Australian govt announces proposals for copyright update, allows private recording and transfer between media

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

In a move designed to both clarify existing copyright law, and extend existing provisions to digital media users, the Australian Attorney-General has announced a proposed update of copyright law.

The new law, described as "commonsense amendments", will clarify provisions allowing individuals to legally record programs and transfer recordings between media such as CD and MP3 for private use, whilst at the same time ensuring that unauthorised copying and usage remains illegal.

These provisions have broadly existed to date and in previous analogue media, but over the past few years have been eroded by stricter laws and licensing agreements, and by measures intended to prevent piracy, which have made it harder for legitimate users to undertake actions they see as part of reasonable ownership rights, such as backups and private use of purchased materials.

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