New Zealand’s High Court refuses to grant interim injunction against Viagogo
Consumers / May 2020

CONSUMER: Over the last year or so a number of regulatory authorities have gone after Viagogo, the now controversial secondary ticket resale platform based in Switzerland, over complaints from consumers. Complaints include the use of misleading statements referring to the availability of tickets and the failure to identify seat numbers and seller identities, and notably, the UK Competition and Markets Authority and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission have filed legal complaints against the Swiss company. In August, last year, it was the turn of New Zealand’s Commerce Commission (Commission), at the time Complete Music Update reported that the Commission was seeking “declarations that Viagogo has breached the [Fair Trading Act], an injunction restraining it from further breaches and corrective advertising orders”. Reference was made to the use of words such as ‘official’, ‘guarantee’ and ‘limited’ when Viagogo was not ‘official’, refunds were not ‘guaranteed’ and tickets were not ‘limited’. Not stopping there, the Commission also referred to an unfair contract term in that any consumer disputes against Viagogo must be heard under Swiss law in Swiss Courts, whereas on the other hand, Viagogo is free to take action against consumers in a jurisdiction of its choosing. Whilst these substantive arguments are…

Eminen-esque to be appealed in New Zealand
Copyright , Music Publishing / February 2018

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing   In October 2016, New Zealand’s High Court ruled that the National Party had infringed on singer Eminem’s copyright in Lose Yourself  and awarded the rapper’s publisher NZ$600,000 (£315,000) in damages, saying that the political party’s use of a track titled ‘Eminem Esque‘ that was “sufficiently similar” to Eminem’s original song was infringement, noting that Lose Yourself was a “highly original work” and the “soundalike” version substantially copied it. Lose Yourself’ was composed by Marshall Mathers III (Eminem), Jeffrey Bass and Luis Resto (Eight Mile Style) in 2002. The court said: The differences between the two works are minimal; the close similarities and the indiscernible differences in drum beat, the ‘melodic line’ and the piano figures make Eminem Esque strikingly similar to Lose Yourself. Eminem Esque substantially reproduces the essence of Lose Yourself. The parts of Eminem Esque used in the National party’s campaign advertisements also substantially reproduce Lose Yourself.”   Now the two United States publishing companies that control and administer copyright for Eminem’s award-winning rap hit, Lose Yourself, are asking to have the award of damages increased. The advert was widely shared, but National Party is seeking a lower figure, saying Justice Helen Cull was wrong to accept evidence that the internet availability…

National Party’s use of ‘sound alike’ song DID infringe on Eminen’s ‘Lose Yourself’
Copyright , Music Publishing / November 2017

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing   New Zealand’s High Court has ruled that the National Party had infringed the copyright in Eminem’s iconic song ‘Lose Yourself‘ in a 2014 political campaign by using a ‘sound alike’ song and has awarded the rapper and his co-writers’ publisher NZ$600,000 (AU$535,000/ £315,000) in damages.  The publisher filed proceedings against New Zealand’s then governing party in September 2014 for using a version of the chart-topping song Lose Yourself in an election campaign advertisement.   The key issue for determination by the Court was whether the “sound-alike” production track, called ‘Eminem Esque‘, was sufficiently similar to the 2002 music of ‘Lose Yourself’, so as to constitute a breach of copyright.  ‘Lose Yourself’ was composed by Marshall Mathers III (Eminem), Jeffrey Bass and Luis Resto (Eight Mile Style) in 2002. The composition is regarded by Eight Mile Style as the most valuable work in their catalogue and had only rarely been licensed for use, and never as part of a political campaign.   The High Court ruled that Eminem Esque was “sufficiently similar” to Eminem’s original song that it infringed copyright and that ‘Lose Yourself’ was a “highly original work” and that the infringing song bore only minimal differences to the original,    The tensions between illegitimate copying versus permissive borrowing…

Booze ban at AC/DC concert in New Zealand
Licensing , Live Events / December 2015

LICENSING Live events sector     AC/DC fans will restricted from drinking alcohol before the legendary rock band’s concerts in Auckland, New Zealand, in December after Waitemata Local Board voted unanimously in support of a temporary liquor ban at their board meeting on November 10th.   Board chairman Shale Chambers said even though many of the concert-goers could well be in their 60s, the police are concerned about alcohol consumption before and after the ‘Rock or Bust’ concert. Senior Sergeant Antony Wilson wrote a letter to Stephen Town, chief executive of Auckland Council, requesting the dry zone around Western Springs Stadium.   He stated that temporary liquor bans have “significantly assisted in curbing alcohol-related harm and offending in public areas”.   Chambers said there was sufficient evidence of the potential alcohol-related harm to justify the dry street ban advanced by Inspector Gary Davey at the meeting with Chambers saying that Inspector Davey “went through the levels of intoxication and alcohol related harm that was likely at this type of event,”   The temporary alcohol ban will operate for 24 hours from 6am on December 15 in the surrounding area. Consumption or possession of alcohol is prohibited during the specified times…

AC/DC’s Rudd loses appeal
Artists , Criminal Law / November 2015

CRIMINAL Artistes     Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has lost an appeal against his sentence after being convicted of both threatening to kill and drug possession earlier this year. He was sentenced to eight months under house arrest and a fine of NZ$120,000 (approx £50,000) but had argued that the sentence was “manifestly excessive” not least as it could prevent him from rejoining AC/DC – both because the band were already touring and he could not join the and te conviction could cause issues getting visas. His lawyer Craig Tuck, said his client was basically only guilty of making an angry phone call to an employee following the commercial failure of his 2014 debut solo album Head Job. However the New Zealand High Court noted that, despite Rudd’s desire to work with the band again, there was no sign that his former bandmates felt the same. Justice Raynor Asher told the court: “First, the band would have to want him to play with them. Second, the convictions would have to operate as a barrier to him travelling with them on tour. Neither are certain. [And] it is far from clear that at the time when the offending took place there was…

Eminen takes aim over political use of Lose Yourself
Copyright , General / November 2014

COPYRIGHT Music publishing   After the National Party of New Zealand used the Eminem song Lose Yourself  as part of their political campaign, Eminem’s publishers, Eight Mile Style LLC, and Martin Affiliated LLC  filed proceedings for copyright infringement in the High Court of Wellington, seeking damages. Under s.29 and s.32 of the Copyright Act 1994 of New Zealand, copyright in Eminem’s song would have been infringed if the political party played the song in public without having an adequate licence agreement. Joel Martin, a spokesperson of the publishers, said that nobody had contacted them to use the song. If they are found liable for copyright infringement, the National Party risks paying a five-figure sum to Eminem’s publishers. However, the National Party argues that they purchased the appropriate rights to use the music. They bought them from Beatbox (a music supplier based in Australia and Singapore), through APRA AMCOS. APRA AMCOS is the Australasian body that acts as local agents for music licensing companies around the world and is a reputable body. Chris Hocquard, a copyright lawyer from Auckland, said that if the National Party were found to have infringed copyright, they may be able to go back to Beatbox and…

Sound alikes cause Antipodean angst
Copyright / February 2014

COPYRIGHT Advertising, recorded music Music sound-alikes used in advertising campaigns are leading to a number of legal wrangles in New Zealand and Australia according to Kelly & Co partner Peter Campbell in an article in Adelaide Now.  There is the current dispute between Audi and New Zealand band OMC and their label Universal Music: UMG have accused the car company of copying the 1996 hit song Land of Plenty in the Land of Quattro advertisement. Mr Campbell said if the case proceeded, it would be the first in New Zealand to address passing off and misleading and deceptive conduct for a musical sound-alike, on top of the issue of copyright infringement. Mr Campbell believed this could lead to different tests being applied to copyright infringement and misleading conduct claims in Australia. Last year, dairy company Dannon used a soundtrack in its advertisement aired during the US Superbowl, which resembled the John Butler Trio’s 2003 hit Zebra. Dannon and the John Butler Trio negotiated an arrangement, so that the advertisement no longer contains the similar music. In other jurisdictions some musicians have had similar success. In the US the singer Bette Midler sued an advertising agency over a sound-alike version of her…

Research says that French “three strikes” law has no deterrent effect
Copyright , Internet / February 2014

COPYRIGHT Internet   The effectiveness of graduated-response anti-piracy systems that have now been implemented in France, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea and the USA has always been debated, and new research from American and French researchers, based on a survey of 2,000 internet users in France, has found that the so called 2009 ‘three strikes’ system in France (the ‘Hadopi’ law) has not deterred individuals from engaging in digital piracy and the system does not reduce the intensity of illegal activity of those who did engage in piracy. The researchers from the University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and the Université de Rennes I – Center for Research in Economics and Management also noted that for those internet users with closer links to the piracy community – a classification based on the piracy chat in said users’ social networks – the introduction of three-strikes in France, which targeted exclusively P2P file-sharing, pushed file-sharers down other routes to accessing unlicensed content.  More than a third sampled —37.6 percent—admitted to illegal downloading, with 22 percent using P2P networks and 30 percent using “alternative channels.” About 16.4 percent of those who had engaged in the downloads received a warning from Hadopi, the government agency with the…

New Zealand collection societies offer combined licence

COPYRIGHT Recorded music, music publishing   The two music collection societies in New Zealand – APRA on the publishing side and PPNZ on the sound recordings side – have announced the creation of OneMusic, a new joint venture that will offer a wide-ranging combined public performance licence for businesses and organisations that play recorded music in public spaces, administered by APRA. PPNZ boss Damian Vaughan says the new venture, which will surely be watched with interest by rights bodies around the world, came in response to public demand and that customers were telling the collection that the international norm – the two-licence model – “was frustrating and confusing”. The initiative has been welcomed by various trade bodies representing music users and licensees, with the CEO of New Zealand’s Restaurant Association, Marisa Bidois, saying: “We support anything that means compliance issues don’t get in the way of business. This new process means our members can get a music licence quickly and easily and we’re very happy APRA and PPNZ have heard us on this issue” and CEO of the New Zealand Retailers Association, John Albertson, says OneMusic will mean fewer businesses accidentally operating outside of the law.

Prison term for kiwi karoke copycat

COPYRIGHT Internet, music publishing, sound recordings   The owner of a New Zealand karaoke business has been jailed for four months for offering and selling substantial numbers of karaoke tracks – which had been created from scratch by the owners of Auckland-based Sundown Karaoke, which creates karaoke recordings, burns them to disks and sells them around the world, paying on royalties to the appropriate songwriters. Desmond Robert Adams, 40, also known as Heremia Adams, appeared in the Rotorua District Court  having already  pleaded guilty  to a charge under the Copyright Act 1994 of making for sale an object that was an infringing copy of a copyright work. He was sentenced to four months in prison and ordered to pay reparation of $784. Adams was the owner/operator of 1st Choice Karaoke, which provides karaoke and DJ equipment and services throughout New Zealand. According to the police Summary of Facts, in March 2011 Adams advertised karaoke and DJ equipment, and access to 37,000 karaoke songs, on auction website Sella. The complainants contacted him, and Adams sent them a list of songs, telling them he had sold the library to more than 50 clients worldwide. The complainants made a $200 deposit and one…

New Zealand three-strike law results in 50% decrease in infringement
Copyright , Internet / August 2012

COPYRIGHT Internet   By Iona Harding, The 1709 Blog Recent statistics from New Zealand’s Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) claim to show that since New Zealand’s “Skynet Act” three-strike law (previously reported on the 1709 blog here), was implemented in September 2011, the number of illegally viewed films in the top 200 online has dropped from 110,000 to 50,000, i.e. by just over 50%. However, according to FACT, there has been no discernible progress since. These submissions, made to the Economic Development Ministry were released under the Official Information Act. As promising as a 50% decrease in infringement sounds, this blogger can’t help but wonder what it really means: are more Kiwis simply flying under the radar?   How does the three-strike law work? The three-strike law in New Zealand grants rightsholders the power to request that internet service providers (ISPs) issue up to three warning notices to consumers alleged to be illegally using copyright protected content. Rightsholders are required to pay the ISPs a processing fee of $25 to issue a notice. After the third notice, users face a claim before the New Zealand Copyright Tribunal, which can issue fines of up to $15,000 (approximately GBP 7,500 or USD 12,000)….

Mega boss won’t reveal passwords without assurances
Copyright , Internet / June 2012

COPYRIGHT Internet   CMU Daily reports that MegaUpload founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz is refusing to give New Zealand police the passwords to encrypted data that they seized from his home earlier this year unless they agree to give him access to the digital files too. Dotcom’s lawyers have complained that they are being denied access to that data, which is hindering their efforts to defend the Mega chief against America’s attempts to extradite him to face criminal charges in the US.

Kiwi third strikes are out
Copyright , Internet / May 2012

COPYRIGHT Internet New Zealand’s ‘three strikes’ legislation which was introduced last September and which sees alleged Kiwi file-sharers monitored, warned, and eventually punished for their infringements has now reached the final phase  with the first so-called ’3rd strike’ issued. The ‘enforcement’ notices were delivered on behalf of the music industry although commentators noted that even after more than 6 months, their movie industry counterparts are yet to send even one initial warning. Internet users who are discovered uploading copyright material are first sent two warnings via their ISP. On receipt of a third, under the “Skynet” legislation, copyright holders can take the Internet account holder to the Copyright Tribunal where they face hefty fines. The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 had a tortuous path before implementation. Argument, counter-argument and intense lobbying from the copyright industries preceded its introduction in September last year. NZ ISPs TelstraClear and Orcon have both confirmed that they have sent third and final “enforcement” warnings to customers, delivered on behalf of RIANZ. The alleged music pirates now have a week from the date of the notice to lodge a dispute. Failure to do so could lead the individual to be referred to the Copyright…

First investigation under new NZ security industry laws

HEALTH & SAFETY Live events industry   An official investigation is under way into the appointment of an unlicensed security firm as security contractor at Eden Park, Auckland Council and Vector Arena in New Zealand in a “possible breach of a new law designed to clean up the industry”. Platform 4 Group, a new company incorporated in December 2011, won the stadium contract despite being unlicensed. Under a recent New Zealand laws, security firms must be licensed to do any work including crowd control. Platform 4 have applied for a licence (in December) but this was not completed at the time the contracts were awarded. In light of this it seems Platform 4 Group teamed up with a licensed company, Harrison Tew Consultants, to take over the contract. The New Zealand Herald reports that “Harrison Tew – staffed by two directors to provide emergency planning for schools but with no crowd-control experience – then employed Platform 4 casual staff and independent contractors to provide security at events” A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, which administers the Security Licensing Authority, confirmed the matter was referred to the newly formed Complaints, Investigations and Prosecutions Unit at the Department of Internal Affairs…

US talent unions back UMG on EMI takeover, and Sony/ATV deal for EMI Music publishing gets the EC’s green light

COMPETITION Record labels, music publishing In a surprise move, two of the US’s biggest talent unions have come out in support of Universal’s takeover of EMI’s recorded music division on the ground that UMG would, unlike previous owners Terra Firma, actually invest in music and musicians. In a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz The American Federation of Musicians said that UMG had shown “compliance with and respect for its collective bargaining agreements has been positive when compared to its peer companies” and that “Sustaining the EMI legacy” under Universal’s ownership “would appear to benefit AMF recording musicians.” The recently merged The Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists said Universal has shown commitment to the music industry, investing in new artists and innovative musical genres in a separate letter saying “For EMI to be left to further drift into oblivion, or for EMI to be acquired and sold off in pieces by capital investment speculators with no appreciation for, or commitment to, artists who fuel the recording industry, would ill serve the industry,” SAG-AFTRA said. Universal is “committed to reinvesting in EMI to create even more opportunities for new and…

Megaupload bosses arrested in New Zealand raid
Copyright , Internet / February 2012

COPYRIGHT Internet, film, television   Reuters report that Kim Dotcom (Kim Schmitz, a 37 year old German national) the Megaupload boss, has been arrested by police in New Zealand and that the US Government has shut down the content sharing website which recently featured on this Blog. It can hardly have escaped anyone’s notice that the actions come against the background of heated debate over the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation in the USA but Reuters report that a US Justice Department official said the timing of the arrests was not related to the battle inside and outside  Congress. Schmitz lives in New Zealand and it appears that some 70 police officers  raided 10 properties and also arrested the website’s chief marketing officer, Finn Batato, 38, chief technical officer and co-founder Mathias Ortmann, 40 (both German nationals)  and Dutch national Bram van der Kolk, 29, who is also a New Zealand resident. Alongside these arrests, NZ police seized several million dollars worth of assets and NZ$10 million from financial institutions. The Organised & Financial Crime Agency New Zealand said they would work with US Authorities to enable extradition proceedings to proceed. Those arrested…

First ‘three strikes’ warnings go out in New Zealand
Copyright , Internet , Record Labels / December 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet, record labels The Copyright notices have been sent to internet services providers in New Zealand, with Telecom confirming it received 42 infringement notices. The notices were all sent out by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ). Of the 42 notices received by Telecom, 35 were for the download of songs by Rhianna, six were for Lady Gaga tunes and one was for UK recording artist Taio Cruz. ISP TelstraClear has also confirmed that it received 27 notices from RIANZ, although the company would not say what copyrighted material the notices covered. Again, Internet provider Orcon received its first copyright notices, two months after controversial anti-piracy laws came into effect. The “three strikes” law requires internet companies to issue warning notices to customers suspected of illegally downloading copyright content – such as movies or music – if a rights holder requests it. After a third notice, rights holders can bring a case before the Copyright Tribunal, which can fine an offender up to $15,000. The law was passed in April and came into effect on September 1st 2011.

Kiwi ISP Chief says that three strikes in the wrong approach
Copyright , Internet / September 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet Allan Freeth, The chief executive of New Zealand ISP TelstraClear, has spoken out against his country’s Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011, which comes into force on September 1st. The New Zealand legislation is another example of the ‘three strikes’ legislative approach adopted by France, South Korea and which will be implemented in the UK. The Act introduces a set of penalties (described by some as ‘draconian’, others as ‘ineffective’) that impose fines and possible account suspension for infringing activities, and it involves Internet Service Providers in the process of identifying and notifying account holders based on IP addresses. Freeth said that “TelstraClear respects copyright and supports the ability of rights owners to realise value from their intellectual property. But a business model that has to be propped up by specific legislation in this way is flawed and needs to change,” adding The new law will not help copyright owners defend their rights” and “It may encourage parents to take more notice of what their kids are doing online, and that’s a good thing. But it won’t stop those who really want content from getting it.” Freeth said his company’s market research found definitive reasons why people…

“US Offered To Write New Zealand’s Three Strikes Laws”
Copyright , Internet / June 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet Both Techdirt and Zeropaid report that the Green party in New Zealand is demanding clarification of possible US government and US rights industry intervention in helping to pass the country’s somewhat controversial Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act, including the US music industry’s offer to fund an intellectual property enforcement unit to combat what US officials call “key gaps in intellectual property rights enforcement”. The information comes from Wikileaks cables from 2005 and the Green Party’s Information and Communications Technology spokesperson, Gareth Hughes reportedly said “The latest Wikileaks cables show how vulnerable our Government is to pressure from big businesses in the USA,” adding “We’ve got to keep politics honest, so it’s important to find out exactly what influence US interests had in securing the rushed passage of controversial copyright legislation through Parliament”. Hughes went on to say “This kind of blatant intervention in local law enforcement is undermining our democracy … the New Zealand Government has been subject to intense international corporate lobbying. As the Government consults further on the current online copyright regime, it must make decisions that work for the New Zealanders that elected them, not US interests” adding “Hollywood moguls shouldn’t be writing our…

Kiwi MP caught out in copyright tweet
Copyright , Internet / May 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet It seems that a pro-copyright New Zealand parliament member, Melissa Lee, has been caught in a copyright quagmire. It turns out that just hours before she spoke out in support of the controversial new copyright law (the New Zealand version of the ‘three strikes’ law, see below) being rushed through parliament, she tweeted how pleased she was with a compilation of K-Pop songs a friend copied for her. The New Zealand legislation is “more draconian than other countries”. With the potential for internet users  ‘suspected’ of sharing copyrighted material online three times losing their Internet access for six months, critics say that the new law also shifts the burden of proof to the alleged infringer who will need to prove their innocence Torrentfreak commented “Although it’s easy to call Lee’s mistake out as hypocrisy, it might be even worse than that. What if she truly believes that copying a legally bought song for a friend is okay? That would mean that even legislators who vote on copyright legislation don’t fully grasp what they’re doing or as one blogger put it “The serious aspect to this story, apart from the cruel pleasure in watching someone stumble over the very…

Kiwi three strikes prompts cyber attacks
Copyright , Internet / May 2011

COPYRIGHT Internet The New Zealand government’s new ‘three strikes’ anti-piracy proposals, which have finally moved into law and are due to come into effect in September (2011) have prompted a fresh wave of protests and the threat of cyber attacks on the Government’s websites. The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill has caused immense controversy in New Zealand, particularly in the blogsphere, with many online commentators calling the bill ‘draconian’ and questioning why the bill was rushed through the New Zealand Parliament reportedly using emergency procedures invoked to help victims of the Christchurch earthquake for cover. In particular Section 92A which initially placed the onus on ISPs to disconnect repeat infringers met with fierce opposition when it was mooted two years ago and whilst it has been amended as it currently stands it does provide for a ‘three strikes’ system which ultimately allows for the disconnection of internet users for repeat infringements. However, whilst the ability of copyright owners to apply to have repeat offenders disconnected remains in the legislation, it will not come into effect unless after two years it is shown that other less severe sanctions are ineffective.” However what does remain is the requirement for ISPs to…

Australian police bust music piracy ring
Copyright , Record Labels / May 2008

COPYRIGHT Record labels The Australian Federal Police have busted an international piracy ring that produced and sold pirated music in a clandestine manufacture and export operation from Sydney. In a two day operation that involved executing 11 search warrants across Sydney, the police raided private residences, an optical disc manufacturing plant and several retailers. The police seized thousands of pirated CDs and album covers and charged a 36-year-old man with copyright infringement. He was bailed and will appear before the Central Local Court on May 13. The retailers were selling pirate compilations made by “Fresh off the Boat Entertainment”, which included illegally reproduced songs by artists such as Justin Timberlake, UB40 and Gnarls Barkley. The anti-piracy arm of the Australian music industry, Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI ) helped the police with its investigation, said the pirate compilations uncovered in the Sydney raids had also been found in New Zealand and Pacific Island territories such as Fiji. MIPI and the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand, have begun enforcement action against an importer and CD manufacturing plant that are allegedly stocking and distributing the pirate compilations Criminal penalties for copyright infringement in Australia are up to $60,500 and 5 years…

New Zealand to legislate for music private use exemption
Copyright / September 2007

COPYRIGHT All areas New Zealand has put forward proposed law changes will make it legal to copy music for personal use but the exemption will not extend to television programmes and films which will still only able to be kept for “time shifting” purposes – to be watched at the viewers convenience – and must be then erased. In New Zealand it is currently illegal to copy music from a CD or tape to another device such as an iPod or an MP3 player. But The New Zealand Parliament’s commerce select committee has changed the Copyright (NewTechnologies) Bill to make it legal to “format shift” – or copy – music from a CD to other devices if it is for personal use. The committee has not changed the current law which allows home videotaping from TV, but only if programmes are kept for “no longer than is reasonably necessary for viewing … at a more convenient time”. That provision will remain. MPs on the committee have specified that copying DVDs or videotapes onto a device such as an iPod should not be permitted.

New Zealand copyright bill reaches parliament
Copyright / January 2007

COPYRIGHT All areas New Zealand’s Copyright (New Technologies and Performers’ Rights) Amendment Bill which is awaiting its first reading in Parliament, puts a maximum penalty of a $150,000 fine and five years in prison for anyone caught selling devices or publishing information which could be used to circumvent technology used to protect digital copyright. The current Copyright Act bans this but has no criminal penalties. However the new bill is not without critics and Colin Jackson, president of non-profit society InternetNZ, calls the anti-circumvention clauses a “toxic provision” and warns they could be used to “suppress all kinds of legitimate valuable work and speech”. The Copyright Amendment Bill also stops people from removing information from files, such as terms and conditions of use or who owns the copyright. The Bill does allows people to crack digital rights for personal use, and libraries, archives and educational institutions can also crack codes provided this is to correct software errors, make software interoperable or to do encryption research. The bill would allow format shifting – converting CDs to MP3s, for example and consumers would be able to make one copy of a song they own for personal use for each device they own – although…

US Band Disputes Ownership of New Zealand ‘Idol’ Song
Copyright , Music Publishing / October 2004

COPYRIGHT Music Publishing New Zealand Idol runner-up Michael Murphy looks like having a major hit on his hands with the track So Damn Beautifulwith extensive radio plays and sales. The song is credited to Chirs Rodriguez. However, he may face a law suit as well. In Texas, Vallejo, the band who co-wrote the track with song-writer Chris Rodriguez are meeting lawyers to discuss legal action over royalty payments. In 2002, the band wrote the track with Rodriguez, hoping to create a hit that would save their contract with music label Epic. Unfortunately, their efforts didn’t inspire the label and Vallejo eventually put the track out on a self-released album, Stereo. Michael Murphy and his label BMG claim they was unaware of the history of the song believing it was penned by Rodriguez alone and unreleased. But Vallejo will now seek a co-writing credit and song writing royalty payments for airplay and sales of the song. See :

The New Zealand Court of Appeal Formulates a Law of Privacy
Artists , Privacy / May 2004

PRIVACY Artists Michael Hosking v Pacific Magazines By a majority of three to two, the New Zealand Court of Appeal has approved the development of a law of privacy in a jurisdiction which is closer than any other to that of the UK. Since the judgement was only handed down on 25 March 2004, it is too early to say whether the approach adopted by the Court of Appeal in New Zealand will be followed in this country. However, if an appeal is made it will be to the Privy Council, who are members of the House of Lords. On the facts, the New Zealand Court of Appeal had no difficulty in finding that there was no breach of privacy. The claimant was a New Zealand television personality whose two baby children were photographed in the street. All five judges rejected the claimant’s appeal, but three went on to indicate the direction which they considered that the New Zealand law should take. Two of the judges observed that a “privacy” jurisdiction had been developed via the well established action of breach of confidence. They observed that there are now two distinct versions of this tort. One is the traditional situation…