Feeds

Copyright reforms strike a balance in Oz

Fairer for users but tougher on pirates

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The Australian Government has announced it will introduce major changes to the Australian Copyright Act.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the 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."

"Everyday consumers shouldn’t be treated like copyright pirates. Copyright pirates should be not treated like everyday consumers."

Changes to the law include legalising time shifting and format shifting, allowing consumers to:

  • Copy music, newspapers and books from 'personal collections' onto iPods and mp3 players.
  • Record TV and radio programs to 'time shift' once at a later time. This exception will not allow a recording to be used over and over again or be distributed to others.
  • Schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions will be free to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes.
  • New exceptions will be created for people with disabilities to allow access to copyright materials.
  • Copyrighted material will be available for use for parody or satire.

However, the amendments will also increase surveillance, fines and damages for internet piracy (file sharing) including on the spot fines, proceeds of crime remedies, and a change in presumptions in litigation to make it easier to establish copyright piracy – for large scale piracy the content owners may no longer have to establish each breach of copyright law.

They will also remove the one per cent cap on the royalties paid by broadcasters to record companies, allowing record companies to negotiate the terms on which music can be played on the radio (good luck public radio).

The format shifting provisions do not include a general right to make back up copies, any new copy must be in a new format. They do not apply to computer programs. Further more, on the sale of the original item, all other copies must be deleted.

For the time being it will still be illegal to format shift audio visual material. This will be reviewed in two years’ time and a decision made then as to whether the scope can be expanded to digital audio visual materials in a way which complies with international obligations.

In relation to DRM: "The Government is still considering this issue of copy protection."

Research will be undertaken by the Australian Institute of Criminology on the nature and the extent of piracy and counterfeiting in Australia and how best to respond to the problem.

A draft exposure bill will be released soon to enable further consultation with stakeholders.

View the press release here

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Lawyers mobilise angry mob against Apple over alleged 2011 Macbook Pro crapness
We suffered 'random bouts of graphical distortion' - fanbois
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.