Yes, it's kinda late but it's another case of me not following my gut instinct and posting immediately when an issue comes out.
This shows the sheer idiocy of this recent "reform" they've made to Australian copyright law. We have laws being modified to supposedly take into account things people have been doing normally for the past thirty fucking years, so why has it all been so half-assed?
Yes, it will now be legal to record TV shows on that 20-year old VCR you've had, BUT YOU CAN ONLY WATCH IT ONCE. Keeping those recordings to watch again on the weekend or anytime in the future is now definitely illegal. You can't even record something for a friend then give it to them without watching it. You can, however, invite your friend over to watch it. Goddamn.
How nice of them to not mandate an audience headcount or eyeball limit. I can just imagine that fervent consumer advocate Philip Ruddock heatedly arguing against the copyright assholes pushing for a 2-eyeball limit to viewing of recorded TV programs. Otherwise, me and my friend might have to wear eyepatches to be able to legally watch last night's episode of OC. (Damn - just noticed that Marissa's mom is *hot*)
Yes, you can now encode songs to transfer to your iPod. This is supposedly in recognition of that practice called "format shifting". Shit, how nice to have certainty for mp3 players that have been around for almost a decade.
But why this inconsistency? It's illegal to encode a movie from a DVD you own to your video iPod or any other portable video player (AOPVP).
HOWEVER, if you have a copy of the same movie in VHS, and are tenacious enough to go through the dumbfuck torturous rigamarole of bending over, putting your right middle index finger in your asshole and then pulling it out, then reaching over your back, putting it into your left ear, and whatever the hell else you have to do to encode it into a format viewable on said video iPod or AOPVP, well, hell yeah, that's all legit.
Encode video from digital source: bad. Encode video from crappier, almost obsolete "analogue"(?) format: okay. Why all this fuss on where the source video comes from?
The fact is, no matter where it comes from, the video gets encoded via a shitload of lossy compression, removing a helluva lot of information that isnt going to be noticeable when viewed on a 2.5" screen. And once it's in that smaller, re-encoded format - there is absolutely no way you can make pirate DVDs from these.
And you can't make backups of your CDs and DVDs. No sireee. Fair use provisions under US Copyright Law allow this in America. But in Australia? Nah.
Can you make mix-CDs just to play in the car or at a party? Absolutely not, if it's going to be an audio CD. If it's a compilation of mp3s however, it's okay. If you "format-shift", then it's fine.
But this also means you can still make backups of your CDs as long as they end up in another format. If you use a lossless audio format however, then you retain all the digital information from the original CD. Save the entire CD as one huge WAV file? Legit.
But a better way would be to use a format that is non-lossy and compressed. Something like FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec. You can use software like EAC and the FLAC encoder to rip the songs off the CD, then burn them to backup. Some postings I've seen talk about encoding it all to a single FLAC image and using a cue-sheet to retain track information, using tools like FlackAttack
Here's a posting detailing the encoding process, and burning the CD from FLAC.
Not as convenient as a straight-out CD copy, but entirely within the law.