New copying law allows UK citizens to rip their music

Folks can now legally do what they've been doing for years anyway
Kerry Butters

August 3, 2011

Copying music CDs and DVDs will soon be legal, following recommendations made by the Hargreaves review, which found the old laws outdated and impractical in today’s world.

The change in rules means that music lovers will now be able to copy discs and transfer them to MP3 format, enabling them to listen to their music across a number of different platforms.

The move is expected to clarify copyright laws and boost the economy by £8bn within the next few years, according to Business Secretary Vince Cable. He said that the law as it stands is “stifling innovation.”

“We are talking about big changes,” he told the BBC, “bringing the laws more up-to-date to have a proper balance which allows consumers and businesses to operate more freely, but at the same time protect genuinely creative artists and penalise pirates.”

The law will now allow people to copy movies and alter the format of films and music that they already own. However, it will remain illegal to share content online, of course.

Under the new rules, it will also be legal to manipulate data for the purposes of parody. This is intended to give greater creative freedom to include the work of others in new projects in, for example, mixing music.

The move is expected to be welcomed as millions of people copy films and music every day in order to watch them on different devices. The new law will bring the UK more in line with other countries across the EU who have more relaxed legislation.


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