May 14th, 2006 at 02:01pm
New copyright laws are set to be passed in Australia which will legelly allow people to copy music to MP3 players, record television and radio programmes, and even dub VHS tapes on to DVD, provided that it is done for personal use.
The changes would also grant more copying powers to educational facilities for non-commercial use.
news.com.au has more on the story.
Home recordings to be made legal
From: The Sunday Telegraph
May 14, 2006
MUSIC fans will be able to legally record their CD collections onto iPods and MP3 players under a raft of proposed changes to Federal Government copyright laws.
Taping TV and radio programs and using copyright material for parody or satire will also be legalised as part of the reforms.
And in a move expected to be welcomed by artists, the Government plans to introduce new enforcement measures to combat piracy.
The changes are part of a major overhaul of copyright laws to be announced today by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock in response to millions of Australians who effectively break the law every time they reproduce copyright material for personal use.
The key changes relate to the recording of copyright material from CDs, audio tapes or vinyl records onto an MP3 player or home computer.
Under existing laws, people copying material risked being sued by the copyright owner.
For someone who had copied their entire CD collection onto an MP3 player, the damages could, theoretically, be in the thousands.
The reforms will also mean people can legally dub old VHS cassettes onto a DVD. However, the Government is still reviewing whether to extend the exemption to recording DVDs onto other devices.
Other exemptions will relate to the use of copyright material for non-commercial purposes by schools, universities and libraries.
The Government wants to crack down on those who are using the material to make a profit or causing significant losses by distributing other people’s property.
The new penalties will include on-the-spot fines, while the Government will also make it easier to establish copyright piracy in legal cases.
The announcement has been made, and seems to be more or less what was said above, however one thing stands out at me, and that is that the statutory cap on licence fees for recordings played on the radio has been removed. I haven’t checked the exact details of this, but if it is as it sounds, then this will mean radio stations may face higher costs. Whether or not advertisers will be willing to cover the excess is a mystery.
From The Age:
Govt eases digital copyright laws
May 14, 2006 – 5:49AM
Australians can legally record TV and radio programs and transfer material from compact discs to mp3 players under new copyright reforms.
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the significant copyright reforms would make laws fairer for consumers and tougher on copyright pirates.
“Copyright is important and should be respected,” Mr Ruddock said.
“That is why the government is updating our laws to keep pace with technology.”
Under the new laws, it will now be legal for people to tape their favourite television or radio programs for viewing by family and friends.
But recordings must not be sold or hired nor played at school or to public audiences.
“These are commonsense amendments which will maintain Australia’s copyright laws as the best in the world for the benefit of our creators and other copyright owners,” Mr Ruddock said.
The reforms also legalise format-shifting of material including music, newspapers and books onto iPods or mp3 players.
Copyright material also will be able to be used for parody or satire.
Mr Ruddock said the laws would provide new enforcement measures to combat copyright piracy including on-the-spot fines, proceeds of crime remedies, a change in presumptions in litigation to make it easier to establish copyright piracy.
“Everyday consumers shouldn’t be treated like copyright pirates,” Mr Ruddock said.
The government also has removed the statutory cap on licence fees paid by radio broadcasters for using sound recordings.
“There is no reason why a statute should determine what the rate should be for music played on the radio,” Mr Ruddock said.
The Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), which represents Australian recording artists and record labels, welcomed the new reforms.
PPCA chief executive Stephen Peach said the government should be congratulated on the decision to allow recording artists fairer returns on their music.
“We have felt strongly for some time that artists and labels were not receiving a fair return from commercial radio,” Mr Peach said.
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