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Australian copyright laws to be overhauled in 2006

Wednesday, December 28, 2005 The Australian Federal Government has indicated that it will overhaul copyright law in 2006. The changes will legalise the recording of television shows and the right to transfer CDs to portable music devices.

The reforms, instigated by Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock aim to add "fair use" clauses for personal use.

A spokeswoman for Mr Ruddock said the Government was close to finalising draft laws which would allow people to copy music from CDs legitimately to their own portable music devices and tape television to watch later.

At present both "time shifting" (recording a television show to watch later) and "format shifting" (copying a legally owned CD to another format such as MP3 for play on a portable device) are illegal in Australia. While the Australian Federal Police do not pursue offenders, it still must act upon every complaint.

It is unknown whether the new laws will force a levy on blank CDs and portable music devices as they did when the laws were introduced in Canada.

Sources