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Tuesday, 22 February 2005

AUSTRALIAN COPYRIGHT LAW AMENDMENTS reports that Australia is in the process of reviewing its copyright law and the federal Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock is contemplating a change in the law that would allow time-shifting and space-shifting by permitting private copies of legitimately obtained works to be made in other media for private use.

"There's a reasonable argument for putting forward the opinion that when someone has bought something in one format and has acquired the copyright for it in that particular format then there is a fair use for them to take it to another format. I think it's a strong argument" ,
said the Attorney-General.

However, in accordance with the US-Australia trade agreement, Australia is to implement digital rights management legislation that will make it an offence punishable by up to two years in prison to decrypt copy-protection software. The fear is that the proposed new right to make private copies will be taken away by this DRM protection.

Infringers may face up to two years' prison: but will Australia have the courage of its convictions?

The IPKat notes that the Australians are taking a different attitude to the Norwegians, who intend to make copying on to different media a copyright infringement.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Australian copyright here

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