For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Monday, 15 May 2006

COPYRIGHT: HOME AND AWAY


Home - duration for sound recordings

The IPKat draws his readers’ attention to a letter in Tuesday’s times comparing the copyright term for sound recordings with the much shorter term given to typographical arrangements in published editions and arguing that if one presented a business plan to a bank which stated that the investment would only be recouped after 50 years, one would be firmly shown the door.

The IPKat reckons that we just have to live with the fact that the relationship between copyright term and the amount of time that is needed to recoup investment in creative or entrepreneurial works will always be an imprecise science.


Away - major Australian copyright reforms

The Australian Attorney-General has announced a number of changes to Australian copyright law. The highlights are:

* The legalisation of ‘time-shifting’ of TV and radio broadcasts
*The legalisation of ‘format shifting’ e.g. music on CDs to MP3 players. This exemption isn’t limited to musical works, and would cover books and magazines too.
*New defences allowing schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes
*Provisions to allow the disabled access to copyright materials
*A new parody/satire defence
*New enforcement measures to combat piracy.

The IPKat is partially jealous. It’s high time we in the UK had a format-shifting defence, not to mention a (narrowly drafted) parody defence. However, he fears that the Australian reforms haven’t been fully thought through. For example, the ‘time shifting’ defence only allows the user to view the time-shifted recording once, after which he is meant to destroy the recording. How, the IPKat asks, will enforcement officials be able to tell whether or not the recording has been viewed? Likewise, the format and time shifting defences are said to not give users the right to lend the copies to their close family and friends (although friends will be allowed to watch the programmes/listen to the music etc with the recorder). If the laws are restricted as strictly as they are drafted, this would mean the heavy involvement of enforcement officials in the lives of ordinary consumers making essentially private use of copyright works. This seems at odds with the stated aim that

‘Everyday consumers shouldn’t be treated like copyright pirates. Copyright pirates should be not treated like everyday consumers.’

1 comment:

Luke Ueda-Sarson said...

The announcement seems keen to increase public awareness and education
about
piracy; but I reckon they will have a uphill struggle explaining to
people
the "wisdom" of why they will be allowed to, for example, take a
commercial
music CD they have purchased that has been recorded in one format and
back
it up into another format, but are not allowed to make a back-up in the
original format.

I can see no absolutely no sense in allowing the copying of an av.
format
video file if the copy is saved as a wmv. format file but not as an av.
file. Especially as one could then presumably convert it back to an av.
file
at some later date, perhaps years later...

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