UK allowed to copy digital content

copyDecades behind the rest of the world, the UK is finally permitted to make personal copies of digital content they have legally bought.

Consumers are allowed to keep the duplicates on local storage or in the cloud.  However you are not allowed to share the data.

This is the law that many people in the UK thought they already had, indeed most of the world has some fair use law for digital copying.  In the UK though ripping CDs to other formats had previously qualified as copyright infringement, although cases were rarely prosecuted.

The changes were detailed in June, when the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) issued guidance, but had not come into effect until now.

The minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe said the changes are going to bring our intellectual property laws into the 21st century.

“They will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers.”

Also included in the law is permission to create parodies of copyright works. Previously, there has been a risk of being sued for breach of copyright if clips of films, TV shows or songs were used without consent.

Many EU nations place a levy on sales of recordable media, such as blank DVDs, memory cards and hard disks,  and some also add a charge to MP3 players and video recorders, with the proceeds passed on to the media industry.

All that is dying out along with physical formats.