Australia has no "Fair Use Policy" laws
Howabout Div 3 of Part III of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)? - scroll down to the appropriate point on this page http://scaleplus.law.gov.au/html/pasteact/0/244/t
so far there has been no test case
This is just wrong. There have been cases about fair dealing and so forth since the Act was encated. Try this link http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinocgi.cgi/au?
This is the reason TiVO has not been introduced to Australia.
I would suggest that there are several reasons TiVO has not been introduced, such as:
- only 5 free to air channels
- no free cable, encrypted pay TV
- no electronic program guide
- TV stations who persist on not running to time
- different video standard (PAL not NTSC)
It's certainly not the law - which hasn't prevented VCRs from flourishing (albeit they reisde in a somewhat grey area) - but more likely a question of economics.
It is illegal to record any TV show that is not being broadcast live to air
In fact its UNLAWFUL (but not illegal) to record a TV show at all (except in the case of fair dealing, and other exceptions I wont go into now) whether broadcast or not.
But the distiction between unlawful and illegal is an important one. Unlawful means that the TV station or distributor or somebody has to come sue you for infringing upon their copyright. No jail time. Illegal means that somethings is a crime - the copyright holder just has to notify the cops, they can pick you up and you might face jail time (although now is not the time to go into criminal sentencing procedure).
It is also illegal to rip cds to MP3
Again, it's unlawful, but not illegal.
Apple have finally taken the chance, which is good to see.
I would suggest that this is not, in fact, a chance or risk for Apple. Australians are high per-capita purchasers of music. It is guaranteed profit which will also drive the iPod market with a legal source of downloads. Apple has only "waited" so long because the record labels in Australia have been absolute asses to deal with. Sony BMG is still not on board.
Hopefully none of the recording labels will launch a lawsuit
This is the bit that gets me most... it is the labels WHO ARE COOPERATING WITH APPLE TO ALLOW APPLE TO SELL THEIR MUSIC. The labels would be, in effect, SUING THEMSELVES. This will not happen.