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Ripping music and films is now illegal (again)

Katharine Byrne
20 Jul 2015
CDs
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Thanks to a new ruling by the High Court, copying CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, MP3 files and eBooks is illegal once again

Just when we thought the law had finally caught up with the modern age, the High Court has once again deemed it illegal to make copies of CDs or DVDs you've bought in order to put it onto your MP3 player, phone or any other device.

The ruling quashes the new law brought in by the UK government last October, which finally made it legal to rip CDs to your home music library or back them up for your own personal use. This means that, under the new ruling, it is now once again illegal to copy a CD you own and put it on your smartphone or MP3 player so you can listen to it on the move. 

The High Court ruled that the government was wrong by not introducing a compensation scheme for songwriters, musicians and other rights holders who face losses as a result of their copyright bring infringed. CDs, MP3s, DVDs, Blu-rays and eBooks will all be affected by the new ruling, but joke or parody versions of hit songs escape judgment. It's currently unclear how the new ruling will be enforced.

Speaking to the BBC, CEO of UK Music, Jo Dipple, (one of the claimants in the case) welcomed the High Court's ruling: "Last month, the High Court agreed with us that government acted unlawfully when it introduced an exception to copyright for private copying without fair compensation. We therefore welcome the court's decision today to quash the existing regulations.

"It is vitally important that fairness for songwriters, composers and performers is written into the law. My members' music defines this country. It is only right that government gives us the standard of legislation our music deserves. We want to work with government so this can be achieved."

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