UK Finally 'Legalizes' CD & DVD Ripping… But You're Still Not Allowed To Circumvent DRM
from the so-that's-kind-of-meaningless dept
As TorrentFreak is noting, the UK is finally modernizing basic user rights concerning copyright (what they call “fair dealing”) to officially make it “legal” to make personal copies of legally acquired copies of digital content. In short, due to restrictive copyright law, it has always been technically infringement in the UK to rip a CD or DVD, but as of June that will change. This was one of the key suggestions in the Hargreaves report from three years ago, so it’s good to see it finally being put into action.
That said, this is hardly perfect. It appears that the fair dealing rules still won’t let you circumvent DRM in order to make those private copies. In the FAQ the UK government is distributing, we see the following:
Media such as DVDs are often protected by anti-copying technology to guard against copyright piracy, and this is protected by law. Copyright owners will still be able to apply this protection. However, if copy protection is too restrictive, you may raise a complaint with the Secretary of State.
Right, so in order to rip a personal copy of a movie so you might, for example, watch it on your tablet, rather than in a DVD player, you first have to “raise a complaint with the Secretary of State” and hope they do something about it? That basically eliminates this new effort entirely. And that’s always been the problem with DRM and anti-circumvention rules. They basically give content middlemen the ability to put a veto on user rights, blocking them from doing things that are perfectly legal.