The boss of a New Zealand music trade association says we need to update our copyright laws to protect local artists, and supports changes being made in Europe.
Recorded Music New Zealand chief executive Damian Vaughan said they, along with colleagues in the music sector, were working on creating submissions for the review of the Copyright Act 1994, which are due next Friday.
"We are looking to government to protect our artists' rights, ensure rights holders receive fair and equitable treatment, and to create the right conditions to expand our position as exporters on the world stage, while preserving our unique New Zealand identity," Vaughan said.
Vaughan said the issue of safe harbor – which says internet companies cannot be held liable when their customers use their networks to infringe copyright – was a key issue being put forward in their submissions.
Yesterday, the European Parliament backed a copyright reform law aimed at protecting content creators from unauthorised use of their work.
EU governments are expected to approve the rules next month, which would put them on course to go into effect in two years.
Among those changes, big tech companies like YouTube would be legally responsible for the content that users upload on their websites.
New Zealand's recorded music industry achieved its fourth consecutive year of growth in 2018.
Revenue was up 7.7 per cent to $107.9 million last year, largely on the back of streaming.
Vaughan said the data was very encouraging and the industry was healthy.
"It's a very exciting time for New Zealand music, there's a real optimism and buoyancy in the local industry after four years of growth."
Streaming revenue made up $74.2m, or 69 per cent, of all recorded music revenue in 2018.
Vaughan said streaming, downloads and social media provided more potential for artists to expose their music in more ways than ever.
"Artists are finding new fans and audiences everywhere."
The increase in people using streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotifiy led to digital download revenue dropping from $8.2m in 2017 to $5.4m last year.
Revenue from public performance and broadcast remained unchanged at $14.8m.
While physical purchasing of recorded music continued to decrease, with revenue dropping from $14.5m in 2017 to $11.3m last year, vinyl sales went in the opposite direction and now make up 20 per cent of all physical music purchases.
- With Washington Post