iPod Down Under

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Think U.S. copyright law is bad? In Australia, almost every possible use of an iPod is illegal.

Most people know it is illegal to download songs from the internet without paying. But far fewer people know it is illegal to copy music from a CD you have legally bought.

Anyone who has copied songs from a CD onto an iPod or computer hard drive has fallen foul of Australian copyright laws, which critics argue are failing to keep pace with technological change. Copying music for personal use is generally OK in the US and Europe. But not in Australia.

Australian users are not allowed to use the U.S. version of iTunes to pay for and download songs, and there is no local Australian version as of yet. So what does that leave? Well, if you've got your own band, you can make an mp3 of that music… but that's about it. (Thanks to Boing Boing for the link.)

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  1. Correct me if I’m wrong – isn’t Kazaa based, at least partly, in Australia? And the RIAA hasn’t been able to touch them there? Perhaps Australia’s laws are more than just authoritarian – they’re bipolar.

  2. It’s a real shame noone seems to call the RIAA and by extension reporters on the rather unfounded idea that downloading music is illegal. The famous RIAA law suits aren’t even about this. They are all about people who were distributing music.

    It just happens that many sources of music online require you (or encourage you through the use of defaults) to commit the illegal act of distribution in order to get download access.

    The simple truth is that there are not laws against downloading music–all the rhetoric about theft to the contrary.

  3. What?! That’s all we get from the download thieves? Has this issue lost it’s legs?

  4. An interesting read! I’ll consider what you said over my christmas holidays. I want Cuba Insight Compact Guide (Insight Compact Guides) for Christmas!

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