UK finally makes ripping of CDs legal

31 Mar 2014

Harking back to the early 2000s, the UK has passed its copyright law which will allow people to rip and copy music from a CD onto a blank CD.

According to the new law, from 1 June an individual will be able to use the files ripped from the CD for their own personal use, something which has been going on continuously for the almost a decade since the early days of illegal file-sharing websites like Napster, Limewire and Kazaa.

The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the body behind the decision, has also extended the copyright issues to other media, such as DVDs and e-books, and will facilitate the ability to transfer the items from one device to another.

However, that’s as far as the law is willing to go, as making copies of CDs for friends, family and the general public will still technically be illegal but has for more than a decade been largely ignored or misunderstood by millions of internet users.

A recent report in November last year estimates more than US$80bn of revenue generated by music sales is lost to illegal file sharing and copying music files, with about with 327m unique users across the world regularly infringing copyright.

Burning CD image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic