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UK prepares to legalize CD, DVD ripping, private backups of content

updated 02:44 pm EDT, Fri March 28, 2014

Modernization of UK copyright law may occur in June

The United Kingdom is preparing to legalize the ripping of DVDs and CDs for private use, it has revealed. As part of a larger movement to modernize its copyright laws, the government is also changing the way copyright laws cover quotations, caricature and parody usage, with the new rules likely to come into force June 1st of this year.

Citizens will be able to copy CDs, DVDs, and other media for personal use for the purposes of "format shifting or backup," according to a document from the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO), reports TorrentFreak. "The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright."

While the law will permit personal copies onto any device owned by the individual, as well as to private cloud storage, it will still be illegal to give access to the content to others without the copyright owner's permission. Software is excluded from the law, as will copying content from a streaming service or rented media. The copy protection measures used in DVDs are also brought up in a guide by the IPO, with copyright owners still able to use the systems on discs, though individuals are able to complain to the Secretary of State if the protection is "too restrictive."

The usage of content in works of parody and caricature will be allowed to do so without the need to gain permission from the rights holder under the changes, a process described as "costly and time-consuming, and can get in the way of people's ability to make comedy or satirical works." Quotations come under a similar banner, allowing the fair usage of quotes if the quotation source is acknowledged. In both instances, the usage must be considerable as "fair and reasonable" for it to be permitted.

The changes in theory will provide increased revenues of £31 million ($) per year in the UK's technology sector. "This measure will benefit technology firms by removing barriers and costs and improving entry into technology markets which rely on consumers being able to make private copies," claims the government.

The proposed revisions to copyright law will now be debated in both Houses of Parliament, before being put into force.

by MacNN Staff



  1. And.reg

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 02-22-04

    Heh, too late, now that CDs/DVDs are being phased out.

    Can they still rip a VHS?

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