The Copyright Act (1994) and schools

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Copyright Act 1994

Copyright is the ownership that the creators of content (music, film, photographs etc.) have in their work. The Copyright Act 1994 gives the creator of a work ownership rights over who can use their works and how they can be used.

School already have experience in managing the appropriate use of resources that are copyrighted under this Act. For example many schools purchase a license, such as the New Zealand School Trustees Association’s (NZSTA) “One Stop Shop” copyright licensing scheme, to allow them to use copyright protected resources in their schools. You can read more about copyright generally here.

The Copyright Act is being amended

On 1st September 2011 an amendment to the Copyright Act (1994) comes into effect. It’s called the Copyright (infringing file sharing) Amendment Act.

This change in the law repeals the section 92a of the copyright act, and makes changes to part 6 of the act. You can read the act in full on

The Act provides rights owners with a new method of taking enforcement action against people who infringe their copyright through file sharing. This means the upload or download resources that are protected by copyright, specifically via file sharing technologies like peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

The information we are providing here is to aimed at giving schools the relevant background information as well as some guidance on what they can do to prepare for the law changes and steps that they can take, should they receive an infringing file sharing notice.

If you are concerned about the changes to the law or would like to clarify your understanding then please call NetSafe on 0508 NETSAFE or email us at

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