Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa

International IP treaties and national legislation affecting copyright scope in NZ

The key act applicable in NZ is the Copyright Act 1994 .

Sections directly addressing the issue of Copyright duration are: 22, 23, 24, 25, 106 and 193. Be aware that these sections need to be read in conjunction with other parts of the Act, as there are sections such as 18 and 27 that qualify some of the above.


Our full commitments are listed in:


With regard to copyright:


Most importantly for LIANZA members, New Zealand signed the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works on 24 April 1928, Rome and the version applicable is that of 4 December 1947. This might seem inappropriate at this date, however there are advantages to this version (see section 7).


Equally importantly it has also signed and given effect to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) in NZ law.


THE COPYRIGHT ACT 1994 effectively incorporates the WIPO Copyright Treaty, although New Zealand has not signed that treaty as such.


New Zealand also signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and the present version of our copyright act is largely consistent with its terms.


More recently it has signed, but not yet incorporated the: Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired, or otherwise Print Disabled although officials have been discussing this with the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind.


New Zealand also signed the Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms (August 13, 1976).


The Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances was concluded in 2012 but requires 30 signatories to come into effect.


The first leaked version of the TPP IP chapter reveal pressure to sign other key treaties. In the 2013 version, see finessing options in discussion of  national treatment under Addendum V: Intellectual Property [Rights] Chapter. Non-paper on National Rights Treatment. Article QQ.A.9: {National Treatment}.



For any questions, contact the LIANZA Standing Committee on Copyright

Alex Smith – Chair

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