The cost of US Free Trade – no iPods

Via No Right Turn, I perused a US document that lists NZ policies thast it consiers are trade barriers. Read the full commentary on this amazing document from Joe Hendren.

It was astonishing to see the US music industry’s thoughts about NZ copyright law & policy in print:

The U.S. music industry opposes a proposed amendment to the New Zealand Copyright Act that would legalize the duplication of sound recordings in other formats for a purchaser’s private use.

So, to get this straight, the US music industry doesn’t want us to be allowed to use iPods.

Think about that.

That means they refuse to believe that iPods will help them increase their sales of music. They clearly want us to use portable discmans and the like, or to buy every song (at $1 US) from an online store.

The New Zealand government says this would enable consumers to employ new digital technologies and would legalize what already is common practice. The New Zealand government also notes the amendment would limit copying to one copy per format, specify that the original sound recording must be legitimate, and exclude making copies from borrowed or rented recordings.

I take issue with that amendment – one copy per song is not acceptable. I have, umm, several iPods loaded with music, and also have copies of that music in my iTunes folder and in backup. I imagine that I have 10 copies of some songs, if not more, what with all the technology detritus I have. It’s about distribution, and not about how I choose to manage my personal music.

The music industry warns that such an exception to copyright protection would make copyright infringement difficult to enforce, send the wrong message to consumers and cost the industry in sales revenue and profits.

Actually it is pretty easy to catch and prosecute the genuine pirates – they are the ones with mounds of CDs in the back room. Meanwhile we certainly don’t want the endless lawsuits that the RIAA is foisting upon its customers in the USA.

The industry adds that the exception would discourage the development of music products that would permit home copying under contractual arrangements between the consumer and the provider.

Not that it would matter, but discouraging DRM products is good – after all even the RIAA is beginning to realise that protected music isn’t really the best way to go.

Published by Lance Wiggs