|★ PEOPLES ★ AMSTRAD HITS TAPE COPY ROW (POPULAR COMPUTING WEEKLY) ★|
|Amstrad hits Tape Copy Row (Popular Computing Weekly)|
AMSTRAD has run into a legal storm over its dual cassette player which allows tape-to-tape copying.
Last week the company -which itself has a major software division - was told by a High Court judge that its twin cassette recorder incited buyers to infringe copyright of music or software on cassette.
The dual tape deck, introduced in spring 1984, of which around 23,000 have so far been sold, is being advertised as capable of recording from one tape to the other at twice normal speed. Amstrad received complaints from the British Phonographic Institute. which protects the copyright interests of the music recording industry.
Amstrad then applied to the High Court, seeking a declaration that its dual tape deck was lawful. The judge declined to make that declaration.
Amstrad intends to make an application for an appeal against the decision this week. It plans now to carry on selling the machine, but not to advertise the product. "It appears that the judge was concerned not so much with the nature of the equipment, but the way in which Amstrad advertised it," said Amstrad's solicitor Tony Willoughby.
While dual tape recorders have been available here since 1979, Amstrad drew attention in advertisements to the ability to record at twice normal speed. In 1984, Aiwa withdrew from the market a similar machine which recorded from tape to tape at four times normal speed, in agreement with the BPI.
Amstrad's packages contained a warning of breach of copyright notice. "Two out the three people called by the BPI knew they were breaching copyright in recording," continued Tony Willoughby. "It seems to be a comparable situation to the health warnings on cigarette packets - people keep on smoking regardless."
Popular Computing Weekly (1985)