“Gift giving season is almost here, and it’s very likely that this festive season you or someone you know will receive an iPod. But be wary – by giving someone an iPod this Xmas you may also be giving them a whole lot of legal trouble,” Alex Malik writes for Crikey. “Apple’s iPod has already been proclaimed by the music industry as its saviour. Yet ironically, the iPod does not come with any music pre-loaded onto its system. When initially purchased an iPod contains no more music than an old-fashioned Walkman containing a blank cassette. So, where can you get music to populate an iPod? There are only two effective choices. Either you obtain your music from Apple’s iTunes service, or you potentially breach the copyright of Apple and the record companies by obtaining the music from elsewhere.”
“Despite a long running government inquiry, you still can’t legally rip CDs you have purchased onto your computer, and convert them into iPod compatible files. You can’t even buy digital music files from a non-Apple related provider and play them on your iPod without breaching the copyright attached to Apple’s proprietary system. Unless of course you purchase the digital music from the non-Apple related provider, burn it onto CD, lose a generation of sound quality and then rip it. So, effectively you have to obtain your music from Apple’s iTunes or you risk being branded a lawbreaker,” Malik writes. “Technology was supposed to make music more freely available to the wider community. Instead we have Australia’s most popular piece of hardware being supported by a single, limited service. Just when did the Australian public agree to this new monopoly?”
Full article here.
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Just when did the Australian public agree to this situation? That would be when they voted in the lawmakers who effectively crafted the Australian Copyright Act which still, in 2005, fails to address this issue adequately according to Malik. We’re not lawyers, so we’re not entirely sure that it’s even illegal to rip CDs in Australia. If it is illegal to rip CDs, Apple didn’t write the Australian Copyright Act nor do they write amendments to the Act. Don’t blame Apple for an outdated Australian law that prohibits CD owners from using the music contained on such discs on their iPods.
The Australian Copyright Tribunal consists of a President and any number of Deputy Presidents and other members appointed by the Governor-General. The Tribunal presently consists of a President, a Deputy President and three members.
Level 16, Law Courts Building
Sydney NSW 2000.
Tel: (02) 9230 8567 (9am-4pm)
Fax: (02) 9230 8535
The Governor-General: firstname.lastname@example.org
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