All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis

The UK legalises CD ripping, in some circumstances

31 Jul 2014
Citizens can rip a CD for their own use

The UK has adopted legislation that provides the right to format shift, or rip hard-copy media such as music CDs, for private use.

The loosening of the rules, which was first discussed in 2006, has won the backing of organisations including the Open Rights Group and DigitalEurope. Both of which welcomed the support for the act from the House of Lords.

Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe, a conservative member of the House of Lords, explained the update to her peers, and countered concerns over copyright. "I am aware that some parties remain concerned about the scope of the change proposed and its impact on creators' livelihoods," she said.

Neville-Rolfe said that while some countries add a levy charge to MP3 players, as a means of drawing back money, this may not work in the UK. "The government does not believe that British consumers would tolerate private copying levies. They are inefficient, bureaucratic and unfair, and disadvantage people who pay for content," she added.

"That is why the government's exception is narrow in scope. It will not allow you to give or sell copies to others, and therefore will not lead to lost sales to copyright owners, making the need for a levy unnecessary."

The relaxation of the law has been welcomed by digital campaigners. "We congratulate the UK government on this exemplary legislation which sets the benchmark for Europe in the future," said John Higgins, director general of DigitalEurope.

"The private copying exception model introduced by the UK government is fully aligned with this objective, and DigitalEurope strongly hopes that it will become a role model for the broader EU-wide reforms of copyright law that are likely to begin in the coming months."

The Open Rights Group, which has campaigned in favour of format shifting and the right to create parodies for some time, also welcomed the introduction.

"Most people aren't even aware that by copying their own legally purchased CDs to their iPod or making spoofs such as Downfall parodies, they have been breaking the law," said executive director Jim Killock.

"Thanks to these changes, the government has taken this significant step towards making copyright law reflect the way we actually use and share content in the digital age. Contrary to what copyright lobbyists claim, updating the law will actually benefit rights holders by ensuring we have a stronger, more legitimate copyright regime."

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Dave Neal

Dave Neal is a reporter at The INQUIRER. Previously he worked at, VNUnet, and IT Week in editor and journalist roles.

He started his career when the Y2K bug was a front page story and remains committed to covering the interesting world of technology news.

He left the world of office working four years ago and now represents The INQUIRER from home in Kent with his dog.

Dave has been quoted in papers including the London Metro.

More on Law
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus

Tech gifts for Christmas 2014

Is a new tablet on your wish list this festive season, or have they become yesterday’s fad?

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
iPhone 6 is available in silver gold and space grey

iPhone 6 video review

The best iOS handset to date

Updating your subscription status Loading

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button

Getting started with virtualisation

Virtualisation can help you reduce costs, improve application availability, and simplify IT
management. However, getting started can be challenging


Converting big data and analytics insights into results

Successful leaders are infusing analytics throughout their organisations to drive smarter decisions, enable faster actions and optimise outcomes

Contract Service Manager / Project Manage, ITIL, South London

Contract Service Manager / Client focused Project Manager...

SEM / Search Marketing Executive (SEO/PPC) - West End Digital Agency

SEM / Search Marketing Executive (SEO/PPC) - West End...

Java Developer - Tech Start-Up App Backed by Telefonica

Java Developer - Tech Start-Up App Backed by Telefonica...

Senior Systems Engineer

Senior Systems Engineer 35 hours per week, all...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.