Australians Can Legally Watch Tapes Only Once

Did you think American copyright laws were draconian? Thank blazes you didn’t spill forth from the same mucousy marsupial pouch as Yahoo Serious into a lifetime of Australian citizenship.

Australians have never been able to record television shows on their VCRs; it’s always been flat-out illegal. Fair enough — one of those delusional little laws that is on the books but everyone from politicians to citizens feel free to circumvent at their leisure. But Australian lawmakers apparently realized that expecting people not to record media on their legal-to-own recording devices was a bit absurd, so they loosened up the law.

So what copying right do Australians have now? They can now legally record a television show or radio program, but they are obliged by law to destroy the copy after one use. Want to have a keepsake of that time your cute little daughter filmed on the local news sitting on Santa’s lap? Go to hell, Aussie!

Australians can only watch recordings once. Once, mind!


Edit Your Comment

  1. Looks like somebody’s been watching too much Mission Impossible…

  2. mjs says:

    They’re only *proposed* changes (so far): “The Government is reforming the Copyright Act. The following is a guide only on how the new reforms are intended to apply. The final form of these changes will depend on the specific amendments approved by the Parliament.”

  3. wilkie says:

    ur right, none of us DO follow that law lol, but the weird thing is, very rarely is it brought up in every day life. we do not get warnings on tv or anything, most of us dont even know there is such a law prohibiting it. so technically i agree, australia is stuck in the stone ages when it comes to copyright law, but it isnt shoved down our throats or governed as heavily as in the US

  4. Nick says:

    Same deal in NZ – it’s been that way for a long time. The theory is that it’s ‘time shifting’, not copying.

    Of course, it’s extensively ignored.