ipods and taping the footy to become legal

Transferring music ruled legal - Technology - TRANSFERRING music from CDS onto iPods and other MP3 players will no longer be illegal after federal cabinet agreed to make sweeping changes to copyright laws. ... The new laws will also make it legal for people to tape television and radio programs for playback later, a practice currently prohibited although millions of people regularly do it. ... Schools, universities, libraries and other cultural institutions will, in the future, be free to use copyright material for non-commercial purposes.

Hoo-bloody-ray! For a long time I actually didn't think we'd see the day when this happened.

This bit is a little confusing though: Police will be able to issue on-the-spot fines and access and recover profits made by copyright pirates. Courts will be given powers to award larger damages payouts against internet pirates. Civil infringement proceedings will apply to copyright pirates who make electronic reproductions or copies of copyright material. At what level are they talking about? Is the intention to target organised, large scale piracy outfits; or are they going after twelve-year-olds sharing music, like the RIAA in the US?

Still, it's a step forward. It was ridiculous for taping TV to be illegal; and it never made sense to consumers that they couldn't copy music from their CDs to their MP3 players. Record companies liked the idea of charging people twice, but humans didn't really think that way ;) In addition, freeing things up for educational use will be a big relief for libraries. A huge amount of resources are sucked away from having to track usage under the current system. This way maybe people can concentrate on the subject matter and maybe even learn something.

Hurrah for the government actually doing something good...! Although I suspect there are a few points in the changes which are vulnerable to being Used For Evil, that seems par for the course.