Who knew Godwin’s Law could be so cute?!

Variety – Sep. 21, 2007:

Germany’s upper house of parliament on Friday approved a controversial copyright law, which makes it all but illegal for individuals to make copies of films and music, even for their own use.

The Bundesrat pushed aside criticism from consumer protection groups and passed the law, which makes it illegal for anyone to store DVDs and CDs without permission. The law also covers digital copies from IPTV and TV broadcasts.

Consumer groups and the Green Party had campaigned in vain to include a “bagatelle exemption,” so that the measure would not “criminalize” youths and other private users. The law is set to take effect in 2008.



  1. Improbus says:

    Good dummies! You just criminalized entire generation Germans. I suspect this law will be flagrantly violated. Why can’t law makers get it through their heads that you can’t legislate morality?

  2. Contrite says:

    Does this means that PVRs are now illegal there too?

  3. ECA says:

    AND, this with the last Anti-hacking law….Makes this a Bad place to be.
    RIAA and MPAA and MS are all LAUGHING.

  4. ECA says:

    When I was Younger…
    We had parts shops, we have electronics we could get, we could hack software and hardware….As a learning experience…And for something to do…
    TRY to find these resources NOW.

    I had a friend that BUILT from RAW parts and materials he found his OWN computer and interfaces.. This ability/resource is almost GONE.

    then they wonder WHY kids dont have anything to do..

  5. jesse says:

    The way this reads, it appears illegal just to back up my media (isn’t that copying?). BULL!

  6. JPV says:

    So much for selling Tivos to Germany.

    LOL!

  7. tallwookie says:

    Yeah #1 has it right – however, you CAN legislate morality…. enforcing is it another matter – this will be one of those “laws” that will get ignored out of hand

  8. Constantine says:

    Slashdot and boingboing report that this is not the case; the original article which reported this was badly worded and just plain wrong.

    As I understand it, a second stage of a 2003 law takes effect. The law, among others, states that: –

    (a) Private copying for personal use is _not illegal_.
    (b) An extra fee on media and hardware used for copying will be levied. This will be collected by the industry and not the government
    (c) Private copying becomes illegal if it’s source is illegal (i.e. stuff that you download from the internet).

  9. Mr. Fusion says:

    #8, Costantine,

    I think you are right. Didn’t the EU Court system already rule copying is legal?

  10. DavidtheDuke says:

    Honestly I can’t wait for the collective weight of piracy to hopefully destroy these industries. I wouldn’t miss them.

  11. Mr. Fusion says:

    #8, Another commenter saying the same thing as you from the Variety article.

    http://tinyurl.com/yqcso3

  12. ijsbrand says:

    Variety exaggerated, a lot.

    What the Bundesrat decided, had mostly to do with the fees on private copies — that still are allowed — and the question who was going to collect those fees.

    In Germany any harddisk sold comes with such an extra copy fee, and maybe the iPods already do as well. That wouldn’t surprise me.

    On the other hand, people who use P2P-networks for downloading copyrighted content, aren’t allowed to do so anymore.

    Apart from what’s happening in Germany, their laws may be overruled soon with jurisprudence coming from the European Court of Justice. Of which a lower court last week upheld the stiff fine Microsoft has to pay the EU, because of its monopolistic behaviour.

    In a case pending there chances are the EU will suddenly be left with a very strict definition of what a copy for private use is. This legal definition could have a huge effect on all online activities. Since even reading a website like this, means I copy a lot of the content to my own computer for private use.

  13. Dorksters says:

    It occurs that peoples’ need for to the availability of *m*o*v*i*e*s* is akin to crack.

    I mean, I’m addicted to the mesmerizing force of media as much as the next guy… but if it all went away tomorrow, I’d just walk away from the screen and actually do something with my life.

  14. Fik says:

    Copyright laws are approaching the point or ridicule, it is getting more and more difficult to watch movies, tv or listen to music.
    Two things might happen: 1 people will gradually turn again to reading or walking in the park, or 2 these laws will be ignored (like most stupid laws, such as alcohol prohibition in the US)

  15. bobbo says:

    As lock downs continue thru ISP enforcement, bandwidth restrictions and so forth, I would assume that the public “by and large” will NOT BE ABLE to pirate over the internets and private copying at much lower rates will take place.

    People will NOT return to reading, they will more simply repeatedly watch what they already have and watch what is allowed to be watched on TV and secure/encrypted web accounts.

    Nothing I can see is stopping the greed/power of the MPAA/RIAA/copyright holders. Why would the situation not develop in their favor????

  16. bill says:

    What about iTunes? isn’t that a ‘copy’ of an ‘original’?
    You are all going to tha concentration camp!

  17. MikeN says:

    Not too surprising given how many people just engage in outright piracy at home. It wasn’t just making personal copies, but rather downloading as many things as they can to avoid paying, and making copies for all their friends too. You can expect an overreaction after that.

  18. Angel H. Wong says:

    “then they wonder WHY kids dont have anything to do.. ”

    As if the Germans are actually breeding, like in most parts in Europe, some town are experiencing negative growth as their youth leave & the women are considering a Loius Vuitton handbag more important than having children.

  19. OmarTheAlien says:

    I dunnoe; buying a purse, or going through all that crap associated with childbirth, including the next twenty years raising the little blobs: Might be the purse is a better deal.

  20. TIHZ_HO says:

    I don’t buy pirated DVD movies and TV series in China to avoid paying the full price I buy them because that’s all that is available.

    As a foreigner in China either you watch Chinese TV, or a very small selection of legal DVD movies and forget about any TV series. Satellite dishes by the way are also pirated.

    If there were any other alternative I and others would be happy to pay for them. The problem as I understand it is not China, it’s the Movie and TV copyright holders refusing to enter this market.

    Cheers

  21. Ryan says:

    Damn Nazis

  22. pedro says:

    #16 mac will be banned altogether in Germany. Not a minute too soon.

    #18 maybe Germans are not breeding. But Turkish, Middle Easterns and Chinesse are

  23. Ian says:

    Hey, dont know if you guys have seen this before…. but regarding Germany I wonder how long before they wish to lift their levy…

  24. Ian says:

    oh for gods sake my links never post right 😐

    http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/2238/125/

  25. TIHZ_HO says:

    #22 Well maybe Chinese who are not in China… 😉

    Cheers

  26. pedro says:

    #25 Yeah, this phrase “But Turkish, Middle Easterns and Chinesse are” would have been better written “But Turkish, Middle Easterns and Chinesse living there, are”


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