United Kingdom legalizes copying of MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use

Britishers are now free to rip CDs and DVDs

United Kingdom lawmakers yesterday amended the copyright laws for its citizens.  Starting 1st Oct, UK citizens will be free to copy / rip MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use.  The new copyright laws have also been broadened to other forms of fair use, including parody and quotation rights.

All over the world with the exception of some countries, it is illegal to copy/make a backup of media they own. While it is understandable that most users would like to make a backup of media they own, users in United Kingdom can do so now.

After consulting various stakeholders the United Kingdom Government decided that it would be in the best interests of consumers to legalize copying for personal use. In effect this means that,  people are now free to make copies of DVDs, CDs and other types of media, as long as they’re for personal use and without copyright protection. In addition, it’s no longer copyright-infringing to store copies of legally purchased media to the cloud based storage.

“These changes are going to bring our IP laws into the 21st century,” IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe says commenting on the changes. “They will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers.”

Besides the new private copying rights, the upcoming amendments will also broaden people’s fair use rights. United Kingdom citizens  no longer have to ask permission to quote from or parody the work of others, such as a news report or a book, as long as it’s “fair dealing” and the source is given necessary recognition.

The laws which came into effect from yesterday do make sense as most of the Britishers (around 85%) have been indulging in copying/ripping the media they own either as a separate copy or backing it on to the clouds.

You can read the entire transcript of the new copyright laws and exceptions to copyrights for United Kingdom here.

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