Australian Government to allow legal copying of consumer’s own collections of music whilst in the UK NCC lobbies for same right

June 2006

Internet, record labels

Music fans will be able to legally record their CD collections onto iPods and MP3 players under a raft of proposed changes to Australian Federal Laws. Taping TV and radio programs and using copyright material for parody or satire will also be legalised as part of the reforms. The Australian Government plans to introduce new enforcement measures to combat piracy. The changes are part of a major overhaul of copyright laws announced 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. The changes include: The legalisation of ‘time-shifting’ of TV and radio broadcasts; The legalisation of ‘format shifting’ e.g. music on CDs to MP3 players. This exemption isn’t limited to musical works, and would cover books and magazines too; New defences allowing schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes; Provisions to allow the disabled access to copyright materials; A new parody/satire defence; New enforcement measures to combat piracy. In the UK research has shown that More than half of British consumers are infringing copyright law by copying CDs onto other players they own. The research, i n an online poll of 2,135 UK adults conducted by YouGov, showed that 55% of the group said they copied their own CDs onto computers, iPods, MP3 players and other equipment. Three in five of those questioned – 59% – thought it was legal to do so. The National Consumer Council (NCC) said their findings showed the law is out of step with modern life and discriminated against consumers. “We need to shake up the copyright law to incorporate the right to copy for private use,” said the NCC’s Jill Johnstone. Currently, it is technically illegal for anyone to copy a CD onto their computer or other format or to burn a legally downloaded track from iTunes for an iPod onto a CD or copy a CD onto a cassette tape for use in a car stereo. Earlier in the month the Telegraph newspaper had reported that the BPI, body that represents British record companies, has said that it believes copyright on CDs and records should be changed to allow consumers to copy music they have legally acquired if this is for personal use. The Telegraph said that the suggestion was reportedly in the BPI’s submission to Andrew Gowers who is chairing a review of UK intellectual property law but the BPI subsequently qualified this saying that they were only exploring the issue. The NCC is also opposing the BPI’s campaign to extend the term in copyright protection for sound recordings beyond the current length of 50 years. “The current campaign to extend copyright terms for sound recordings beyond 50 years has no justification” said Ms Johnson and she added that “Evidence shows music companies generally make returns on material in a matter of years, not decades. “Current terms already provide excessive protection of intellectual property rights at a cost to consumers.”,20281,19130639-5001028,00.html

No Comments

Comments are closed.