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

Extension of Copyright under the TPPA

Both LIANZA and the public have been given a clear intimation that the government has given official negotiators guidelines that allow lengthening of copyright terms in order to achieve a long-desired ‘free trade’ agreement with the US, through  a group meeting with TPP negotiators, and via the media.

Japanese media report that Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators, in finalising TPP text, have agreed to add a further 20 years to existing copyright arrangements, although this has not been confirmed by our government or officials because of  confidentiality agreements in place.

Since media are reporting that negotiators have made considerable progress towards finalising TPP text, and officials are meeting in Honolulu from March 9-15 2015 to try and achieve this, it is important that the Government and as many others as possible consider the implications of this reputed agreement of extension of copyright from life of the author plus fifty years, to the life of the author plus seventy years, (if not even longer for corporate or general works).

A few gallery, library, archive and museum representatives may have had an opportunity to meet with negotiators to pose questions, but nothing like the opportunities that more than 600 US industry advisors and representatives have had to direct and shape TPP content.

It is time to make your concerns known. Here's our guide to making a submission


In New Zealand, Cabinet can sign the agreement before it reaches parliament, who can only accept, or refuse the whole.

And although one might expect that legislative changes for treaties would only take place after signature and ratification, experience shows that is not necessarily the case. 

The following links are offered to assist in making a submission to government or others you consider important to alert: supervisors, parent institutions, government, local electoral representatives, opposition spokespeople, groups or clients likely to be affected should be aware of what’s happening.

Selected readings relating to extension of copyright and its possible effects

International IP treaties and national legislation affecting copyright scope in NZ

Sample submission template

Points that could be made

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