Laws in Australia?

Hey,
I was wondering what the laws are in Australia re: Downloading, P2P, Torrents etc? Have many people been prosecuted in Australia? I know that some have recieved emails from their ISP’s and also the companys which say you have downloaded stuff illegally.
I know that mod chips are legal in Australia where they are not in other parts of the world. I also know that in Australia if you have an ipod with music the it is pirated as there is no legal way to have music on apples ipod in Australia as apple have not set it up yet.
So as we are a bit different with our laws I was wondering what our other laws in this area are like?
Thx

Laws in Oz are pretty simple really.

For all practical purposes,all downloading or copying of copyright audio or video without the permission of the copyright holder is illegal.

Makes no difference whether it is a digital or anolog copy either. Also makes no difference whether you own a licensed original either.

The only meaningful exception is that you are permitted to make a time-shifted recording of a free to air television broadcast (i.e. so that you can watch the program later at a more convenient time).

So far as computer programs are concerned, you are permitted to copy the program for back-up purposes so long as you do not modify the program in making the back-up copy and so long as the “original” copied is not itself an infringing copy (i.e. you can’t download a copy even if you own a licensed original because whoever uploaded it did not have the copyright holder’s permission to distribute the copy).

So how is making a time shifted recording of a free to air television broadcast any different to downloading that same episode if you don’t have a VCR?

That’s what I don’t get :frowning:

Because Oz law and that of most other countries permits time shifted recordings of free to air broadcasts as a privilege rather than as a right.

The basic law of copyright everywhere is that you can’t copy anything that is copyright without the permission of the copyright holder. It should but is rarely understood that any legislative exception to that principle is not really a right but a privilege as it runs counter to the basic rule.

In the case of free to air broadcasts, the copyright holder has permitted the public broadcast and the world’s legislative bodies (and courts) have recognised the reality that many people, for various reasons, may not be able to watch/listen to the broadcast at the time that it occurs.

Copying the broadcast for personal use to watch/listen to later at a more convenient time is doing no more than allowing the “consumer” to see/hear the copyright material that the copyright holder has permitted to be broadcast in that manner.

The same cannot be said of a downloaded episode. The copyright holder has certainly not given any permission for the copyright material to be distributed in that manner and it is an obvious infringement of its rights.

[Note: The permission to make a time-shifted recording does not include any right/permission to distribute that recording.]

The basic law of copyright everywhere is that you can’t copy anything that is copyright without the permission of the copyright holder. It should but is rarely understood that any legislative exception to that principle is not really a right but a privilege as it runs counter to the basic rule.

If that is the case phil why in the case of Sony loosing its’ case to get mod chips banned in Australia did the judge say this:

Federal Court of Australia Judge Ronald Sackville found that the chips do not violate Australian laws forbidding circumvention of “technological protection measures.” Sackville said the technology mod chips disable doesn’t constitute a “technology protection measure” under the law because it also prevents legal activity, including the playback of imported games and personal backup copies of games.

After all don’t forget copying, or even p-2-p for that matter, is not audio or video, it is games also. Though I am focusing on the back up part here, therefore surely if it is legal to make personal use back ups of games it is also legal to make personal back ups of music and video. If not ten it does not make sense.

(Currently asking for source from the poster who posted this story on an ed2k forum.)

> If that is the case phil why in the case of Sony loosing its’ case to get mod chips banned in Australia

Because a playstation game is a computer program and because, as I indicated in my first post in this thread, it’s ok to make a back-up copy of a computer program (the Oz Copyright Act provides a specific exception to the general rule that allows it).

> therefore surely if it is legal to make personal use back ups of games it is also legal to make personal back ups of music and video. If not then it does not make sense.

No it isn’t legal downunder to make personal back-ups of music and audio. Games are computer programs and fall within the specific exception referred to above. There is no similar exception for either music or video. There is a rational justification for that policy, though not one that I agree with, but, in any case, who ever said that the law had to make sense. :wink:

Got you, but atleast it is one more than we have in the UK we aren’t legally allowed to make any back ups at all, but it is tolerated as it would be impossible to enforce. Why they don’t ust change the law to allow it I don’t know but as you said the law sometimes makes no sense.

Well atleast you are allowed mod chips we can’t get them in England or Wales as it is illegal to sell them.

Okay make that 2 more than we are allowed.

Then why do companies like SONY add content to thier audio cd’s to allow importing of audio tracks to your pc and the back up of the disc? That statement would also make all mp3 players illegal in oz.

Yes, isn’t the inconsistent behaviour of companies like Sony wonderful.

On the one hand, they sell mp3 players downunder when there really isn’t any legal way to get any musical content onto them, whilst on the other hand screaming blue murder about the sale of mod chips that do, in fact, have a lawful use (i.e. the ability to play a lawfully acquired NTSC format game).

Whilst, of course, I can’t answer for their corporate decision-making, I suspect that the answer is that Sony makes good profits out of selling mp3 players whilst it loses money from other people selling mod-chips. :wink: :bigsmile:

didn’t iTunes recently add shops to oz as well? I know there’s destra music in oz that allows you too download and burn the songs you DL to cd and add them too an mp3 player play list. I really think the laws in oz are redundant as they are way behind the times and just haven’t caught up yet

i d/l from yahoo.com music i can get unlimited songs on my computer for 5 a month but i have to buy the individual songs still for 79 cents each if i want to burn then i tried goin around n burnin them on windows media player but it says theres a protection… does anyone kno how to remove this protection from these .mp3 files???

The law in Australia is fairly straight forward and applies online in much the same way as offline. If without permission you make or authorise someone to make a copy of something that is not yours you are breaching copyright. Downloading a file over the Internet qualifies as making a copy on the desktop and uploading information to a Web server is also deemed to be making a copy. Generally the law that applies is the one in force in the place the copy is made.
I wonder what would happen if, instead of downloading a file which then becomes a “copy” of the source file, one actually move the file from the source to their desktop.
As There is no law governing the actual process of downloading and, according to the above definition, the downloader would not be guilty of copying anything.