Hamish Fletcher

Business reporter for the NZ Herald

Copyright Act review only 'fine-tuning' - Joyce

Economic Development minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Ben Fraser
Economic Development minister Steven Joyce. Photo / Ben Fraser

The Government's forthcoming review of the Copyright Act is likely to be only a "fine-tuning" of the law, says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

The Government is set to review some parts of Act next year, but its exact start date and scope are not finalised.

Answering questions at the NetHui internet conference this morning, Joyce said the examination was likely be a "fine tuning rather than a massive review".

"But we're prepared to see where it takes us," he said.

"The challenge for us all is striking the right balance between content creators and distributors and consumers and it's not an easy balance. Anybody who just says it should be one or the other I think is wrong," he said.

Joyce stressed that it was essential that this balance contained an "appropriate reward for content creators".

A session at NetHui yesterday aimed to stimulate debate about copyright legislation ahead of the review.

Joyce also responded to questions this morning on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.

The TPP trade deal is currently being negotiated and the 13th round of talks are finishing up. The negotiations are secret but it is known that the United States entertainment industry is pushing for stronger copyright provisions among the 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region negotiating the deal.

A group pushing for a "fair deal" in the TPP launched a campaign last night opposing any changes to New Zealand's copyright laws that may form part of the agreement.

Joyce said the TPP was "designed to be a quality trade agreement for this country to participate in amongst the some of the larger economies of the world".

"The challenge, as always in agreements like this, is they become a compromise of various countries' priorities...New Zealand negotiators are crucially aware of making sure they do not compromise too much," he said.

While Joyce said the TPP had many "upsides", panelists at the Fair Deal campaign launched said last night the Government had not adequately looked into the benefits and costs of the trade deal.

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