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October 6, 2014

Ripping CDs now Legal in the UK

Ripping-DVDThough we’re still a very long way off the last CD or DVD being sold, we’ve seen the world slowly transitioning from physical media to digital downloads. So it’s an overdue, but still welcome change, to find that the UK government, as of this week, have finally made it legal to rip content for your own use.

So from now on you can:
1) Copy the content of a CD or DVD off the disc you bought and store it in another format,
2) Either a backup or for your own personal use.
3) You can now legally rip a CD and listen to the MP3 files you create on your smartphone,
4) Rip a DVD and store the resulting video on a NAS, so you can easily stream it around your home.

“The law [on exceptions] is changing in a number of small but important ways, to make our copyright system better suited to the digital age,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office says in a new advisory (PDF). “These changes will affect how you can use content like books, music, films and photographs.”

However, you must own the content yourself, you can’t make copies of other people’s content. And conversely you can’t give copies to other people, either physically or by sharing them online. The law does let you store copies in cloud storage, but you must be the only one who accesses those copies on that storage.

The change in law isn’t going to make a huge deal of difference to most of us, making copies for backups and personal use has been rife for years. However it does finally place a dividing line between this kind of reasonable action and illegal filesharing.

Media Companies:
Unfortunately, copy protection methods, which attempt to stop you making your own copies of discs are not illegal, so companies will still try and prevent this. Though with the support of the law, we should see software that evades such efforts become more commercial, more polished and easier to use.

UK’s Intellectual Property Office’s new advisory (PDF) notice


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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini