By Norwegian law, making copies of media for your own private use has always been legal. Right now, downloading music or movies is legal, but uploading isn’t. Now a suggested law will make it illegal to download music (except from close friends, if I’ve understood it correctly), which I can at least see the point of, sort of, but far worse: the law will make it illegal to make even private copies of that CD you bought (say, so you can listen to the music on your mp3-player) if the CD is copy protected.


So now I’ll buy a CD and find I can’t listen to it except on that trashy old CD player I never use any more? The funniest part of this is the explanation that you’re allowed to make a copy for your own private use on relevant equipment (the quotes below are from this PDF):

Etter forslaget vil omg?•else av vernede kopisperrer v?¶re forbudt. Forbudet mot omg?•else skal sikre at det ikke skjer en ukontrollert og ??konomisk skadelig spredning av vernet innhold. Det skal likevel v?¶re tillatt ?• omg?• sperrer dersom dette er n??dvendig for privat avspilling p?• relevant utstyr. F.eks. vil en CD-plate kunne omg?•s for ?• spille av platen i bilstereoen, da en CD-spiller vil v?¶re relevant avspiller for en CD-plate, men sperren kan ikke omg?•s for ?• legge platen over p?• en MP3-spiller, da en slik spiller ikke kan anses for ?• v?¶re relevant for en CD-plate.

I’ll have to translate that last bit:

For instance, you can circumvent the copy protection on a CD so you can play it in your car stereo, since a CD-player will be a relevant player for a CD, but you can’t break the copy protection so you can transfer the music to an MP3-player, because such a player can’t be seen as relevant to a CD.

They added extra protection for being able to play the CD in your car stereo:

Det vil ikke v?¶re adgang til ?• omg?• en kopisperre for ?• kopiere til privat bruk. Omg?•else er bare lov om det er n??dvendig for privat avspilling p?• relevant utstyr. I den grad det er n??dvendig ?• kopiere platen for ?• f?• spilt den av, f.eks. i bilstereoen, vil ogs?• det v?¶re tillatt.

which means

It will not be legal to break a copy protection to copy for your own private use. Circumvention is only permitted if it is necessary for private playing on relevant equiptment. If it is necessary to copy the CD in order to play it, for instance on your car stereo, copying is permitted.

Isn’t that an astoundingly clich?©ed example of Why We Need Young People In Government?

If the industry start copyprotecting more media, the law might get changed, the authorities say. If. They are insane.

I have to say it’s just as freaky to see R??d Ungdom – the communist youth organisation – dressing up as iPods for a demonstration against this law. That’s right: the communists are advertising for Apple.

[Read more: Elektronisk forpost Norge / Cory Doctorow’s excellent explanation of why technical restrictions on our media are dangerous (read my notes from his talk, Scott’s more carefully edited notes or watch the video)

1 Comment

  1. Lars

    How on earth will this law ever be enforced? I mean, Norwegian police are even hesitant to give people speeding tickets. Try this workaround: Break the copy protection to make a copy of your CD, for playing in your car (or wherever). Now, make MP3s off this un-copy-protected copy. Legal? Pfah. I don’t buy CDs. I buy music. Talk about confusing the media and the message…

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