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NZSA welcomes Copyright Act review Issues Paper release

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) welcomes the Issues Paper on the Review of the Copyright Act, delivered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on Friday.

New Zealand writers make an irreplaceable and unique contribution to New Zealand's creative economy, to our export earnings and to our international standing. Reading, writing and telling our own stories through fiction, journalism, non-fiction, children’s books, poetry, theatre, TV and film, form the core of our cultural and individual well-being and are the cornerstone of the legacy we leave for future generations.

The book industry in New Zealand accounts for 3000 paid jobs and has a direct GDP of $167 million (PWC 2015 report). It is crucial we maintain a copyright framework that gives content creators fair reward for their labour and protects the right of ownership.

A Horizon Research report published in 2016 showed New Zealand writers earn an average of $13,500 per annum from their writing. Given the economics of writing and publishing in a small market, content creators need to control the distribution of their work and maximise income for their endeavour and intellectual property. This provides the incentive to invest time and skill in creating new works of artistic and cultural significance. Thus, a robust copyright regime stimulates creative output.

NZSA sees the right to fair reward as the mark of a just and civilised society that wishes to stimulate and incentivise creativity, jobs and GDP. New Zealand writing has a distinct and vibrant viewpoint and gives international voice to our stories. A healthy copyright law sets the stage to take our writing to the world.

The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc.) Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa was established in 1934 and is the principal organisation for more than 1600 New Zealand writers through our five regions (incorporating eight branches) and national office. We look forward to the opportunity to engage with MBIE in the review process and note with appreciation the considerable and exhaustive work that underpins the release of the Issues Paper.

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