A change in UK copyright law

Until recently, if you lived in the UK, it would have been illegal for you to buy an album and then transfer the songs onto your iPod, due to copyright law.

If you don’t live in the UK, it may still be illegal, so you might want to research it!

So why the change in policy? Well recently a government commissioned, independent review, called the Hargreaves Review, which was carried out to investigate copyright law.

From the review, the Business Secretary Vince Cable concluded that because we now live in a digital age, people communicate differently and do business differently, so it is time to bring some copyright laws up to date.

The Copyright Logo - Copyrighted Content

He also said that if you buy a CD and download it onto your computer, even if just for personal use, it is frankly a silly idea that you could be prosecuted for it. You have purchased the CD, so therefore surely you should have the rights to listen to it how you want to?

Mr Cable also feels that it can also be very restricting on business, as sometimes it’s hard to trace original owners of copyrights.

Despite changing the law, the Business Secretary said that he still wanted to protect the property rights of genuine artists and creators.

If you did buy a CD and were then charged with a criminal offence for putting it onto your iPod, would you not feel slightly cheated? If it’s your CD, should you not own the rights to it?

Website blocking is also part of this reform. Before it was possible to ask service providers to block sites displaying copyrighted content, however this is no longer going to be the case.

The obvious benefits of the change in law, would fall with the consumer, however the economy could also potentially benefit too.

What do you think about this law, is it outdated? Should it still be in place, or are the changes justifiable?

20 thoughts on “A change in UK copyright law

  1. I would personally think that if I had bought a CD, I should have the right to copy it to whatever place I want to hear. If I use it for business, it is a different thing. However for personal use, I don’t think we should go that far. I would prefer it to remain as before. Malaysia Laws do follow part of UK’s Law. I guess I’m gonna check on this in my country. 😛

  2. Well, the law is getting stricter, but the question is how are they going to control if I have recored the cd in my iPod or something like this. I think it will effect the consumer for sure.

  3. While it isn’t in any commercial purpose I think that after I buy a CD I have the right to listen it anywhere and anytime using any means (computer/iPod/phone) without being ilegally.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      From the reactions we have been getting, it would seem that’s what most people think here Carla, hence the change in the law.

      Thanks for dropping us a comment, welcome to the Technology Bloggers community!
      Christopher – Admin Team

  4. Just by transferring the songs in the CD that I bought, I will be charged with a criminal offense? That’s unreasonable! In the first place, I bought the CD so that means its now my property and I have the right to do whatever I want with it. But if that’s the case, it’s useless anymore to buy a CD.

    • Christopher (admin team)

      Well it was until they changed the law 🙂

      Thanks for your contribution Mark, you are now part of our community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  5. I do not live in UK, but I can only say this law is too outdated.
    If they need to take action, they should concentrate on removing torrent sites ! That’s where you can literally download everything !
    And if I buy the CD, I’ll whatever I want to do with it. All I know is that it would be hard for them to control it !

    • Agree. Torrent sites are making all audios or videos easily available on the internet. So, even if we are following the rules, then what about these sites. Either make these rules applicable for everyone or just remove the rules.

  6. For me its an outdated policy to not allow a person to copy files onto a different medium. Perhaps, it is the fear of piracy why this rule was introduced.

  7. I wasn’t aware of the limitations on copyright, but then again, i don’t really look up to irrational laws that restrict my freedom. Like you said, it’s your cd, why get punished for copying the music to your own PC?

  8. Christopher, can you provide a link to something official that states that the law had definitely been changed with regard to CD copying? I can find lots of articles from the start of August referring to Vince Cable declaring the law was to be changed but I cant find anything to say that those changes have been made!

    I had always thought it was legal to make a backup copy of CDs/DVDs in the UK…so was surprised to find out yesterday that this has never been the case!

  9. Thanks for your reply Christopher. I had seen the link you provided, although cant access the video at work sadly!

    What has confused me is the other BBC article from the same day which states : “One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of “format shifting” – where users rip content from CDs or DVDs for their own personal use.”

    The word “plans”, to me, implies that the change hadnt been made when the article was published.


    • Christopher (admin team)

      Ahh… well there we have a whole different issue.

      I believe that iTunes is different, as artists give you the right to do that, when they allow their music to be hosted there, but don’t quote me on that…

      Thanks for the comment and welcome to the community 🙂
      Christopher – Admin Team

  10. The music industry has never gotten around the change in how people listen to music. It’s just right to protect copyright but it has to be in a way that’s inline with the current trend in technology. Now what they’re doing is obviously not forward-thinking. They’re still so much into CD’s and albums. It’s just a matter of time before CDs will be obsolete.

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