“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.”

Copyright law, originally created to encourage the creative arts, has now run completely amuck. Its been taken over by large corporate interests, applied directly inapposite to the original purpose.

And since I do not practice law any longer, I can freely say what practicing lawyers cannot: The Supreme Court blew it. Was it through sheer incompetance? An incorrect reading of the original intent of the framers? Are they simply to old to understand new technology?

I don’t know, but they have made a hash of what should be a relatively simple application. They made something moderately complex even more so, their basic interpretations are simply unfounded, and in general, we will be feeling the impact of their incompetance globally for decades.

Oh, and Australia was just strongarmed into changing their copyright law to suit the U.S.

That’s just dandy . . .

Click at your own risk
Julian Lee
The Sydney Morning Herald, August 3, 2004 (annoying registration required)


Category: Music

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2 Responses to “Australia makes iPod use illegal”

  1. Tom DC/VA says:

    Good article on Lessig’s book on the copyright extension case here:


  2. Trevor Cook says:

    No-one in Australia understands our copyright laws most of our laws are like that designed to diminish consumer rights, I uploaded my CD collection onto my iPOD – so stuff them!