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Labour welcomes Government backdown

2000 web siteLabour cultural affairs spokesperson Judith Tizard has welcomed an admission from the Government that tougher counterfeiting and piracy penalties are needed.

Judith Tizard said the announcement from Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford today that the tougher measures would be introduced was a copy of details in Labour's Creative Industries paper released last year.

"I am delighted that the Government appears to have taken on Labour's concerns in this area even if it is nine years too late," Judith Tizard said.

"NZ creative industries have been saying for several years now that the Government needs to protect our intellectual property and the use of it.

"Yet, rather than listen to them, the Government moved to make it easier to rip New Zealanders off in the Budget last year through the relaxation of restrictions on parallel importing. At the time they completely rejected the notion that this would cause serious damage to publishing, music and other creative industries.

"While I am pleased that Mr Bradford has finally worked out that ripping off New Zealanders' intellectual property is both 'serious and criminal' but there is still more to be done to encourage this important area of high industry. They should also look at the rest of our creative industries selections and introduce exemptions on parallel importing, local content quotas, and real penalties on pirating," Judith Tizard said.

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