Copyright – Digital Technologies – New Zealand

By Nandor Tanczos MP, Green Party Spokesperson on Commerce. Second Reading Speech.
The Greens alone opposed this bill at its first reading. We voted against it because, contrary to the ministry’s 2002 advice, it served to protect access control technology, which is technology that has been used to price discriminate and control geographical distribution of works, to the detriment of users. We opposed the bill because although it tried to provide for fair use, that provision was temporary. In addition, it failed to provide for visual as well as audio media. We opposed it because of its potential to hinder innovation in that blurry world between the personal and the commercial, and because of its potential to hinder the development of compatibility and interoperability in products and hinder legitimate security research. We opposed it because it protected the interests of the rich and powerful against those of ordinary people. It tied the hands of people who might seek to circumvent any number of encrypted intrusions incorporated into digital works, even when those might be contrary to New Zealand law. Has the Commerce Committee made it any better? Yes and no. Let us begin with the issue of format shifting — the copying of works to different formats for more convenient or preferable use. A typical example might be ripping a CD to a computer or an MP3 player. The Select Committee removed the sunset clause from the fair use provisions, and we welcome that. It made no sense to recognise for the first time a right to, for example, copy a track from a CD onto a device but then have only that right last for a couple of years. …

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