Sunday, November 05, 2006

teaching respect for the law

Teacher: You can't copy the music from that CD that you bought because it would be breaking copyright law
Student: But I bought the CD it's my property, I can do what I want with it
Teacher: No you can't, it is your property but it's not legal to make another copy of your property because that would deprive the company the privilege of selling that new copy to a new customer
Student: But I just want to copy it for my own use. And, at any rate what sort of weirdo would I be if I don't share my music with my friends? (thinks to self: this teacher is weird)
Teacher: I realise that but the law doesn't take that into account
Student: But that's stupid
Teacher: Part of my job is to teach respect for the law. At any rate it's out of my hands, the network manager has refused to copy the music file that you bought. btw you can be fined $1000 for copying that track that you bought.
Student: But the law is stupid
Teacher: ?????????

So this is how we teach copyright law and respect for the law in school?

Thanks to Donna Benjamin of Creative Contingencies for providing the following information about the new copyright legislation currently before parliament:
New Copyright Legislation is currently before Parliament.

Browsing through the current submissions to the legal and constitutional committee is an interesting exercise that shows the conflicting interests at work in copyright legislation.

Note there are submissions from Google, and the Copyright Advisory Group to the Schools Resourcing Taskforce of the MCEETYA, ARIA, and the Musicians Union of Australia.

Interestingly - a couple of film and video clubs have highlighted the issue raised above - hobbiest film makers would like to be able to include audio tracks from CDs they own, but there is currently no way for them to do so, and so they submit they would like to be able to do this.

Copying a CD in Australia is an act of Copyright Infringement. But it is not currently a criminal act.

Once the legislation is passed, copyright infringements will be deemed criminal, and for the first time, and as the first place in the world we will have enforcement provisions that carry on the spot fines of $1000 per infringement.

However the new legislation allows some level of format shifting exceptions which will legitimise copying a CD for use on an iPod for private and domestic use. There is some concern that this will not expand to cover student use at school, as that is neither private nor domestic.


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