Sunday, December 30, 2001

For the first time more writable CD's sold in Germany than original CDs

A SPIEGEL article says that this year for the first time more writable CD media have been sold in Germany than original music CDs: Raubkopien: Selbstgebranntes ├╝berrundet die CD - Wirtschaft - SPIEGEL ONLINE

190 Million writable CDs have been sold in 2001. The same number of original CDs have been sold in Germany in 2000. For 2001 they expect 15% less sales of original CDs. In 2000 only 85 million writable CDs were sold, i.e. for every two original CDs one writable CD was sold (http://www.ifpi.de/jb/2001/jb01e.html). So within one year the sales of writable CD has doubled, while sales of original CDs decreased by 15%.

An interesting article of the German Association of the Recording Industry describes the legal situation regarding copying of CDs in Germany: http://www.ifpi.de/recht/re-15.htm. The Germany copyright law does allow making copies "for private use" (§ 53 UrhG). According to this article, this does include making copies for family and "close friends" . This is limited to a "small" number of copies. Private use means that the intention for making the copy must not be for selling, exchanging or making a gift. It's allowed to make copies from the original only, not from other copies.

To me it appears to be a contradiction that § 53 UrhG does allow making copies for relatives and close friends, but at the same time probibits making any copies for selling, exchanging and giving away. Why am I allowed to make a copy for a relative or close friend but then I'm not allowed to give it to him? It probably means that I am allowed to lend copies to relatives and friends. Further it seems to allow that I lend a original CD from a relative or close friend and make a copy for myself.