UK Thinking About Legalizing Private Copying Of CDs; Giving DRM-Free Content To Libraries

from the well,-it's-about-time dept

The really amazing thing about this story is that it’s even taken this long for the discussion to get this far. In the US, it’s legal for people to take a CD they own and make a personal copy of it (assuming the CD doesn’t have DRM, at which point you run into problems with the DMCA anti-circumvention rules). However, in the UK and a few other places, music fans aren’t so lucky. The very act of ripping your CD so you can listen to it on your iPod is illegal. Now, a think-tank is recommending that the laws be updated to allow personal copying — which is perfectly reasonable. What’s interesting, though, is that they note that allowing personal copying actually could benefit the recording industry’s battle. They argue that in keeping private copying illegal (and, thus, making criminals out of a large percentage of the country), people are much less likely to respect any copyright law — since they all get lumped into the ridiculous pile. One other interesting aspect of the report is that it takes on the debate concerning the right for libraries to archive content. In this case, it recommends that “the British Library should be given a DRM-free copy of any new digital work and that libraries should be able to take more than one copy of digital work.” Given the earlier debate, somehow it seems unlikely the entertainment industry is going to agree to that one willingly.

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Comments on “UK Thinking About Legalizing Private Copying Of CDs; Giving DRM-Free Content To Libraries”

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Herbie The Rabbit says:

Re: Those wacky brits

“Next thing you know those Brits are going to allow the women to vote or worse they might even banish slavery, although I doubt that one!”

Duh! I guess you are US

UK: In the United Kingdom, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed on March 25, 1807.
USA: slavery was abolished with the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865

UK: The Pitcairn Islands (UK) granted women’s suffrage in 1838, British women over 30 had the vote in 1918, the rest followed in 1928
USA: 1920

There are some facts for ya!

zcat (user link) says:

New Zealand has the same problem

There was a move to have the law changed so you could legally rip your CD’s but the local music industry fought it tooth and nail.

Since there is basically no legal way in New Zealand to get mainstream music onto an iPod, and fairly limited options for WMA players, I just download all my music through emule. If the music industry is forcing me to break the law anyhow, I don’t see why I should have to 1) pay them for it and 2) get an intentionally crippled product. Fsck them! I won’t buy another CD until I can legally play them how I want, on my cheap generic mp3 player.

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