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Old 11-23-2006, 09:07 AM   #1
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Proposed Australian Copyright Law Blasted as Too Harsh

Sorry if this has been posted, I did have a bit of a ganda, but didnt see it.

SYDNEY, Australia — Critics of a copyright proposal in Australia are warning that serious penalties could result from the use of iPod music players and video-sharing sites like YouTube, even if all you're doing is showing yourself singing along to your favorite song.

Electronic Frontiers Australia, a free-speech advocacy group, said the proposal vastly extends the scope of items considered used for copyright theft.

Instead of being limited to commercial machines like printing presses, the group said, the proposal would cover personal devices like video players, music players and home computers.

Another section "would arguably make distribution of copyright material via the Internet a criminal offense, even where the person responsible had not intended such distribution to occur," the group said.

The copyright proposal has been introduced in Parliament. Politicians and experts are debating it before a final version is put to a vote, expected next year next year.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has not responded directly to the claims, but has said the provisions are intended to catch and punish major music and movie pirates, not personal users.

The proposals would make it an indictable offense — one that must go before the justice system — for someone to possess a device with the intention of using it to infringe copyright.

Previously, such infringements have generally been dealt with by paying damages to the copyright holder, without the involvement of the courts.

Brian Fitzgerald, the head of Queensland University's law school, said the changes "have the potential to make everyday Australians in homes and businesses across the country into criminals on a scale that we have not witnessed before."

The proposal could potentially cover "a 14-year-old girl videoing herself lip-synching to her favorite pop tune and uploading this to a video sharing Web site like YouTube," Fitzgerald wrote in an Oct. 26 article posted on the Web site of Online Opinion.

I did actually directly copy we not going to be able to Anything anymore?....all just because of bunch of do-gooders. sheesh.

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Old 11-23-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
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Just what affect will this have on my Ipod? Are they going to invest 13 billion dollars in hiring people to search everybody's Ipod and see if it possesses any copyrighted material by taking the potential criminal home and seeing if he possesses the original copy? Or If I have an embarrassing video on my Ipod of me getting wasted one night and singing 'Pour some sugar on me?'

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Old 11-23-2006, 09:33 AM   #3
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This is a joke. If this happened in the UK the youth would riot hard.
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:27 PM   #4
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All this is related to the US/Australia FTA but interestingly enough the law is already technically harsh on such matters.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:09 PM   #5
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Originally posted by AussieU2fanman
Just what affect will this have on my Ipod? Are they going to invest 13 billion dollars in hiring people to search everybody's Ipod and see if it possesses any copyrighted material by taking the potential criminal home and seeing if he possesses the original copy? Or If I have an embarrassing video on my Ipod of me getting wasted one night and singing 'Pour some sugar on me?'
I thought that technically you weren't even allowed to burn "car" copies or rip discs to your computer or ipod, even if you own the disc.

This legislation seems ill-advised (at best) to me.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:17 PM   #6
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This is way too draconian. There's no way they can enforce it.
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Old 11-23-2006, 04:30 PM   #7
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This reminds me of the EU copyright debacle awhile back. The proposed resolution was extreme but it didn't even make it past the initial meetings in the relevant E.P. comities before it was picked apart. We ended up with a fairly strict EU policy but still one that made a certain degree of sense (still ridiculously rigid IMO). Maybe that’ll happen in this case as well. It seems to be the trend that very strict bills are proposed and then loosened just enough to actually work in the real world.
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:22 PM   #8
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Relax, guys. Philip Ruddock has said it's ok!

No, really. For things like iPods, how can anyone tell where the file came from? If you buy Telstra credit, or RipIt vouchers, for example, they've got no way of knowing.

As for YouTube and so forth, this is what Australia voted for - we got the government we asked for.
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Old 11-23-2006, 06:54 PM   #9
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I've read it also wouldn't be allowed to sing Happy Birthday in public anymore because there are rights on it that last until 2030. And if a third person hears you singing Happy Birthday you are breaking law.

Also, especially sad for us, it would become a serious crime to tape concerts. And I don't think you can ask people to tapea show if this could result in a prison sentence.
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Old 11-23-2006, 10:57 PM   #10
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However the challenges in enforcing it are ridiculous.

Let them have their little law - no judge is going to convict you for 99% of teh crap in the proposed bill.
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Old 11-24-2006, 12:56 AM   #11
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It's a bad law because for the average person who just copies something to play in the car, or on their ipod or whatever, they have no intention of taking you to jail. They have no intention of enforcing it.

That makes it a bad law, because when you make the law an ass, you hurt the rule of law. Why have it on the books in such a form?

Personally, I think that concerns about copyright infringement should be restricted to the area where they really count: someone taking someone else's work and making an unjust living off it (like say outright stealing work and claiming it as one's own, or making money selling illegal copies of stuff).

And things like:
-making a copy of a CD you own, copying some music you own to an Ipod or suchlike
-making a cd or tape for a friend to share some music you're digging

should be quite outside the concern of the law.

A lot of this stuff that is coming out these days does rather make a mockery of the idea of 'ownership'.

Again, unnecessarily intrusive, and if as I strongly suspect it will never be used to hunt down millions of harmless music listeners en masse, also a great way to make the law a sick joke.

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