The UK government is expected to abolish laws that prevent UK consumers from making digital copies of CDs and DVDs that they own for personal use. This practice has been followed by people for a long time, but only some of them knew that they were breaking the law by copying the content of their CDs and DVDs to other media devices.
The amendments to the old law comes after the commissioning of the Hargreaves Report, which advised the UK government to change its existing laws and make new ones to keep up with the digital age.
In Mr. Hargreaves’s review, he suggested that legalizing the ripping of CDs and DVDs for personal consumption, a process called ‘format shifting,’ would “enhance the economic potential of the UK’s creative industries and ensure that the emergence of high technology businesses, especially smaller businesses, in other sectors are not impeded by our IP laws”.
Reports have also suggested that the revision of copyright laws in the UK will also protect spoof versions or parodies of popular tracks from copyright restrictions. This comes after a YouTube video called Newport State of Mind (a parody of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ hit single Empire State of Mind) was removed after a complaint from EMI.
Legalizing CD and DVD copying will bring the UK law into line with other countries, which include the US and Canada. This change is expected to make it legal for other family members to use the ripped digital content from CDs. However, sharing digital copies online is to remain illegal.
Is it about time the UK changed media laws? Will it make a difference anyway?