How TPP affects NZ artists and what the US wants our police to do next

Copyright in New Zealand (image courtesy of Wikipedia )

Last week the CFF attended a Stakeholders Briefing on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a treaty that will affect copyright in New Zealand, the United States and other nations. New Zealanders have just spent in excess of $600,000 to develop an enforcement regime (apparently for the benefit of Rihanna) in the Infringing File Sharing Act, but more changes are on the way that affect public and artistic rights.

Summary of TPP copyright issues

1. The negotiations continue to be secretive even by WIPO standards. Some documents won’t be released for at least four years after the agreement is signed.

2. The US are pushing for New Zealand to adopt:

  • Internet termination for households, businesses, and organisations;
  • A policy for the NZ Police to prioritise copyright enforcement even at the detriment of other police work;
  • The effective removal of Fair Dealing rights by expanding the protectionism of DRM/TPMs, including criminalising the bypassing of DRM/TPMs when exercising legal rights;
  • Allowing copyright holders the ability to ban parallel imports of copyrighted material (eg DVDs), denying New Zealanders the right to purchase overseas content;
  • An expansion of copyright duration to: death of the author plus 70 years, or 105 years from date of publishing for sound recordings and film.

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Dutch pave the way for protection of mashups and remixes

Gareth Hughes

Gareth Hughes, Greens Party

While much of the world considers how to take rights away from the public and remix artists alike the Dutch have other plans,

Much to the displeasure of the wider EU, the Dutch want to liberalize their copyright laws to explicitly allow remixes and mashups. The irony is that their inspiration is not political movements like Sweden’s Pirate Party, but America’s laws about fair use.

In the U.S., fair use protects the use of copyrighted material for commentary, criticism and the like. But automated tools for detecting copyrighted material (on e.g. YouTube) and the overly-broad Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allows anyone to request that an infringing work be taken down, put the burden of proving that a work constitutes fair use on the content creator. This has a chilling effect on the kind of work everyday people release on the web.

Here in New Zealand the Green’s Gareth Hughes is supporting a change to allow parody and satire remixes. If New Zealand is going to have an trade agreement with the U.S. that includes copyright changes (TPPA) then wouldn’t it be fair to get the same rights as U.S. citizens?


The Listener: Where is the digital revolution taking us?

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith 2011


Peter Griffin talks to artists and technologists about the ongoing digital changes,

“The TPPA is secret; we don’t really know what is in it. It’s making sure we aren’t selling ourselves short just so we can get some milk powder into the United States.” With three-strikes laws passing around the world and the shadow of SOPA and PIPA online piracy legislation looming large in the US

“Copyright was founded on the premise of giving artists rights to make money, to have a temporary monopoly where they can control their work and to try to monetise it so they can make more work,” she acknowledges. “But the second half of copyright is about enabling public rights. As long as that pressure is coming from copyright holders to expand rights in their direction, we are going to need to keep up the pressure to maintain the public rights.”

Read more at The Listener.

Bogus ‘Piracy’ Studies Incites Fear, Calls For Reduction in Internet Speed

Juha over at CW writes, “Ahead of the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement meeting in Wellington, we’re starting to see commissioned studies that predict digital devastation of jobs and industries unless… unless what exactly? We go back in time and snip everyone’s internet access? Would that keep record company and movie studio profits high and trade unions happy as their members’ jobs in film and music industries are safe? Lace such figures with a dollop of fear — job losses for instance — and there’s a moral panic of sorts being created that politicians feel they have to act on”

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Clare Curran asks if ACTA will overtake NZs Copyright Law

Over at the RedAlert blog Clare Curran asks “Like the exact location of the meeting, the text of ACTA is a secret. We don’t know for sure what’s in it, but the latest leaks suggest that a goal of ACTA will create an extra-governmental body that effectively controls copyright law around the globe, with little input from the governments or the people they represent. The leaks suggest a new organisation would be set up to manage ACTA after it was implemented, tasked with continuing to update ACTA’s rules – sort of a parallel organization to WIPO which is part of the UN.”

PublicACTA Wellington Conference with Michael Geist, Kim Weatherall As Speakers

A new website for PublicACTA — the parallel ACTA conference open to the public — has opened for registrations at The next round of official talks will be in Wellington during the second week of April and people from (including the CFF) are arranging several events to both inform artists the wider public and to garner their opinion for New Zealander negotiators. More information on PublicACTA and SecretACTA can be found in our previous blog post.

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The European Parliament is preparing to take on ACTA

joint resolution (PDF) has been tabled by the major European Parliament parties that threatens to go to court unless things change. The parliament is calling for public access to negotiation texts and rules out further confidential negotiations. Moreover, the parliament wants a ban on imposing a three-strikes model, assurances that ACTA will not result in personal searches at the border, and an ACTA impact assessment on fundamental rights and data protection.

Nathan Torkington recently posted a summary of New Zealand’s standpoint on ACTA based on leaked documents.

Mark Harris talks about ACTA to Wellington audience (video)

At Ignite! Mark Harris gave a talk on ACTA (youtube video), the international treaty being negotiated with an unprecedented amount of secrecy. “The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is coming up fast. It’s being negotiated in secret by a boy’s club of developed nations and could have a huge impact on the lives of everyone, online and off. Because we don’t know what’s in it, it’s hard to be specific, but we can talk about the process being used to negotiate it, which is dishonest and seeks to block the general public from having input.” You can find more ACTA information at

A Statement About Monday’s "Internet Blackout" as reported in the Herald

The front page of Friday’s NZ Herald featured an article on the new proposed Section 92A with some quotes from Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and the news of a “blackout” protest against the law that’s (apparently) happening on Monday.

We have no involvement in any blackout protest on Monday and prior to the article we had no knowledge of any protest occurring on Monday. Yet the photo accompanying the NZ Herald article talks about a protest on Monday and it features our 2009 blackout image and logo. Further, we can’t find any information online about a 2010 blackout protest.

A cheeky person might question whether NZ Herald simply got 2009 and 2010 confused. Google News often does it, but would NZ Herald really do the same? We’ve asked the author of the article, Vaimoana Tapaleao, for some more information and we’ll update this blog post when he responds.

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