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Hargreaves review of UK copyright will allow freedom to rip CD and DVD

The UK’s law on copyright may finally be brought up-to-date allowing us to rip data freely from CDs and DVDs.

Professor Ian Hargreaves was on order from the PM himself and has addressed the old-school legal system surrounding the taboo of taking video and audio from purchased CDs, DVD and Blu-Ray and storing the files on a personal computer. A law rarely enforced and often threatened and an act many “innocently commit” for sake of backing up digital files for use on MP3 players and mobile gadgets.

The proposition by Hargreaves would see the grip of such an antiquated law loosened and software created specifically for ripping your favourite tracks and movies to the desktop would become more freely available. Also this would mean those YouTube videos we love to upload with a rocking soundtrack will no longer annoyingly be muted as new law would cover this too meaning the “Fair Use” ruling will be much more lax. However, burning and reproduction will obviously still be a big “no-no”.

To the consumers this news may mean very little, as numbers of us have been doing this behind closed doors for years and Hargreaves back this in his report – “limited private copying exception which corresponds to what consumers are already doing”. Big changes would be ahead for the music and film industries at large with a “Digitial Copyright Exchange” proposed.

For most of us we can just go about our enjoyment of the vast array of media available – but with the doors finally open.

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