Attack on Copyright Laws Refuted

Wednesday 21 January 2009, 6:24AM
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Recent attacks on New Zealand’s new copyright laws are mischievous and ill-advised.

APRA’s Director of NZ Operations, Anthony Healey says, “The suggestion that the new legislation was “draconian” or presumed simple “guilt by accusation” is ridiculous. It is a continued attack on our songwriters whose ability to make a living from their music has already been compromised by widespread illegal file sharing on the internet by those who believe it everything should be free and by the internet companies that profit from it”.

S92A requires ISPs to develop a code to deal with repeat copyright infringers.

“Without such provisions every legitimate business model involving creative content on the internet is threatened” says Healey

APRA Board member, songwriter Arthur Baysting adds: “The scaremongering by the so-called Creative Freedom Foundation and the NZ Library Association is bizarre. APRA NZ has 6000 members, all of them songwriters. Music has real economic value and our music writers deserve food on the table and a roof over their head. We know some people want everything for free but the vast majority of songwriters expect and deserve to be paid”.

Anthony Healey explains, “S92A is just one of a raft of changes made to the Copyright Act last year. In the changes were wins and losses for creators, consumers and telecommunication companies - reflecting the balancing act between all the competing interests. Legislators understand that ISPs profit from such traffic and have some obligation in dealing with a difficult situation”.

Healey continues “Currently APRA, RIANZ and other industry bodies are working with ISP’s to develop a code of practice. It will ensure that any policy dealing with infringers is reasonable and effective. The current campaign by the internet users’ community is premature and not helpful to the process”.

The code of practice will be released for public discussion shortly by the Telecommunication Carriers Forum (TCF).

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Anthony Healey: Director, NZ Operations APRA (09) 623 4710

Established in 1926, APRA is the Australasian Performing Right Association, a not for profit company that collects and distributes performing right royalties to composers, songwriters and music publishers in New Zealand and Australia.