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RIANZ & APRA - Section 92a Copyright Act

MEDIA RELEASE - 20 FEBRUARY 2009
From the Recording Industry Association New Zealand and
the Australasian Performing Right Association

For immediate release

SECTION 92A COPYRIGHT ACT

The Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) represents the rights of 60 record labels, including 53 New Zealand independent labels, and more than 800 New Zealand recording artists.

The Australasian Performing Right Association represents songwriters and publishers, including more than 5,000 local music writers and composers.

RIANZ and APRA have been engaged in dialogue with the Telecommunication Carriers Forum (TCF) with regard to a draft Code of Conduct which the TCF could recommend its Internet Service Provider (ISP) members adopt in order to comply with their obligations pursuant to Section 92A of the Copyright Act.

Since the TCF issued the draft Code of Conduct on 4 February 2009 for public consultation, the dialogue between RIANZ, APRA and the TCF has continued.

RIANZ and APRA are confident the discussions with the TCF will lead to a Code of Conduct which will satisfy copyright holders and ISPs, which will satisfy the requirements of Section 92A and which, if adopted by ISPs, will provide certainty for all parties moving forward.

“We are confident the concerns that rights holders have had with the draft Code of Conduct, including issues such as counter-notice procedures and costs, will be satisfactorily resolved,” says RIANZ Chief Executive, Campbell Smith.

“Dialogue we have had with the TCF this year has been constructive. We have worked together to try to resolve points of difference and I believe we will achieve a positive result before Section 92A is due to come into force on 28 February 2009. We are confident a code that is both reasonable and effective can be agreed between us prior to 28 February.”

APRA’s Director for New Zealand Operations, Anthony Healey says: “We recognize that ongoing public discussion has identified some concern regarding the content and operation of a code, particularly with regard to a user’s right to object to a notice of infringement.

“Contrary to reports and concerns we have never been opposed to the idea of an independent third party considering objections and adjudicating where necessary. We are not opposed to this approach provided the process is fair and timely. This is one of the issues we have been discussing with the TCF this week.”

RIANZ and APRA remain firmly committed to a policy aimed at informing internet users with regard to copyright issues and of their obligations pursuant to the terms and conditions of their service contracts with their ISPs. The notification process contemplated by the TCF code is aimed at educating users in this regard and encouraging them to cease infringing behaviour.

Online copyright infringement is doing serious harm to the creative industries in New Zealand and around the world. For example, it is estimated that 19 out of every 20 downloaded songs infringe copyright. No legitimate business model can compete with that scale of infringement and loss and nor should it. At the same time we recognize that any process established to deal with this infringing activity must be reasonable and fair.

ENDS

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