Apple’s iTunes is now illegal in the UK… wait, what?
Apple’s iTunes music software now lives on the wrong side of the law in the UK.
This is the result of a recent High Court decision that makes backing up music illegal.
Back in October, new intellectual property laws meant that ripping copyrighted CDs and DVDs that you already owned was within your rights as a consumer.
However, in July this year we reported on a new ruling by the High Court, which overturned that decision entirely.
That move, which followed a legal challenge from music industry big wigs, now means that ripping a CD in iTunes is no longer legal.
“It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another,” a UK Intellectual Property Office spokesperson told TorrentFreak.
Apple actively promotes the ability of its software to copy CDs to its player.
This means that the company is potentially liable for significant claims for damages from the music industry for facilitating copyright infringement.
This legal change doesn’t only affect ripping CDs, however. Copying a song from a computer backup or storing a track on the cloud is also against the law.
“…it includes creating backups without permission from the copyright holder, since this necessarily involves an act of copying,” the spokesperson continued.
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If you’ve copied a CD, however, you probably don’t need to worry too much about getting a knock at the door from the law.
“The Government is not aware of any cases of copyright holders having prosecuted individuals for format-shifting music solely for their own personal use,” explains the spokesperson.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be taken to court by copyright holders, however. Ouch.