NZOSS Presents Submission to Commerce Committee

Last Thursday the New Zealand Open Source Society presented its point of view on Technical Protection Measure legislation being introduced in the Copyright Ammendment Bill currently under consideration. The NZOSS is asking for the entire TPM section to be removed.

There were several issues that needed to be addressed. The new legislation has provision for format shifting and time shifting, which are not currently in the law. These are good changes. The downside is that the TPM provision in effect removes those provisions, as TPM protected media cannot be circumvented even if the circumvention is in order to perform a protected action.

There is also an issue around the right of resale. With books, CD's and DVD's the purchaser owns the media, and if they choose resell the media. TPM provisions will support content companies in eliminating the right of resale by putting contracts around the media removing resale rights. Typically this will be linked to "pay per play" type services which give the purchaser the most limited rights of all.
Should this apply to books we might end up with "pay per read" electronic books.

The exceptions in the bill allowing circumvention are so narrow that it will be practically impossible to exercise them. It would mean that in order to "time shift" a TV program you would have to know about the transmission six months ahead of time; sufficient time to approach the TV provider to get a unprotected version, and then if the TV provider fails to provide a means of circumvention find a Government approved service to actually record the program.

This legislation is clearly not being driven by the interests of New Zealand, but rather the interests of large overseas monopolies.