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]

Review objectives

The objectives of the review are to:

  • assess how well the Copyright Act 1994 is meeting our objectives for copyright
  • identify any barriers to achieving the objectives and how these affect creators, publishers, distributors, users and consumers
  • put together a plan to address any issues that we identify. 

As part of the Copyright Act review, MBIE is seeking to understand the different views on how the Crown should work with Māori and others to develop a legal framework for the protection of taonga works and mātauranga Māori. 

Find out more about protecting taonga works and mātauranga Māorri

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

Next steps

Now that the consultation period on the Issues Paper has closed, we will be reviewing the submissions and feedback received.  This will help inform the development of a paper that will set out potential options for change to the copyright regime.