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Use iTunes? You're a FILTHY CRIMINAL

James Temperton
1 Aug 2014
iPod Touch
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Bonkers old copyright law in the UK to be scrapped, making it legal to rip CDs

Ripping your beloved Jason Mraz CD to iTunes so you can play it on your iPhone will soon be legal after the UK government confirmed plans to ditch outdated copyright laws. It is currently illegal to rip a CD to put music onto an MP3 player, despite the existence of popular software such as iTunes that does just that.

The ludicrous law made it illegal to move and change the formats of hard-copy copyrighted material. From 1 October 2014 new copyright exceptions will make it legal to make personal copies of copyrighted material for personal use.

Changes to copyright law do not make it legal to share copyrighted material for non-personal use and breaking digital rights management (DRM) is also still illegal. The changes to legislation also don't cover digital content. The new laws will relax outdated limitations and aim to give "consumers greater freedom to enjoy content they have bought", the Intellectual Property Office said.

Laws around copyright are also being relaxed for parodies, such as making funny YouTube videos out of copyrighted material. Copyright holders had argued that relaxing the laws could lead to an increase in piracy, but digital rights groups argued that it finally modernises creaking legislation.

Most people would not have even been aware that ripping CDs and making pardoy videos was technically illegal. The Open Rights Group said that the long-overdue changes finally made copyright law fit for the modern age, but warned of problems the come:

"The exception is limited to personal use of lawfully obtained originals, and does not allow any sharing of the works, including with close family members," explained Javier Ruiz Diaz, policy director at the digital rights group.

"It also does not allow for the removal of any anti-copy technical protection measures, including those found on most DVDs and Blu-Ray discs. Given most media consumption is moving to a pure digital environment constrained by such measures, it remains to be seen how effective the new right will be in practice. How many people will be ripping CDs in ten years time?"

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