Music fans will be able to legally record their CD collections onto iPods and MP3 players under a raft of proposed changes to Australian Federal Government copyright laws.
Taping TV and radio programs and using copyright material for parody or satire will also be legalised as part of the reforms.
And in a move expected to be welcomed by artists, the Government plans to introduce new enforcement measures to combat piracy.
The changes are part of a major overhaul of copyright laws to be announced today by Attorney-General Philip Ruddock in response to millions of Australians who effectively break the law every time they reproduce copyright material for personal use.
The key changes relate to the recording of copyright material from CDs, audio tapes or vinyl records onto an MP3 player or home computer.
Under existing laws, people copying material risked being sued by the copyright owner.
For someone who had copied their entire CD collection onto an MP3 player, the damages could, theoretically, be in the thousands.
The reforms will also mean people can legally dub old VHS cassettes onto a DVD. However, the Government is still reviewing whether to extend the exemption to recording DVDs onto other devices.
Other exemptions will relate to the use of copyright material for non-commercial purposes by schools, universities and libraries.
The Government wants to crack down on those who are using the material to make a profit or causing significant losses by distributing other people’s property.
The new penalties will include on-the-spot fines, while the Government will also make it easier to establish copyright piracy in legal cases.