Copyright Act Review – Issues Paper released

Friday 30th November 2018
Article written by: Paul JohnsPenny Catley

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has released an Issues Paper as part of an ongoing review into New Zealand’s copyright legislation, currently governed by the Copyright Act 1994. The Issues Paper release is the first step in the public consultation process for the review (following direct consultation with some larger and internal stakeholders), and is intended to attract feedback from the public, with submissions on the issues paper closing on 5 April 2019.

The Issues Paper’s five proposed objectives for New Zealand’s copyright system are:

  • to provide incentives for the creation and dissemination of works;
  • to permit reasonable access to works, including where exceptions to exclusive rights are likely to benefit the country;
  • to ensure that the system is efficient and effective to facilitate its functions and achieve both the core objectives and wider public policy objectives, such as supporting the integrity of the law;
  • to meet New Zealand’s international obligations; and
  • to meet the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.




With the aim of meeting these objectives, MBIE has identified 22 issues falling within five broad categories (Rights, Exceptions, Transactions, Enforcement, and Other Issues), and is requesting input on these issues, as well as views on the positive and functional aspects of our current Copyright Act.

The identified issues are not limited solely to those contained within the Copyright Act and include a review of the dual protection currently provided to industrial designs under both the Copyright Act, and the Designs Act 1953, which is an oddity among international IP regimes. We encourage our clients and the public to both engage directly with the review and share your views with us to help inform our own submissions.

If you have any questions or comments about the Copyright Act review, our experts would love to hear from you.

This article was written with assistance from Joseph Bracewell.

Need more information?

Contact a member of our team:

Contact us

Related services