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Should creative and internet industries review NZ copyright laws?

01 Aug 2013

New Zealand’s creative and internet industries should instigate a review of copyright laws, given the Government appears to have abandoned a commitment to hold such a review this year,

That's the damning line coming out of Labour HQ, with the opposition party claiming internet industries and consumers are currently saddled with out-of-date copyright law.

A problem the party believes won’t change under this government.

“New Zealand’s copyright laws were scheduled for review this year, but the government appears to have abandoned that review," says Clare Curran, Communications and IT spokesperson, Labour.

“New Zealand internet-based and creative industries should take action.

"They need to initiate a review of copyright law which resets the balance of rights for an internet world."

Claiming that the government is again "burying its head in the sand" on the issue, Curran argues in other countries illegal downloading seems to decline with the introduction of legal alternatives.

“If the public cannot legally obtain current material, they often become sceptical of copyright law as a whole," she says.

"If there are no suitable legal options then people will be more likely to use illicit channels."

Submissions have now closed on the Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill, which will ban importing films copies until after they have been released in New Zealand for five months.

“Labour is carefully considering the impact of removing the ban on parallel imports for film on our smaller cinemas and will consider all the evidence put to it in the select committee," Curran says.

“We have supported the Bill in its first reading which contains a five month parallel import ban for a further three years to act as a buffer for the whole industry to adapt to the impact of the digital environment and the expectations of consumers.

“But we will consider all the evidence before the committee as the reality of the digital environment must be taken into account."

Should creative and internet industries review New Zealand's copyright laws? Tell us your thoughts below

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