MBIE’s withdrawal of objectives paper sets path for transparent and collaborative review process with rightsholders

by Sandy Gildea, SPADA — July 28, 2020

Rightsholders including SPADA, which represents screen producers across New Zealand, have welcomed the decision by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) this month to withdraw the “Review of the Copyright Act 1994: MBIE’s approach to policy development” document, and to initiate consultation with stakeholders on revised objectives for the Copyright Act Review process later this year. 

The paper was originally published by MBIE back in November 2019 and proposed significant changes to the original objectives as stated in the November 2018 Issues Paper. Whilst MBIE said these changes were intended to ensure the rights and interests of people involved in creating copyright works were more expressly recognised, creator organisations did not feel the same. Indeed, they felt the revised objectives created an environment where their rights were more likely to be eroded. 

 The Copyright Review process is a crucial process for SPADA’s members; copyright is what creates the ownership that gives any creation its commercial value. If that right is diminished or cannot be protected, the ability to finance and produce new stories is diminished. Given how hard the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the screen sector, certainty of ownership is now even more crucial.  

 Our screen sector consists of many talented individuals who work tirelessly to bring New Zealand’s stories to life, they generate lots of economic activity and employment, and help build ‘brand NZ’ which will in turn support other sectors, such as hospitality, once travel restrictions can be eased.  

 MBIE has committed to a process whereby formal consultations will take place with stakeholders in an open and transparent way later this year, SPADA and its members look forward to engaging with MBIE’s Copyright Review team to help secure an outcome that will benefit New Zealand.

Sandy Gildea/Executive Director/Screen Producers NZ

Sandy has worked in the screen industry for over 15 years, covering a range of key positions at government funding agencies and arts organisations, including the New Zealand Film Commission, Creative New Zealand and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.  Sandy has held the position of Executive Director at SPADA since 2014.