Sweden Pushes Back on CD Copy-Protection

Sweden’s parliament recently pressured record companies to discontinue copy-protecting their CDs, fueling the fire in the ongoing copyright debate in Sweden.

Sweden’s justice minister, Thomas Bodström, threatened to make protection technology illegal if record companies do not discontinue its use. The technology in question keeps the consumer from being able to use the product in more than one
format in order to preserve a larger income-stream for the artists and producers of the work.

Most countries protect consumers by allowing ripping or copying of music to and from computers and mp3 devices, but only for personal, non-commercial uses. Bodström has also argued in favor of fair use, noting that “it should be possible to make a copy of your own newly-purchased CD for an mp3 player, or to make an extra copy of the CD to have in the car.” The US has even attempted to compensate rights holders for fair use duplication by means of the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA), in which the industry gets a levy from blank CDs
and cassette tapes to make up for the copying of protected works. However, record labels are finding themselves dog-paddling to stay
afloat within the ever increasing marketplace of digital music and flash devices, since this levy only applies to products specifically sold for
music use. Meanwhile, consumers in countries like Germany already pay levies on a wide range for consumer products, including the iPod.

Story by legal analyst Mona Shokrai.