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6 December, 2006

iPod owners are not criminals.

06ipodfamily.jpgLast week ago, a purposed law would make all iPod owners as criminals. The then purposed law won't allow anyone to copy legally owned music CD to iPod, record TV shows etc for copyright reason. (Detail at this Sydney Morning Herald article.)

Under proposed new copyright laws, loading tracks onto a music player, which have been copied from a CD, would be classified as infringing copyright. This would apply even if that CD was legitimately purchased.

The law is now finalised, and iPod owners can relax. It is legal for people to transfer their CD collections to computers or iPod.

New law makes iPod use legal (Yahoo!7 News, December 5, 06:36 PM)

Thousands of Australians who use iPods and other digital music players will no longer be acting illegally after a major overhaul of copyright laws passed parliament.

The government reviewed copyright laws in response to the rise in digital technology and following the signing of a free trade agreement with the United States.

Copying of compact discs is widespread but technically an offence under the old laws.

Major changes under the new laws make it legal for people to transfer their CD collections to computers or iPods, but toughen penalties for pirates.

Attorney General Philip Ruddock said the reforms would also make it legal for people to record and play back television and radio programs at home, and provide new exceptions for cultural institutions such as schools and libraries to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes.

The Copyright Amendment Bill 2006 would also facilitate the availability of new films, music and software on line, he said, and introduce new enforcement measures such as on-the-spot fines and proceeds of crime remedies to tackle copyright piracy.

"It will legalise format shifting of materials such as music, newspapers, books, meaning that people can put their CD collection onto iPods or mp3 players," Mr Ruddock said.

Labor supported the legislation after the government backed down on several key provisions including one that would have allowed iPod owners who kept spare copies of songs on their personal computer to be prosecuted.

Mr Ruddock said amendments introduced in the Senate, which the House of Representatives agreed to on Tuesday, demonstrated the government had listened to stakeholders and the Senate committee charged with reviewing the legislation.

In particular, the amendments make the ordinary use of digital music players legal and target enforcement measures to acclivities that commercially harm copyright owners.

Labor's legal affairs spokeswoman Nicola Roxon said she was delighted the government had made the significant changes recommended in the senate committee report and endorsed by Labor.

"We were particularly worried about the strict liability provisions and I think the regime that is now in place will be a more sensible one," she said.

"We do have some reservations about the overall approach taken but we agree... the difficulty in copyright is always the balancing act," she said.

Ms Roxon said it was important to make sure creative industries were supported and consumers were protected.

The changes will come into affect after the bill receives royal ascent, which is expected to occur before Christmas.

Posted by Antony on 6 December 2006 6:46 AM | iPod, newstalk

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