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.