[A2k] Lobby group demands to know why copyright law review delayed until TPP talks complete
manon.ress at keionline.org
Mon Jul 22 11:59:15 PDT 2013
This negotiation is secret even by WIPO standards, and many documents won't
be released until four years after the agreement is signed. This is
unprecedented secrecy,” says Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, spokesperson for the
Creative Freedom Foundation. “Effectively this is lawmaking without public
involvement, and they haven't even undertaken a review of our nation’s
END OF QUOTE
Lobby group demands to know why copyright law review delayed until TPP
The FairDealNZ coalition is questioning the government's refusal to explain
why a review of our copyright law is being delayed until after negotiations
for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal are complete.
FairDealNZ coalition members include InternetNZ, Tuanz, Consumer and Trade
"In an age when we’re being encouraged to connect with government and other
resources entirely online it seems odd we would retain a law which allows
for citizens to be disconnected from the internet," Tuanz CEO Paul Brislen
tells NBR ONLINE.
"Our copyright laws were poorly thought out, poorly introduced and are
hardly working at all, yet now we’re being told we can’t review them and
worse, we can’t know why."
Papers released under the Official Information Act last week reveal that
the government will delay the 2013 copyright law review until “TPP
negotiations have concluded”. The reasons given for the delay have been
removed from the public version of the document.
Copyright laws really need a big review in light of the changed information
environment” says Susan Chalmers, spokesperson for FairDealNZ. “There is a
lot of support for a review in New Zealand, which the Cabinet Paper itself
acknowledges. All the same, the Minister says a review isn’t possible
because of the TPP, for reasons that the public is unable to know about.“
New Zealand’s copyright laws were meant to be reviewed this year, five
years after the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act in 2008. The
government, has decided not to stick to this timetable, waiting instead to
know what terms it may have to agree to under the TPP.
Previous attempts at updating the Copyright Act were rightly derided by the
public as being out of touch with the changing needs of consumers. The only
redeeming feature was a promise to review the legislation after five years.
Now, however, we’re told that’s not going to happen,” says Sue Chetwin,
Chief Executive of Consumer NZ.
Copyright laws currently don’t take into account the way New Zealanders
interact with copyright material. A review of the entire market, including
parallel importing and access to digital content needs to happen as soon as
possible,” says Alastair Thompson, founder and general manager of Scoop.
The Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are taking place behind closed
doors and not only are New Zealand citizens being shut out of the process,
but New Zealand law makers are too. There is little known about what the
cost to New Zealand of accepting more stringent copyright will be.
They haven't conducted studies on how Kiwis use copyright so their
negotiations won't be informed by the practical copyright needs of New
Zealanders. This negotiation is secret even by WIPO standards, and many
documents won't be released until four years after the agreement is signed.
This is unprecedented secrecy,” says Bronwyn Holloway-Smith, spokesperson
for the Creative Freedom Foundation. “Effectively this is lawmaking without
public involvement, and they haven't even undertaken a review of our
nation’s copyright needs.”
Manon Ress, Knowledge Ecology International, KEI
manon.ress at keionline.org, tel.: +1 202 332 2670
KEI is a not for profit non governmental organization that searches for
better outcomes, including new solutions, to the management of knowledge
resources. KEI is focused on social justice, particularly for the most
vulnerable populations, including low-income persons and marginalized
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