions, such as Singapore and Australia.

"Last year, in a move to improve the openness and competitiveness of the New Zealand economy, the Government introduced legislation to amend the Copyright Act 1994 by removing the restriction on "parallel importing" of copyright goods.

"The Government also reaffirmed its commitment to protecting core intellectual property rights by tripling fines for criminal copyright infringement.

"The new initiatives that I am announcing today form part of the Government's drive towards increased innovation and creativity through the effective protection of intellectual property rights," Mr Bradford said.


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