Possible positive future for copyright from the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade AgreementAAA IPRIGHT2
Following a four-year negotiation, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade published the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement (NZ-EU FTA) on June 30, 2022. In the agreement, the chapter on Intellectual property has some worthwhile note that needs to be taken into account.
Specifically, the copyright protection terms for authors, performers, and producers have been extended from 50 to 70 years. With the coming change, the first impact on copyright will be the value of all works published under the protection of copyright as the term for protection has been extended about 1/4 of the current protection terms.
The value of works with 20 years longer protection period will get increase significantly in the market. This is especially important for creators who are planning to sell the rights of their works to other parties. Of course, when the buyers know that they can own the work for a longer period of time, using the assets for their company or passing it down to their children, they will pay higher for the ownership of such works.
Consequentially, the income of the authors, creators of arts, songs, pictures, etc. as the subject of the New Zealand-European Union Free Trade Agreement will get increase dramatically.
Even if the creators don’t plan to sell their works outright, they can also benefit directly and indirectly from the deal, as they will have 20 years longer to extract the value of their works. For example, some works in the Sherlock Holmes franchise have recently become public property after decades of being exclusive to the Conan Doyle estate.
If the law changes and the protection period is extended, the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle can delay the legal procedures related to the protection of the images of Sherlock Holmes and other characters, as demonstrated clearly in their lawsuit against Elona Holmes Tivi show of Netflix
Joseph Bracewell, an associate at Tompkins Wake in Auckland has shown his idea on the coming deal, stating that although there will be some benefits, those advantages are not that significant to a creator’s exploitation of their work: “Practically, there are few works that retain significant value and continue to generate income over such a long period and the fragmented nature of most creative industries may make it hard for any creatives to use the increased term to, for example, negotiate for higher advances or payments for their works. In the longer term of course, there may be benefits to creatives and their families where their works do continue to generate royalties throughout the long tail of the copyright term.”
Nonetheless, Bracewell welcomed the change and other impacts to the IP system following the implementation of the deal: “Hopefully, however, it will push the New Zealand government to restart the review of New Zealand’s Copyright Act as a whole, which began several years ago and was put on hold. Alongside the increase in protections for creators and performers, hopefully, a restarted review will take a closer look at whether changes are needed around copyright for industrially-applied works, parody or satire protections and exceptions for orphan works.”
– You could see the Procedure of Trademark in New Zealand here.
– You could also see the Required documents of filing trademark in New Zealand here.
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