21 March 2019
New Zealand content and the ability to protect your rights as a writer are key issues in the current copyright act review. Take this opportunity to shape the future of our country’s copyright law.
The New Zealand Copyright Act is in the early stages of review and is currently open for public consultation. Submissions close in two weeks (5 April 2019) and we encourage you to put pen to paper and send in your submission.
Writing a submission doesn’t have to be a time consuming or daunting task. Drawing on your experience as a New Zealand writer, you can submit a simple letter, email or paragraph, expressing your personal view.
The Copyright Act was passed into law in 1994, before the internet and other emerging technologies changed the way the world works with content. Copyright serves to protect and preserve our country’s unique voice and the Kiwis who are producing locally made content (including you). Last year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) confirmed that they would review the existing Act and, in November 2018, released a document called the “Review of the Copyright Act 1994, Issues Paper”.
The Issues Paper is the first stage of public consultation and involves identifying where the Act is working well and any opportunities to improve its operation.
How to write a submission:
MBIE wants to hear from Kiwis about their experiences and what is important to them, so write from your heart. Below are three questions to help get you started. You could discuss one or all of these points in your submission. It is up to you.
- Why you feel it is important to protect and preserve content written by New Zealanders, about New Zealand. For you? For future generations?
- Do you have an example of a piece of work you have worked on, that was made possible by your ability to earn a living from selling copies?
- Has there been a time when your work has been used without your permission (in breach of copyright)? How did it make you feel? What implications did this have?
Note: Where possible, support any comments with evidence or an example.
Also, don’t worry about offering any solutions (this comes later in a response to what MBEI issue from submissions).
The time to act is now
Email through your completed submission to CopyrightActReview@mbie.govt.nz, no later than 5pm, Friday 5 April.
The New Zealand Society of Authors would appreciate your sending a copy of your submission to us so that we can collate our responses.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org