This time last year the UK Intellectual Property Office revised copyright laws that legalized CD and DVD burning, or “ripping” for private use. The changes made it possible for consumers to make copies of their media, from sharing CDs to burning DVDs for friends. However, after public decry from Britain’s largest music associations, the High Court overturned.
The Court ruled the decisions unlawful and ultimately prohibited millions of listeners from many forms of duplicating their content. From making ol’-fashioned mixtapes to backing up hard drives to the Cloud, music fans need to be careful as these actions are now punishable by law. This also makes sites that promote copying – like iTunes’ popular “ripping” feature – guilty of promoting copyright infringement. iTunes can face serious damage claims under this new legislation, but the company has yet to make a defensive statement.
While the government does not fully support this decision, there are suggestions being made that would attempt to rectify the issue. Some of those suggestions include imposing a tax on ‘blank media’ such as blank CDs, USB ports and MP3 players (but who still buys those?).
No final decisions have been made, yet, that would satisfy both consumers and music groups.