The movie import ban

October 19th, 2013 at 8:56 am by David Farrar

Aimee Gilliver at Stuff reports:

Cinema owners will benefit from the extended ban on parallel imports of movies, but in three years retailers will be able to sell a movie on DVD at the same time it is showing in cinemas, under new law.

The (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament this week. It reduces the ban period on parallel importation of films for commercial use from nine months from the international release date to five months for the next three years.

The ban allows the New Zealand copyright holder of a film to control when retailers are allowed to access copies to provide to consumers – otherwise, a movie could be sold on DVD by a retailer who had imported it from a foreign right-holder at the same time it was being shown in cinemas here.

It was initially set to lapse on October 31 but has been extended for three years in a reduced form to give cinema owners time to adjust, and convert to digital exhibition. …

Blogger David Farrar said the difficulty in buying content legally has helped create a generation of people who download unauthorised copies because it is the only way they can view what they want to, when they want to, and in the form they want to.

“Ultimately New Zealanders want to be able to purchase movies the same day as they can read reviews about them online.

“Any law that makes it harder for New Zealanders to purchase movies legally is likely to be reasonably ineffectual as people won’t wait five months or nine months to be able to buy a copy for themselves.”

The three-year extension may prevent new business models emerging because it gave an exclusive period for movie theatres, Mr Farrar said.

“Many New Zealanders could well be happy to pay say $50 to view a movie at home the week it is released, but there is no legal way for them to do so.”

The three-year ban, with a shorter time period, is an advantage, Mr Farrar said.

“It gives movie theatres time to plan for an era where they’ll be competing with online delivery of content.

“Some may struggle, but some may adapt well to the competition and focus more on making going to the theatre part of a better experience and a fun night out.”

As I said, I think it would be great if we can buy content in the format we want it, when we want it.

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22 Responses to “The movie import ban”

  1. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    If movie theatres put their prices down i wouldnt argue against their monopoly as much.

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  2. Azeraph (604 comments) says:

    Yeah, Drop their prices and they will get people back, buying large LED units and the best audio systems can’t beat the big screens.

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  3. peterwn (3,272 comments) says:

    In 1990’s National legislated to allow this parallel importing much to the annoyance of the Americans. Labour reimposed the ban with respect to DVD’s on the grounds that it would spell the demise of provincial theatres, who could only show newer films once sufficient copies became available (Judith Tizard was very susceptible to sob stories about provincial cinemas, writers living in garretts, etc that were spun by American book and movie interests). The movie companies would send surplus prints to NZ when no longer required overseas to meet the provincial demand, since the cost of providing sufficient ‘new’ copies was prohibitive.

    This has now been turned on its head since all cinemas will very soon have digital projectors, and 35mm film and projectors will be of historic interest only.

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  4. Peter (1,712 comments) says:

    Dinosaurs buy DVDs….

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  5. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    “The Copyright (Parallel Importing of Films) Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament this week. ”

    Parliament, a collection of thieves and fools who should all be thrown out on their useless arses. This is a civil matter. The act should be binned completely.

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  6. Fletch (6,389 comments) says:

    I really don’t understand the long wait between a movie showing in theatre and being available to buy on DVD or Blu-ray.
    There is a period where the movie has finished playing in the cinema and is not available to buy either – kind of a no-man’s land where it is totally unavailable to watch, like Man Of Steel, for instance. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s gone from the cinema and not available to buy either. I don’t think it is available in the U.S to buy right now, either. Maybe it is something to do with production of the discs? I don’t know.

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  7. slijmbal (1,236 comments) says:

    Can anyone else name an object that is sold, which cannot then be legally on-sold once I own the property rights?

    In effect, this is what happens to prevent parallel importing.

    I know of one example – software licences – these are sold for specific use by an entity with a large contract limiting transfer rights. Books have some minor limitations but do not include prevention of on selling.

    I never go to the flicks but care about this as it sets a precedence for other copyright issues. It’s crap – and I’m not seeing convincing enough signals that this will be temporary to fill me with confidence around it and other copyright related issues.

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  8. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I don’t think the government should be regulating this at all.
    People will just pirate a movie if they can’t buy it.

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  9. Jim (398 comments) says:

    “like Man Of Steel, for instance. I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s gone from the cinema and not available to buy either.”

    Yet 1080p blu-ray rips (16.6GB) of that movie are on all the NZB index sites.

    Maybe not such a good example of NZ law restriction as the discs aren’t supposed to be released anywhere until next month. Damn those pirates!

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  10. Manolo (13,774 comments) says:

    More crap from a crappy government. Get your act together, John Key and cohorts.

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  11. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    Good, but it shouldn’t have been extended to three years. Cinemas are a sunset industry. Noisy kids, people texting, talking or kicking seats, cramped chairs, extortionate prices for snacks and not even the choice to bring your own.

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  12. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    You forgot to mention the folks next to you farting and fucking adze. Movie theatres…. bit like flying cargo class really.

    Haven’t been to one in thirty years….why would a discerning chap bother really! :)

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  13. Liberty (267 comments) says:

    This is the sort of crap Muldoon and his cronies would come up with.
    It is not protecting property rights it is helping vested interest.
    One of the few things labour got right in 1984 was remove farming
    subsidies . Basically over night the subsidies were gone.
    Sink or swim the farmers were told.
    Yet the entertainment industry get 3 years to get their act together.

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  14. gazzmaniac (2,307 comments) says:

    I like going to the cinema at daytime during the week.
    It’s cheaper, and the cinemas are usually pretty empty.

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  15. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Flecth

    man of steel http://thepiratebay.sx/search/man%20of%20steel/0/99/200

    take your pick

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  16. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Are you the joker in the raincoat, sitting in the backrow and making funny little whimperings gazz? :)

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  17. Redbaiter (8,882 comments) says:

    They’re all Obama lovin progs anyway.

    Fuck ‘em, let ‘em go down with their boy.

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  18. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    What’s your take on the new drive-in Red?

    Your area too.

    https://www.facebook.com/BayparkDriveInMovieFestival

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  19. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    We’re getting one here soon!

    http://www.newswire.co.nz/2013/10/wellington-get-drive-cinema-trentham/

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  20. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    “Parliament, a collection of thieves and fools who should all be thrown out on their useless arses. This is a civil matter. The act should be binned completely.”

    ———————

    Which Act? The Copyright Act?

    We cannot get rid of that, as we are signatories to a number of international trade agreements and treaties that obligate us to observe international copyright principles.

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  21. gump (1,649 comments) says:

    @slijmbal

    “Can anyone else name an object that is sold, which cannot then be legally on-sold once I own the property rights?”

    ————————–

    Yes – there are some objects which cannot be exported or freely onsold.

    I’m thinking of those objects which are covered by the Protected Objects Act 1975.

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  22. AJC (16 comments) says:

    FYI NZ has around 3.5 admissions per head of population to the cinemas. This is not as high as the US but higher than most countries.The infrastructure here is pretty good but its a fairly capital hungry business.

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