Germany Says Nein To Private Copying

from the who-would-want-to-do-that? dept

A bunch of folks have submitted the news that Germany’s upper house of parliament has approved a new copyright law that forbids any kind of private copying of music or movies. There aren’t many details in the Variety article about why such a strict law would get approval, though it does note that the politicians ignored widespread criticism against the law. Obviously, this is the type of law that some large entertainment companies would push for, though if it really does become the law, they’ll find that it harms them a lot more than it helps them. That’s because forbidding private copying will make music, movies and TV shows a lot less valuable to purchasers. If you can’t rip a CD to mp3 format to place on your iPod, that CD is suddenly a lot less valuable. It’s amazing that such a law would pass, but the end result is going to be criminalizing a large segment of the population while making entertainment products a lot less valuable. It’s hard to see how that’s beneficial to anyone. Update: In the comments there’s a good clarification, that suggests the Variety report isn’t entirely accurate (or at least leaves out some of the details). This may just forbid circumvention of copy-protected material — and then forbid any additional copies of content that was originally copy protected. Thus, it might not forbid copying a CD or DVD that has no copy protection. Still, given how many people still make private copies of copy-protected music in order to listen to it on a different device for convenience, this would still criminalize a lot of activities — though, perhaps not as many as the original report suggested.

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Comments on “Germany Says Nein To Private Copying”

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Shohat says:

It's the future

While I am totally against it, I sincerely believe that in the future, all digital media will be with a strict and secure DRM that will dictate the exact type of use for that media.
We are currently in the “golden age” of media, artists are earning hundreds of times more than ever, while free file sharing and digital music stores co-exist. The equilibrium cannot exist forever, and since “free” cannot be the outcome of this struggle, full content control is the only eventual option.

Shohat says:

Re: Re: It's the future

Icepick314, DRM technology is yonger than a decade, and it’s perfectly normal to have it cracked. Just to remind you, UNIX Security used to be an oxymoron, there were NO secure *nix boxes. The industry has great interest in developing a secure DRM standard, so it is inevitable.

But considering the today’s awkward pace of technological development, I don’t think that mature,secure, standard forms of per-media DRM will widely availble in the next five years.

Michael Whitetail says:

Re: Re: Re:2 It's the future

Mayhap it is *you* who should “Check the facts, than post bullshit.”

Its been made very clear in General Relativity that nothing may “accelerate” to the speed of light. Not much of anything is mentioned of things already traveling faster than light.

The sound theories of tachyons and gravitons, while not yet proven fact, postulate many forms of energy/particle traveling even multiples of the speed of light.

LesterRay says:

Re: What is next ?

I thought that your comments out of all that have been made were the most well thought out. May I only add to them? Sony is one of the largest music rights holders in the world and their products cover a wide territory, hmmmm, money speaks in all languages. Should these items be forbidden look at the lost income…Place the items in “POLICE/POLICING STATIONS” and one is allowed only to copy legal content. POLICING? Eventually if they were to do this the very ones that are crying the loudest would be the first to ask why their income has fallen so dramatically and look once again to their saviours the inventors of such products. How did media of any type become mainstream and valuable? When technology made available for anyone anytime…Nuf said…

sacamano (profile) says:

Maybe this needs more clarity?

A brief review of this web page might lead to a slightly different story. The Law discussed above seems to leave the private copy unharmed, but only for unprotected content. Circumvention now becomes illegal, whig is, indeed, a local implementation of EU regulation. (Maybe they even mean CSS!)

However, making a copy of an obviously illegal piece of content will become illegal; apparently everything you download from p2p-networks would fall into this category unless the copyright holder has stated otherwise.


Danny says:

What scares me is this

This may just forbid circumvention of copy-protected material — and then forbid any additional copies of content that was originally copy protected.

Doesn’t this mean that companies can put just any copyright protection on music/movies and if it is circumvented (no matter how easy it was to circumvent) then the circumventor can be charged?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think you guys are mistaking Barney Frank for for Sen Craig. Can we get back on topic? Stay on Target, Stay on Target…..boom!

I just dont understand what the difference is between being offered content for free on the radio versus having to buy it in a store? Wasn’t Payola all about getting the content out there to the masses? I also dont believe that any DRM will ever be free…in fact since the invention of digital cameras, recording programs, and hard drives it just gets harder to contain.

Markus (user link) says:

The key message by is wrong

Hi, i live in germany and i follow the copyright-regulation very close. I have no clue, why “” is reporting, that there is no more Privatkopie in germany anymore. That is not correct. We got a second try to implement the european copyright directive after a first try in 2003. But actually there is no change in dealing with the Privatkopie. This time they did other changes like forbidding downloading music from p2p. Since 2003 we have the german new “Urheberrecht” and it says that Privatkopie is allowed unless there is a copy protection. Not more an not less. I don´ t like it that i can´ t have my consumer rights when thery is drm and i don´ t like that they now forbid downloading music from p2p (In the first try they just git a correct juristic law text where uploading was illegal in front of the court). But is wrong. In germany we call it a “Ente” (a “Duck” – false media news).

chris (profile) says:

germany loves stupid laws

i was stationed in germany for 3 years and they have tons of stupid laws, or severe penalties for strange things. we were constantly being told that’s “against german law”… to the extent that we believed that being american was somehow “against german law”.

and for those of you that think reliable DRM is inevitable note that it is based on “securing” media by encrypting it, and then giving “authorized” users the keys to decrypt it by embedding them in the player/software. in other words, as long as you need to give others the keys, that system will be compromised by obtaining copies of the keys.

you can read more about that here:

Overcast says:

Well, oddly enough…

People can grow their own vegetables. So they don’t need to pay big corporate interests for vegetables.

But they do… why?

Because it’s easier and more cost effective to buy them.

If music was easier to get from legit sources, people would do it. It’s also more cost effective to get good quality music and not have to sift through tons of garbage to find it.

Of course, if Potatoes were 18.99 a pound, I doubt nearly as many people would buy them.

Perhaps – the industry needs to make it easy and cost effective to buy music. Considering now, they could put songs on a network server at 25 cents a pop and make a killing, it amazes me they still try to ride on the old business model like a dead horse.

Even if Potatoes were 18.99 a pound in Germany and it was against the law to grow them yourself, I suspect – well, many people still would.

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