In late June the Creative Freedom Foundation spoke at Youth Parliament on the topic of “Inquiry into whether copyright infringement is hurting New Zealand music; how can artists use new media to get their music sold rather than stolen”. Two government spokespeople from the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage as well as CFF’s Bronwyn Holloway-Smith were questioned in person on the topic.
After careful deliberation the youth commerce select committee came back with a report that made the following recommendations [PDF]:
“The Commerce Committee makes the following recommendations to the Government:
- that it acknowledge that further legislation is unlikely to be effective in preventing the dissemination of music through the internet and other forms of new media
- that it seek, instead, to encourage the music industry to develop new business models to balance the interests of artists with those of consumers
- that it contribute to increasing public education about the risks inherent in peer-to-peer file sharing, and the benefits to be gained for both artists and consumers from respecting copyright and accessing music legitimately
- that it investigate measures to make it easier for artists to enforce their rights, at a lower cost that is more proportionate to the level of harm suffered.”
Good on youth parliament for taking a realistic approach to the issue of copyright online. Copyright has moved from regulating an industrial manufacturing process that made wax cylinder music, vinyl records, plastic compact disks, to trying to affect what people do in their homes.
It’s great to see that the youth parliamentarians considered the issue in depth, covering public’s interest in cultural works, how to support artistic livlihoods, business models, and the economics of copying.