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Ripping your CDs for personal use could soon be illegal again



The government’s decision to legalise the copying of CDs for personal use has been successfully challenged in the High Court.

As of October 1 2014, it finally became legal to rip personally-owned compact discs for digital playback on other devices, but a judge has now ruled the change in law was unfair on rights holders.

When changing the law, the government decided against introducing a “copyright levy” compensation scheme when discs were copied. Now Mr Justice Green has ruled “the absence of a compensation mechanism” made the change in legislation “unlawful," The Guardian reports.

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The case will return to the High Court next month, where a resolution will be decided. However, it’s conceivable the change in law could be overturned.

A more likely solution is the introduction of a fee for rights holders, (represented by The Musicians' Union, The British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, and UK Music) whenever content is copied from a disc.

How that would be policed remains anyone’s guess. As there’s no DRM protection on CDs, the practice has been commonplace for an eternity.

Asking people to pay now to transfer content they’ve already bought, when they can simply dump it on a laptop with no consequences, could be tricky to say the least.


June 19, 2015, 9:16 pm

People still buy CDs? Well it's not going to change anyone's behaviour.


June 20, 2015, 8:22 am

I still buy CDs but if the greedy pricks push this through then they'll go from getting SOME money from me to getting ZERO money from me, as I'll find a download alternative.


June 20, 2015, 2:53 pm

The change in the law was to legalise copying for personal use, so where is the loss to the copyright holder? No loss deserves no compensation.

The music industry is saying that inevitably there will be misuse, hence they should get compensation in general, but that is arguing that the honest should be fined for the infractions of others, a very bad principle.

Prem Desai

June 20, 2015, 4:41 pm

Agree with you totally.

A bit like saying just because a small minority steal money, no money for everybody else!! The music industry really needs to stop being so stupid.


June 20, 2015, 4:54 pm

the music industry is still as pathetic and clueless as it always was. What a waste of time and money this is.


June 22, 2015, 8:25 am

The loss to the copyright holder is that if you rip a CD to MP3, you "should" be buying the MP3s. If you copy a CD to CD-R, you "should" be buying a second CD.

*that* is where the "lack of compensation" comes from...

(this is, of course, completely rubbish and not how the real world works)

DH - I'm Done

June 22, 2015, 8:26 am

Well, I say to Mr Justice Codswallop, poke it where the sun don't shine.
I buy my media and I do as I see fit with it and no court will ever tell me otherwise.

DH - I'm Done

June 22, 2015, 8:32 am

They can go spin. I paid for the music or movie, I'm not paying again because I want to change the medium its on.
If they want to play that game, they can compensate my losses for having to buy the same stuff over and over on vinyl, tapes, CD whatever. Why should I have to pay again just because they phased a medium out? Same with laserdiscs, VHS, VideoCD, DVD and BlueRay. If they want compo, so do I.


June 22, 2015, 8:41 am

of course I 100% agree, however this is the backwards thinking of the entire media industry and why it took so damn long for something like Ultraviolet to be created because all of the publishers wanted people to pay (again) for the digital version of the bought-and-paid-for physical version. A bundled Ultraviolet digital version was seen as a lost sale by most...

Things get even worse if you are a DJ or fitness instructor that plays music from digital media; the record label gets paid THREE TIMES for the same song in those situation;
1) PRS public broadcast license (venue)
2) CD purchase (DJ/instructor)
3) the "ProDub" license that permits the CD purchaser to copy the (purchased) CD to a digital device to then play in the (PRS licensed) venue...
3.1) it gets even worse when you consider that a song purchased on iTunes is still considered a copy when transferred to an iPod under the ProDub scheme!
3.2) it gets even MORE crazy when they have actually stated that if you simply play directly from the laptop you used to purchase the song, you STILL have to pay the ProDub license because you have copied the song from the iTunes server!!!!!
3.3) it gets EVEN WORSE when you consider that in the early days of Spotify etc. they tried to claim that streaming from the server was STILL a copy because it was being copied to the RAM of the playing device!!!!!!!!!

It's complete madness but it will never change because the music industry has too much lobbying money and MPs are totally uninformed idiots when it comes to modern media...


DH - I'm Done

June 23, 2015, 8:56 am

I am also against piracy, but this isn't about piracy.

It's about making a converting a CD, or maybe even a DVD, something you have paid for any own into a format you can use for private personal use only on your own digital devices without DRM or restrictions or online checks etc. Not allowing people the freedom to do this, contributes to piracy but criminalising people who do not need to be. But, then again, the movie and music industry are an insidious bunch of greedy, money grabbing bead counters who are afraid they may loose a penny.

They've been making these same whiney bleats since the 1970's, with audio cassettes and video tapes, it's bull. If they want to restrict what we do with what we buy, then I don't object to people resorting to any form of circumvention, they are making a rod for their own backs and I have no sympathy.

DH - I'm Done

June 23, 2015, 9:24 am

(Sorry I didn't get to reply quicker. Just for anyone generally scanning through these, we are not talking about piracy - downloading, sharing or otherwise, we are talking about making backups of media we own, for private use, our own devices.)

Agreed. But I'm not sure I'd even support Ultraviolet, from what I read it's a cloud managed DRM system. That says, restrictive, will only work while the service is provided, no internet = no DRM check, will require specialised codec/software and will be limited to only supported platforms.

I am against DRM, I think it is counter productive. I think if you buy a movie, you should get a DRM-free copy so you can use it how you like. Plenty of media outlets are DRM-free any it has been generally a benefit to users and their profits. Movies need to catch up. To their credit, Sky offer a movie streaming service, buy the movie - get the DVD too.

I'm not even really a fan of streaming as such, unless it's like Sky's model. People pay for things, near DVD prices, think they own the movies but in reality the are just paying to gain access for the duration of service provision. You can build a library of hundreds of movies and loose everything when the service is withdrawn or closed.

The best model is to provide a DRM-free copy, let people copy it to their devices as they see fit without restriction, anything else and people will still do it themselves, whatever the law says. As I said in a post about to another chap, the movie and music industry has been moaning about people doing what they want since the 1970's which predictions of industry collapse and all sorts, it's all been a load of hot air. They are still here raking in billions and still trying to stop people doing what they are going to do. Criminalising it makes no difference.

This problem isn't just for modern media, it's since the 70's and it needs addressing once and for all - for the benefit of the people rather than greedy bead counters who want multiple payments for the same movies and music over and over again.

It's insane.

/mutual-rant over :)

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