The New Zealand Society of Authors (NZSA), the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) and Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ) have teamed up to put creative rights and their importance – for writers, the local book sector, and for our country – in the spotlight.
Creative Rights = Creative Reads is a campaign to help New Zealanders understand why creative rights like copyright are so important; how these rights underpin the success of Aotearoa New Zealand’s book sector; and how valuing creative rights contributes to the country’s social, economic and cultural wellbeing.
Creative rights are the mechanism that ensures authors and publishers own and are able to earn from their work. The campaign highlights that when we value those rights, the result is more creativity, more local stories, more inspirational ideas, and access to more local knowledge.
Jenny Nagle, Chief Executive Officer, NZSA says, “the books we write and publish in Aotearoa make a rich and diverse contribution to our sense of who we are. In classrooms and at home they educate and inspire. There’s also a large body of research that connects reading for enjoyment to better economic and social wellbeing in children – and we know that books that show us experiences and places that are familiar not only support literacy but also create a sense of connection, and foster a love of reading.
By ensuring writers and publishers own and can make choices about the use of their work, creative rights incentivise creativity and are the foundation from which these social and cultural benefits grow.”
Julia Marshall, President, PANZ continues, “the book sector also contributes millions every year to the creative economy, paying New Zealand writers’ royalties and selling rights to their works overseas. Creative rights are a big part of our business. We also buy rights to books made in other countries, often translating these into English and te reo Māori. This means all New Zealanders can access, read and enjoy books they might not otherwise discover.
Rights sales allow te reo Māori versions of books like The Cat in the Hat; multiple foreign language editions of New Zealand children’s classics like The Whale Rider; and films based on New Zealand books, such as Taika Waititi’s Hunt for the Wilderpeople, adapted from Barry Crump’s Wild Pork and Watercress, first published in the eighties. A healthy creative rights market ensures that writers and publishers benefit from the success of their work – and it also encourages innovation and greater access to work.”
Paula Browning, Chief Executive, CLNZ concludes, “a review of the Copyright Act is currently on the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s agenda. Over the course of this it will be vital to ensure the rights of creators are at the heart of the process. We believe that helping New Zealanders to understand how creative rights work in the book sector, and the ways in which these rights contribute to Aotearoa, will help foster a meaningful conversation on copyright – and keep the pages turning!”