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Brits can now legally copy media files for personal use

If you’re ripping CDs and DVDs in order to play back digitally, you’re no longer breaking the law, thanks to new intellectual property laws in the UK.

The ruling, made in June but not brought into effect until today, allows consumers to make copies of their own media files for personal use only.

The new law covers the copying of CDs, MP3s, DVDs, Blu-rays and e-books. The owners of the files are able to keep them on hard drives or in the cloud, but they’re still not allowed to share them with friends.

Believe it or not, until today, even the practice of ripping purchased CDs to play digitally in iTunes or copy to a personal mobile device was actually considered illegal.

The Intellectual Property Office, whose guidance brought about the change, says it brings the UK’s IP law into the 21st century.

“[The new law] will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers,” said the minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

However, the law alteration doesn’t cast off the shackles completely. Although users can copy a CD they own to be stored digitally or burned to a second disc for personal use, they are not permitted to then sell the original and keep those secondary copies.

The law makes clear that Spotify and Netflix subscribers are not allowed to rip content from the service, neither can they rip rented items like Blu-rays or video games.

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