The National Library “joins forces with Internet pirates”



NZSA and PANZ press release
The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc (NZSA) and the New Zealand Publishers Association Te Rau o Tākupu (PANZ) are shocked that the National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) has announced its intention to donate hundreds of thousands of books from its collection to the infamous Internet Archive.

The digitization and online distribution of books through the Internet Archive has been condemned internationally as large-scale piracy. (1) This activity of the Archive is the subject of a major lawsuit by international publishers, representing authors from all over the world, and supported by groups of authors. (2)

Our organizations represent thousands of authors and dozens of publishers across Aotearoa, New Zealand. In recent years, leading New Zealand authors including Catherine Chidgey, Keri Hulme, Elizabeth Knox and Damien Wilkins have seen their books distributed illegally online for free through the Internet Archive, forcing publishers and authors to repeatedly devote time. and money to take enforcement action.

The pirating of valuable New Zealand works continues unabated. On the day of the National Library’s announcement, works by Janet Frame, Patricia Grace, Keri Hulme, Witi Ihimaera, Albert Wendt and many other prominent authors were illegally distributed through the Internet Archive.

“We are amazed that the National Library is teaming up with Internet pirates who damage New Zealand literature on a daily basis,” PANZ Chairman Graeme Cosslett said. “The Internet Archive’s repeated violations of New Zealand works show their true nature – no pretense of fabricated laws, false protocols or moralizing ideals can obscure it – they pledge to take the work of authors and publishers. ‘Aotearoa. How can the National Library stand with the Internet hackers and not the New Zealand literary community? ‘

“The online distribution of books protected by the Internet Archive is illegal,” says Jenny Nagle, Executive Director of the NZSA. then congratulate you for providing a public service. Now their invented “controlled digital loan” trick means they simply ask people to form an orderly line around the block before they receive any stolen goods. Hearing our own national librarian repeat this lawless reasoning is frightening.

The National Library argues that an opt-out clause for rights holders in books submitted to the Internet Archive will address the concerns of rights holders. Like the larger agreement, this mechanism has no legal value, here or abroad. He appears to be claiming a presumed consent that simply does not exist, as evidenced by the scale of the current trial of the affected rights holders.

This partnership directly contravenes international copyright treaties to which New Zealand is a signatory. If the National Library follows through on this agenda, it will jeopardize New Zealand’s global position as a place where the creative industries can flourish. “It’s up to the National Library to export its problem – to wash its hands of it – to become instead the problem of individual authors, publishers, family estates and other rights holders around the world,” explains Cosslett. “This is not how New Zealand generally behaves on the world stage, nor does it reflect our nation’s values ​​as a responsible global player.”

Authors and publishers invest a tremendous amount of time, energy and resources to work alongside New Zealand libraries, including the National Library, to provide readers with access to books. This pattern endangers our local literary ecosystem. “The Internet Archive hack challenges the livelihoods of Kiwi authors and publishers, who work hard in difficult market conditions, to bring the stories we cherish to Aotearoa,” Nagle says. “The Ministry of Home Affairs (DIA) seems to think this program is free. But that comes with heavy costs in the long run, costs that fall directly on local authors, publishers and the creative sector. ‘

We recognize that the National Library is under pressure to find a solution for these books. Placing them off with internet hackers is not the solution. Hearing, by chance, about this project last Friday, we called for urgent meetings with Minister Jan Tinetti, but we encountered silence.

We call on Minister Jan Tinetti and DIA Director General Paul James to overthrow this radical alliance with a pirate organization. Authors and publishers will examine all of their current relationships with the National Library in light of this utter disregard for New Zealand books and creativity.

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ Inc.)

Established in 1934 as the New Zealand PEN Center and remains the premier organization for New Zealand authors. It is a member-based arts organization, representing more than 1,730 writers nationwide through eight branches and numerous centers. For more than 30 years, the organization has campaigned for a public lending right to compensate authors for lost royalties on the use of their books by libraries. In 1973, the Authors’ Fund was established by Norman Kirk and over 1,400 authors benefited from the PEN initiative. The Company works closely with our partners in industry, government and Creative New Zealand to ensure that the professional interests of writers are strongly represented on all matters.

New Zealand Publishers Association Te Rau o Tākupu

PANZ actively represents the interests of publishers to industry and government. PANZ’s advocacy team works to educate relevant government departments and industry bodies about the key issues facing book publishers and how we can work effectively together. Strong support from the publishing industry is vital for this work. Members of the association are a diverse mix of generalist, literary and educational publishers, ranging from small independent niche publishers to large multinationals. PANZ is an incorporated company headed by a president and seven board members. The Council is supported by an Association Director and a Member Services Director.


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