Copyright review update

Copyright review update


Jenny Nagle and Mandy Hager met with Kris Faafoi, the Minister responsible for the Copyright Review, last week. They were accompanied by Paula Browning (pictured) and Pat Walsh from CLNZ and Tom Rennie and Julia Marshall from PANZ.

This meeting was our long-awaited opportunity to present the industry’s strong concerns regarding the direction of the Review (the original meeting had been scheduled for March but was pushed back due to the pandemic).

It was a positive meeting and was followed by a phone call from the Minister to Paula to confirm that he had asked MBIE officials to have a response to our requests ready for when they meet with him again in a fortnight.

Paula has provided the following update for PANZ and NZSA members:

Early evening, Tuesday 16 June, finally saw us (PANZ, NZSA and CLNZ) get together with Minister Kris Faafoi to discuss the actions we’d like to see next with the review of the © Act.

Like many things, this meeting had been delayed by the pandemic, but what we were asking the Minister for hadn’t changed in that time. We were able to share with the Minister that PANZ and NZSA members are very concerned about the direction of the Review, particularly in regard to The Paper published by MBIE in November 2019 and the revised objectives for the Review contained in that paper.

We sought reassurance that our 3 requests – for The Paper to be withdrawn, for additional capability in the MBIE IP Team, and for better connection across government in policy development that impacts the creative sector – would be taken seriously.

We added a 4th request – that publishing, along with music and screen, are given the opportunity to see the Sapere Research Group draft report. This is the report MBIE commissioned in 2019 to look at the extent to which having copyright law causes people to invest their time in creative output. We have already provided feedback to MBIE about the way the interviews were conducted by the research company and highlighted that their approach suggests there is a predetermined outcome. The fact that the report is about us and our colleagues from music and screen, makes it completely reasonable that we should see it before it is made available publicly.

Minister Faafoi is keen to maintain momentum with the Review given that it’s been in progress since June 2017 (or longer if we go back to the Creative Sector Study that MBIE undertook in 2016). The Minister has given us a personal commitment that we’ll have his response in two weeks’ time after the officials have been able to consider what a completion timeline would look like with a new period of consultation added in. It was reassuring for all of us who were present, to see that the Minister is taking our feedback seriously and is prepared to act on it.

Speaking of action… there’s an election coming up and we’ll have some key messages coming out to you soon on the issues for our writing and publishing industry that we want to see candidates making commitments on. It won’t surprise anyone, that one of these – the top one – will be ©!

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