“Hobbit Bill” Contains Videogame Language

October 29, 2010 -

New Zealand’s “Hobbit Bill,” legislation designed to keep production of two Warner Bros. films based on  The Hobbit in the country, also has language pertaining to videogame makers.

Amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 states that workers involved with film production work “will be independent contractors rather than employees, unless they choose to be employees by entering into an agreement that provides that they are employees.”

The legislation came about, according to the New York Times, in response to a small actors’ union, the New Zealand Actors Equity, demanding that “producers bargain collectively with actors on the films.”

Australia’s ABC stated that the legislation would impede or prevent unionization of the film industry in New Zealand.

ABC also mentioned that the bill featured language related to the videogame industry, and indeed, language in the amendment (PDF) states that “Film production work includes production work for video games,” while another definition sates emphatically “Film production means the production of a film or video game.”

Update: New Zealand's LawFuel website offered this take on the Bill:

Most of those workers will have or be offered agreements which specify that they are employees. If not, there is potential for some (unintended and probably limited) unfairness.

We hope that the rapid passage of specific legislation for a particular industry (and really for a particular business project, although it will live on beyond that) will be an extremely rare occurrence. Businesses and employers in the film industry should recognise that this law gives them a real advantage, and they need to use that advantage responsibly.


Comments

Re: “Hobbit Bill” Contains Videogame Language

Lul wut? =0_o=


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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