Long since regarded as progressive, New Zealand’s copyright laws are about to have a small revision: format shifting (transferring content from one media to another, or to another device) is to be defined as fair use. Record companies are howling that this will make everyone pirates – and is a good indicator, that secretly, they don’t want you moving media at all – they want consumers to buy a version for each device they want to play it on.
It’s already legal to sell or give away a piece of media you have a license for – so you could sell that music track you bought off iTunes without any trouble.
Under current legislation, all copying, even for personal listening is illegal – but the Economic Development Ministry want to make it legal to make a copy for personal use. The change will possibly be implemented in the middle of the year.
The recording industry claims that 10 million CDs are pirated every year in the country – quite a bold estimate given that the entire country only has 3.7 million inhabitants. We think they might be a little on the high side.