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?


Greens Launch Parody & Satire Bill

Gareth Hughes of The Greens has just launched a bill to amend NZ Copyright law so that Parody & Satire are protected in NZ (read the bill here). This is great news for NZ Artists who have ever made, or thought about making, works that make critical comments through found source material.

Australia got this in 2006, and the US has had it for aaages, so its about time NZ caught up and gave its artists the same protections.

Hughes will be holding an online Q&A session from 6-7pm tonight (9 November 2011). Check it out here.

NZ’s Parody and Satire Review 2008 (OIA)

In 2008 New Zealand’s Ministry of Economic Development conducted an inquiry to determine the need for parody and satire exceptions to NZ Copyright Law. The Creative Freedom Foundation requested an OIA report on the review, and here’s what we received (PDF, 4.2MB). A public discussion document was ear-marked to be released in December 2008, however a change of government stopped the review due to it not being considered a priority and to date there has been no further activity.

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Poll Shows 87% Of Kiwis Want Parody Protection In Copyright Law

Stuff.co.nz has a story about the popular YouTube parodies involving Hitler: “One of YouTube’s most beloved parodies is facing extinction, with countless Adolf Hitler Downfall clips vanishing from the popular video site in recent days. Constantin Film, which has judged many of the comic clips an infringement of its copyright.  Online rights advocates say that fair use provisions in many countries such as the US were created to allow some copyrighted material to be used for purposes such as satire or parody.” Among copyright experts there’s little doubt that if this went to court the Fair Use defense would win but the United State’s DMCA allows preemptive removal of content regardless of whether it’s considered free speech.

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