CD copying is no longer breaking the law

Despite how commonplace CD/DVD-writers are, you may not have realised it, but every time you copied a CD or DVD, or backed up an MP3 file, you were breaking the law.

Starting from today, this is no longer the case for disabled people, who are now free to “make accessible copies of copyrighted material when no commercial alternative exists”. The changes also stand to benefit researchers, who gain the same rights and data-mining abilities for non-commercial research. Limited copying of copyrighted works for private study is now also possible.

Academic organisations such as schools, colleges and universities can also now use copyrighted material on interactive whiteboards and presentations and no longer need to worry about accidentally infringing copyright.

It was slated for commencement in June that all private copying would become legal, but the Government has delayed this until it is approved by Parliament.

“Copyright law is being changed to allow you to make personal copies of media you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup,” the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) announced previously.

“The changes will mean that you will be able to copy a book or film you have purchased for one device onto another without infringing copyright.”

Previously UK-citizens risked legal trouble should they wish to rip CDs and DVDs or backup MP3s to an online storage provider, but this looks set to change once Parliament approves. The emphasis remains, however, that citizens are still not permitted to share these copies with friends, family, or the rest of the world:

“You will be permitted to make personal copies to any device that you own, or a personal online storage medium, such as a private cloud. However, it will be illegal to give other people access to the copies you have made,” the IPO explains.