From the Annals of Laws Certain to be Followed

May 15th, 2006

The Australian Government Attorneys General’s Department has just announced (long overdue) changes to copyright law with respect to making personal copies of television shows and CDs. Most of it seems fairly sensible, albeit long overdue. But one aspect of it strikes me as… somewhat optimistic about the willingness of Australians to comply:

The first private use exception will allow consumers to record most television and radio programs to view or listen to once at a later time (known as ‘time-shifting’). This exception will not allow a recording to be used over and over again or to be distributed by others. (Emphasis added).

So you can tape a TV show, but you can only watch it once. Sadly, the current press release does not address the important question of whether or not you’re allowed to rewind the tape to watch a bit again if someone phones you during the program. Or whether you’re allowed to fast forward the ads or not.

(And I note that the genius types at Slashdot failed to pick up on this aspect entirely…)

(And this is probably a good moment to point towards the Disclaimer over on the right).