Poetry Shelf noticeboard: concerning review of the copyright act

You might like to check this out!

Some of you may be aware that The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has released a review of the copyright act.

You can have a look here

I received the email below from Donovan Bixley – you might like to consider his concerns (which a number of other authors are endorsing):

1. Artists automatically own 100% of their copyright, so any review of changes to the act implies a reduction – in fact this has been being pushed by certain groups for years, unfortunately including The Green Party whom I’ve voted for for years!

2. The review consistently makes comments about how the majority of artists don’t earn a full living from copyright and instead get ‘non-monetary’ rewards – and therefore, earning from copyright is not a major concern for artists.

3. The review insulting claims that copyright creates an artistic culture of bland ‘popular’ ‘winners’ — therefore change is needed to create a superior arts community?!?? what the… by taking away our intellectual property rights?

4. It uses human rights access to arts and culture as an excuse to reduce copyright, when our work is already freely available in libraries.

… and heaps of other annoying statements that obviously don’t understand at all how the creative industries operate.

I’ve been informed that this review has been written by a 27 year old policy analyst in Wellington with support from Internet New Zealand. Through Copyright Licensing NZ I’ve been aware for at least 4 years, there has been strong government lobbying from Internet NZ and NZ Universities to reduce copyright protections. This seems basically a euphemism to provide endless free content on Google for some imagined public cultural benefit – and the Universities have been pushing an economic benefit of around $18 million to NZ as a whole if no one pays any copyright. Nice for them!

There’s no time to muck about – this is happening now, because MBIE has just short circuited a discussion process which has underway for years, and they’ve just released this Copyright Review paper.

So … I’m writing to all the MPs loudly voicing my concerns – it’s free and you can send 121 letters in one envelope and have the Beehive distribute them. You probably already knew all that!

Address your envelope:

All members of Parliament
Care of Distribution Services
Freepost Parliament
Private Bag 18 888
Parliament Buildings
Wellington 6160

But even if you just send a short note or email urging MPs not to reduce artists’ copyright.

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