1 Oct 2014

UK citizens are free to copy MP3s, CDs, DVDs and live broadcasts for personal use. After an unexpected delay, UK copyright law was amended to legalize this common form of copying. In addition, the changes also broaden other forms of fair use, including parody and quotation rights.

To most consumers it’s common sense that they can make a backup copy of media they own, but in the UK this has been illegal until today.
After consulting various stakeholders the Government decided that it would be in the best interests of consumers to legalize copying for personal use.
Earlier this year the UK Intellectual Property Officeannounced that the changes would go into effect in June. However, when June came around the most crucial changes were still pending Parliamentary approval.
These final issues were resolved this summer and after a brief delay private copying is now legal.
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. In addition, it’s no longer copyright-infringing to store copies of legally purchased media to the cloud.
“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.”
The changes aim to fix the mismatch between the law and public opinion. A Government-commissioned survey previously found that 85% of consumers believed that DVD and CD ripping was legal already, while more than one-third of all consumers admitted that they’d made copies of media they purchased.
Besides the new private copying rights, the upcoming amendments will also broaden people’s fair use rights. For example, people 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 recognized.


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