There was a sense that when copyright laws in Australia actually ended up making it illegal to record television programs (on a VCR, DVD or DVR) for personal use, it was a harmless omission in history. Copyright laws just not fitting in with real trends that sensible people knew would not make sense.
So when the government finally gets around to reforming the laws -- through deliberative thought -- you would think that the end solution would make some sense. Not so and Australia is becoming a world-wide laughing stock as a result. Here is a link to the Attorney General's press release on the subject. But it is the helpful Q&As that draw the eye:
Does this mean I can record my favourite television or radio programto enjoy later?
Yes. For the first time you will be able to record most television or radio program at home to enjoy at a later time. This will allow you to watch or listen to a program as it was made available to the public at the time of the original broadcast.
How long can I keep the recording?
The recording must be deleted after one use. It will not be possible to use the recording over and over again.
Can I make a collection of copied television and radio programs?
No. You will not be able to burn a collection (or library) of your favourite programs on DVD or CD to keep. (It will be permitted to record a programon DVD or CD but only temporarily until you watch or listen to it for the first time.)
What can I do with recorded program?
You can watch or listen to the recording with your family or friends. It will not be permitted to sell or hire a recording or to play it at school or work or in any kind of public audience.
Can I give a recording I have made to a friend?
No. A recording is for the personal use of the person who made it. You can invite a friend over to watch or listen to your recording but you can't lend or give it to a friend to take home with them.
Did someone say 'ludicrous'? Is it April 1st?
As you can see here, by replaying even bits of television you are breaking the law. If you watch a program and then let your spouse what it later you are breaking the law.
What next? If you tell someone about the program you watched last night are you violating copyright? Or should I say, if you tell two people!
But it all gets worse. You are of course not allowed to share music with friends or family. Make sense? Well, think about that wedding video. Better make sure it doesn't have any songs playing in the background because if you make a copy of it for grandma you are violating copyright law. And don't even think about backing the wedding video up. If that has music on it, backing up is illegal too.
If the goal was to get people to take the law seriously, then this surely has only made matters worse. It invites illegality. Like me, I replayed a recorded show but it is OK I didn't inhale.
[UPDATE: OK I got the evil plan. When you fast forward through commercial breaks, you end up missing the beginning when the program starts and so you skip back. Technically, you have replayed and so that is what this is all about. Even if you have a Tivo or PC with automatic skip back technically you are still replaying. So it is all about viewing the ads!]