ARIA welcomes government action on music piracy

The Australian recording industry today welcomed significant new measures proposed by the Federal Government to assist in the ongoing fight against music piracy including plans to give the courts greater powers for enforcement.

The Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) CEO, Mr Stephen Peach said, “These measures will be an important step in helping to protect the livelihoods of all those who work to make a living out of making music. It sends a strong message that downloading music from pirate sites and trading in counterfeit CDs is against the law.”

The Government has also announced a legislative exemption to allow people to make a copy of a sound recording in certain limited circumstances onto iPods and other MP3 players.

Mr Peach said, “We are pleased that the Government has taken into account the recording industry’s concerns by narrowly defining the scope of this proposed format shifting exemption. While there is more detail to come, the Government has made it clear that making copies of sound recordings to pass on to others continues to be a breach of copyright law.

“The Australian recording industry has no issue with people making a copy of a sound recording for their own personal use from a CD they have already purchased.

“We have regarded legislative change as unnecessary. No-one has ever faced legal action for making a personal copy of their own legitimately purchased CD.

“The recording industry remains concerned however that this legislative amendment may create consumer misunderstanding of what will be ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ copying.

“It is critical to underline the fact that none of the proposed amendments will have the effect of legitimising either copying of CDs for distribution beyond the owner of the CD or illegal internet downloading, whether that is for personal use or not,” Mr Peach said.

The recording industry strongly supports legal online music services such as iTunes and BigPond Music, which already allow users to make a certain number of copies of recordings they purchase.

ARIA looks forward to working constructively with the Government on this important issue.

Contact: Stephen Peach ARIA CEO: 02 8569 1100 Felicity Moffatt: 0418 677701

14 May 2006

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