by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 24th 2007 1:47am
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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