Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Making iPod's Legal

"While thousands of people are merrily copying their CD collections to their iPods, New Zealand copyright law makes that illegal. However, the record industry turns a blind eye to the practice and a law change this year is expected to legalise it."
Freedom of expression - NZ Herald 20050223

Under the current Copyright Act (1994) it is actually illegal to sample your personal CD collection and transfer the songs that you have purchased and store them on your iPod.

This means that probably everyone wearing those all-to-common white ear-buds these days is most likely breaking the law. Is it a silly law? Yes, and luckily the MED agrees that the Copyright Act needs to be updated to reflect current realities.

Recognition of the need to legalise format-shifting has bubbled to the surface, and they appear to have taken a much more pragmatic approach than some countries such as the US - with their Digital Millenium Copyright Act. I fear however that should New Zealand continue work towards a free trade agreement with the United States, that we will have the more draconian US measures forced upon us as part of the agreement. Just like the Australians did.


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