elenasz

Enforcement of copyright in the digital space

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Like a number of other countries, New Zealand is looking at bringing in new provisions to deal with infringement of copyright in the digital environment.

The driving force behind this appears to be ACTA which includes a provision on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement in the Digital Environment, and the proposed law has been very controversial in NZ with the implementation of the law being delayed on more than one occasion. A quick summary of the proposals to amend the Copyright Act can be seen here.

A recent appointment to the Copyright Tribunal appears to be related to the impending change of the law. It has recently been announced that Peter Dengate-Thrush has been appointed as the third member of the Copyright Tribunal. Peter is a barrister and patent attorney specialising in internet, intellectual property and technology cases. He is chairperson of the board of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), President of AIPPI-NZ Inc and is immediate past chairman of the Asia Pacific Top Level Domain Association, and of Internet NZ. Therefore, Peter is well experienced in matters dealing not only with copyright but also the Internet.

The Copyright Tribunal is a statutory body constituted under the Copyright Act 1994. The tribunal hears disputes between licensing bodies, or proposed licensing bodies, and those who hold or seek licences in respect of works of copyright. However, the Tribunal has been very quiet since its incorporation as the case load has been fairly light.

The proposed amendments to the Copyright Act to deal with infringement by downloading from the Internet will require a specialist body and the Copyright Tribunal could be morphed into the appropriate vehicle for this.

Congratulations to Peter on his appointment! I look forward to seeing the Copyright Tribunal the opportunity to consider some juicy on-line copyright infringement issues.

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