Review of the Copyright Act 1994

The Government is reviewing the Copyright Act 1994.

In November 2018, we released an Issues Paper for the review, which was the first stage of public consultation on the copyright regime. Consultation closed on 5 April 2019.

Why a review is needed

There have been significant technological changes since the last significant review of the Copyright Act in 2004.

The review is needed to ensure our copyright regime remains fit for purpose in the context of a rapidly changing technological environment. This environment is impacting the way we create, distribute and consume content.

Insights into this environment were highlighted in the Government’s study of the role of copyright and registered designs in the creative sector, completed in 2016:

Copyright and the Creative Sector report [PDF, 2.2 MB]

Objectives for use in the review

We are committed to reviewing copyright law against a set of objectives that express what we believe good copyright law looks like for New Zealand. We received feedback on what these objectives should be through the Issues Paper. In November 2019, we published a paper outlining revised objectives for copyright law in response to that feedback.

In response to stakeholder feedback we withdrew that paper in July 2020. The next step in the review will be to publicly consult on potential changes to the objectives. This will ensure all stakeholders have the opportunity to contribute to any changes to the original objectives. We hope to undertake this further consultation later in 2021.

Issues Paper consultation

Between November 2018 and April 2019, MBIE consulted on an Issues Paper to seek feedback on how well the copyright regime is functioning and further evidence of issues that could be addressed in the review.

The Issues Paper provides an introduction to copyright concepts and our copyright regime, our proposed objectives for New Zealand’s copyright regime and potential issues with the way the copyright regime is working.

We held public workshops during the consultation period to encourage and facilitate conversations about the copyright regime and the issues explored in the Issues Paper.

Find out more about the Issues Paper consultation

Read the submissions on the Issues Paper(external link)

Next steps

We have been analysing the many issues raised during consultation on the Issues Paper. 

We intend to seek further feedback on objectives through our next public consultation process. We will also be consulting publicly on potential options for change to the copyright regime. We will keep subscribers updated on the timing of consultation processes.

Last updated: 26 February 2021