The Null Device


The Australian federal government is set to legalise MP3 ripping. In Australia, ripping MP3s from CDs, taping TV programmes and doing other such things without the rightsholder's permission is a criminal offense, and has been since Australia adopted US copyright law without those pesky fair-use provisions that so get in the way of the copyright industry. Now the Attorney-General (in between making sedition and detention-without-trial laws, undoubtedly) intends to bring in some fair-use provisions for "everyday forms of private copying that do not harm copyright owners". Hopefully the provisions will be drafted reasonably broadly and won't have any nasties like DRM mandates or anything.

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Quote of the day, from Robert M. Sapolsky's contribution to "What We Believe But Cannot Prove", a collection of short essays on the subject by various eminent scientific thinkers:

Many physicists, especially astrophysicists, seem weirdly willing to go on about their communing with God in contemplating the Big Bang, but in my world of biologists, the God concept gets mighty infuriating when you spend your time thinking about, say, untreatably aggressive childhood leukemia.

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