Australia's new copyright bill looks like it could soon be causing sleepless nights for anyone that owns an iPod or other digital audio player if its enacted in its current form, with strict limitations that could seemingly affect individuals whether they know they're infringing on copyright or not. Under the harshest penalty, The Sydney Morning Herald Reports
, an individual can face up to five years in jail and a fine of AUD$65,000 if he/she possesses "a device, intending it to be used for making an infringing copy of a work or other subject-matter." What's more, under "strict liability provisions", you can be hit with a $6,600 fine or ticketed by police on the spot to the tune of $1320 simply for possessing infringing material, even if you didn't know you were violating copyright. While there were recently exceptions made
to permit CD ripping, even those are apparently too limiting to be workable, according to Intellectual Property Research Institute associate director Kim Weatherall, permitting just one "main copy" of a CD -- meaning that you couldn't have a copy on both your iPod and computer. In related news, none other than Bill O'Reilly recently came out against the iPod, and he's got more problems with it than copyright infringement. On his radio show last week, O'Reilly said that he doesn't own an iPod and would never "wear" one, adding that (also referring to his earlier comments the PS3) "if this is your primary focus in life - the machines... it's going to have a staggeringly negative effect, all of this, for America." Some Americans
, it would seem, disagree.Read
- The Sydney Morning Herald
, "The $65,000 question: do you own an iPod?"Read
- Think Progress
, "O'Reilly: iPods Are Endangering America"