Here in New Zealand our crazy law has made millions of Kiwis into criminals: we’re breaking the law if we buy a CD and copy the music to our iPods or AppleTV.
Fortunately that’s soon to change — Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Bill passes third reading:
Legislation that updates New Zealand’s copyright law to ensure that we keep up to speed with recent advances in digital technology passed its third and final reading in the House today by a vote of 111 to 10, announced the Associate Commerce Minister Judith Tizard.
Apparently though we still won’t be able to put videos we’ve paid for onto our iPods. Nor will we be able to parallel import the movies everyone’s talking about and that we want to watch on a DVD. Key provisions of the Copyright (New Technologies) Bill include:
- It provides a format shifting exception for copying sound recordings for personal use or the personal use of their household provided certain conditions are met. …
- It continues the 9 month parallel importation ban on films from their international release date …
- The purpose of the ban is to encourage investment in and the promotion of film production, distribution and exhibition industries and to protect cinema ticket sales by ensuring a film’s cinematic exhibition does not coincide with its availability on video tape or in DVD format.
I find that last item annoying. I’m all for supporting artists and actors and film production and distribution. But cinema sales? Why should we protect cinemas, when increasingly people are wanting and willing to watch this material on their own screens?
I haven’t looked, but I’d be shocked if all the current movies are not available on illegal sharing and download sites. Plenty of people will turn to those sources that give no revenue back to the creators if they’re blocked from legally obtaining the movies.
Non-Kiwis may not realise that the NZ iTunes Store does not offer movies or TV shows for sale. Perhaps this is one reason why. It definitely annoys me.
Last year, when Saving Grace disappeared from our screens after only 2 episodes I turned to the torrents. I’m normally a pretty law-abiding type and would have happily watched it on TV, or bought a DVD set. Neither was available. I would cheerfully have paid the iTunes Store and downloaded the episodes. That was not an option. With all legal avenues blocked I turned to the only remaining source.
So, once this Bill becomes law, things will be a bit better, but there’s still a long way to go.
Update: the moment I’d posted I saw Colin Jackson’s post on the matter — A dog’s breakfast:
Our elected politicians have voted for a complete dog’s breakfast in the form of the Copyright Amendment (New Technology) Bill. It’s been passed and it’s now an Act.
You should go read what he has to say on the matter. Even a law allowing us to put music we’ve bought onto our iPods may still prevent us from actually doing so. Sigh