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SPADA and Screenrights welcome changes

Release dated 8 April 2008

SPADA and Screenrights welcome changes to NZ copyright laws


Both filmmakers and the education sector will benefit from a number of changes introduced into the New Zealand Copyright Act, according to Screenrights, the copyright collecting society that provides TV copying licences to educational institutions.

The Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act, which was passed today, provides for:

• A technology neutral right to communicate films to the public (which incorporates the current broadcast and cable rights as well as new technologies, such as making a work available online).

• An extension of the educational licence to allow schools, polytechnics and universities to communicate copies of programmes to teachers and students. This will allow for copied programmes to be placed on the establishment’s Intranet. It will also allow for use of electronic white boards and full use of learning management systems developed by New Zealand companies, such as E-cast (www.e-cast.co.nz).

• Provision for ``educational resource suppliers’’. These are non-profit organisations that supply copies of programmes to educational institutions. Suppliers must be declared by the Minister of Education and licensed. This will allow for full resource centre services similar to those operating in Australia, increasing the avenues by which educators can obtain copies of programmes, and thereby improving returns to rightsholders.

Screenrights Chief Executive Simon Lake said: ``Screenrights worked closely with the New Zealand film industry, through the Screen Production and Development Association (SPADA) in talking to the Government about these amendments.’’

``We are delighted at the smooth passage of these changes,’’ Lake said. ``They ensure filmmakers’ rights reflect the way in which their work is used in the digital age. They also benefit the educational sector, providing greater access to this important learning resource.’’

Penelope Borland Chief Executive of SPADA said: ``On behalf of New Zealand film and television programme makers we are delighted that our schools will be able to make greater use of television programmes, films and other audio visual material without infringing the rights of copyright holders.’’

ends

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