I was born in a small village in the Cotswolds in England. My family moved to NZ before I started school and I have lived in Auckland for most of our time here, other than for a short period spent in Horowhenua. I have two gorgeous daughters – one studying a B Com in Valuation and Property Management at Lincoln University and the other doing arts at Mt Albert Grammar School. We all love to bake and cook and spend a lot of fun time together in the kitchen.
After a few weeks as CEO of Copyright Licensing Ltd (CLL) I can honestly say that writing, reading and pleasure in the written word is alive and well in New Zealand! I have come to CLL from roles in sport and education. In terms of the passion people bring to their work, the sport and creative sectors have a lot in common. As a small country New Zealand boxes well above its weight in both sport and our ability to cultivate creativity. I look forward to the day when we celebrate our writers in the same way that we celebrate our sportsmen and sportswomen.
The CLL Board has been actively crystal-ball gazing to see what the future holds in the digital publishing space. The challenge in being the first to enter a new business arena is to try to answer all probable questions and address the likely issues while having nothing to compare or critique your ideas against. I can only commend the Board and Martin Taylor of Digital Strategies for their vision and I look forward to working with them as we develop the vision into reality. From CLL’s perspective, the opportunity to be able to invest in a platform for writers and publishers that enables them to enter into the unknown world of e-books and e-publishing in partnership with an established organisation like CLL is an exciting one.
CLL’s current historical core business has been to protect the creativity of New Zealanders, whilst providing licences allowing users to legally copy from a growing inventory of publications. We will continue to do this, but will also look for more and better ways to advocate for content providers and rights holders. We could try to do this ourselves, however our involvement with the Copyright Council provides access to a wider group of organisations and their stakeholders and the traction we are seeking to achieve will be greater through the collective than on our own.
It seems to me, as someone new to the creative sector, that there’s not enough positive media about the talented writers we have in this country. In 2010, CLL will have involvement in three different awards – the CLL Writers Awards for non-fiction, the CLL Educational Publishing Awards (in association with PANZ) and the Research Grants (in association NZSA and the Stout Research Centre). We will look to maximise media coverage for both the recipients of these awards and the wider sector.
Copyright as a topic is not sexy. It conjures up images of court cases taken for breaches and a draconian watchdog imposing license fees for supposed little return to the licensee. We need to turn this around – to create a better understanding in the general population on what copyright is and does and the value that the licensing system brings to the New Zealand economy and to individuals.
The next few years are going to be exciting times for CLL, authors and publishers. I can’t wait!