The Courier-Mail reports that Australia is to amend its copyright legislation, introducing a number of new fair-use provisions. In particular, the Federal Government will make “time-shifting” legal, so that for the first time, Australian citizens will legally be able to video television programmes to watch at a time which is more convenient. Also, the practice of converting CDs to MP3 format in a way that will enable them to be played on an iPod will be legalised. However, it is not yet clear whether a levy will be placed on the sale of blank CDs and MP3 players. A spokesman for the Australian Attorney-General has said: “We should have copyright laws that are more targeted at the real problem…We should not treat everyday Australians who want to use technology to enjoy copyright material they have obtained legally as infringers where this does not cause harm to our copyright industries."
He added that the new defences recognise "everyday forms of private copying that do not harm copyright owners".
The IPKat notes that the UK has recognised time-shifting for many years, but not format-shifting.