UK Urged to Update Copyright Laws

In the United Kingdom burning CDs and DVDs for personal use is common. Now the ministers of the UK are being urged now to modify copyright laws to allow users to legally rip CDs and DVDs! The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) wants users to have a "private right to copy" digital content. The IPPR acknowledged that the music and film industries are justified in battling illegal file sharing. But the IPPR argues that making copies for personal use does not have significant impact on copyright holders.

Millions of Britons are violating current copyright laws by ripping CDs onto their MP3 players and/or PCs. Currently, Britons are violating an outdated 300-year-old law when copying CDs and DVDs. The British Phonographic Institute has already stated that it will not pursue its rights to bring private copying cases against users if the copying truly is for private purposes only.

An independent research study reports that around 59 percent of Britons believe copying CDs and DVDs to other devices is legal. The chairman of the culture, media and sport select committee inquiry admits that he and his children are in violation of the law. "My own view is that the current laws are unsatisfactory as it is difficult to say to consumers that this bit of the law matters and this bit doesn't matter," Conservative MP John Whittingdale was quoted as saying.

News source: DailyTech


Should the ministers of the UK legalize ripping CDs and DVDs?
-Enan Hawk

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36 Comments

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Personally, I don't see what the big deal is if they're not going after people currently just ripping for personal use only. They don't seem to be that worried about it. I don't know that was just my take on it though.

Quote - Matt T said @ #14
Wow, you know you've got outdated copyright laws when Australia is ahead of you.

You mean, "You know you've got outdated copyright laws when the laws are older than Australia" :P

Quote - HawkMan said @ #14.2
Meh, Asutralia is founded by criminals anyway, they're all thieves :p

No it wasn't, it was founded by the British, as a penal colony, not founded by criminals. Yes, a proportion of the population are likely descended from criminals, but seeing as you could get sent to Australia for something as pathetic as debtors prison, that's hardly significant...

If its not being enforced, its a waste of lawmakers time to change it - heck, I'm sure archaic laws exist in worse fashion than this.

Quite a few of those UK dumb laws have either been repealed (a bale of hay in a hackney carriage, for example) or have been overridden by subsequent law, with the general idea that they will be repealed when they get around to it.

The problem is that while it's common sense to allow people to rip their own CDs/DVDs, as soon as it's made legal everyone will think this gives them the green flag to start burning and sharing their copies with their friends, neighbors, relatives. That's why this law is always debated - you allow people to do something based on common sense, they go ahead and push the boundaries some more because common sense is not all that common.

Do people not already burn and share copies with friends, neighbors, relatives?

That would still be illegal under this law, and that is illegal now, yet still people do it in both cases.

Personally, I wouldn't care much for that. That's another headache for the music industry. What we should at least be able to expect is fair use laws like these to be more clearly defined. I think we shouldn't stop good and sensible laws from coming into effect in fear of other crimes, especially if they'd still be criminal.

People also already exceed the speed limits and alcohol limits as well on the roads, but that doesn't mean it should be legalized, as it sends the wrong message.

Quote - 7Dash8 said @ #11.2
People also already exceed the speed limits and alcohol limits as well on the roads, but that doesn't mean it should be legalized, as it sends the wrong message.

Fantastic comparison mate. 10 gold shiney stars for you! There I was thinking that my ripping of MY music was wrong and now I suddenly see it's causeing death and suffering to thousands! How blind have I been? Blind drunk infact at the stearing wheel it seems.

Whether it becomes legal or not, I highly doubt that 300-year-old law will ever be enforced, seeing as how so many people rip and burn CDs and DVDs daily.

It's fantastic to see such issues being highlighted in a REALISTIC and DEMOCRATIC fashion.

If the majority of people are breaking the law, unknowingly or otherwise, then clearly something's critically wrong.

Wow -- I'm genuinely shocked. You mean there actually is a governing body that DOESN'T think ripping CDs/DVDs for personal use is evil/wrong? :eek:

Wow, I've been ripping CDs for years using Windows Media Player thinking it was perfectly legal...no joke!!

Heh, goes to show. At least I've been purchasing the CDs legally, though.

They should legalize all piracy . . because really if your not physically taking something, it ain't stealing. Think of it more as aquiring something that is widely available (because really who are you actually hurting). Also would I have bought the media anyway . . probably no . . so their not losing any money because my sale wouldn't have happened.


It would be great if canada started going this way (relaxed laws) aswell . . because copyright/infridgment/digital rights/ are just a waste of time, I hope they see the light eventually.

Quote - cooljerk_dv said @ #1
because really who are you actually hurting

The artists that make the music - without any money they wouldn't be making any music and piracy would be irrelevant. Copyright laws are essential, however they do need to be updated (and relaxed) to reflect modern usage. It is pointless to have restrictions if the majority of the population are going to bypass them... even MPs freely admit to copying music in a way that is illegal under the current system. Also, DRM has been a disaster because it ties you in to specific MP3 players or music stores, as well as the poor quality of the encodings - it's actually held back progress.

I think the mistake cooljerk_dv is making is equating priacy with stealing, which is not the case. Stealing is taking tangible property without permission, piracy is taking intellectual property without permission. However, you'll notice that both involve taking property without permission. That's why piracy is still wrong. You are taking something that is the result of someone's spent time, without their permission. Me spending hours making a physical object is no different then me spending hours making computer data. Although the latter can be copied without bounds, the issue is whether you have a right to have it.

You're a fool cooljerk.

It isn't your content, you own one copy of it, which you should pay the price they set for or do without.

Now, you should be able to fairly use your legally purchased copy - but how the hell do you expect content to be made when nobody pays for it? Or do you expect others to pay, while you get a freeride?

The artists that make the music - without any money they wouldn't be making any music

This is flat out wrong; there's lots of quality music made by indie artists who have nothing against free mp3 downloads to advertise themselves. Sure, they want money too, but they're also prepared to look in less conservative ways of profiting from their works. And there are still others who do music primarly for the fun of it, not for the profit, and having more traditional jobs besides their music composing.

There are several good web sites online for these groups and some of my favorite artists belong to it. However, they are being overshadowed by the ads from the music company behemoths, and the power of advertising heavily influence the public's choice in music. With those out of the way, it would be interesting to see how music would start influencing our culture, because it's as surely going to stay as any other aspect of culture is.

This certainly sounds like a positive move to me, especially as a UK resident.
If i buy a CD or DVD, i expect to be able to use it in a manner that suits my needs and lifestyle.
This may include making a backup copy, or even a secondary backup (for the especially paranoid), or i may simply wish to listen to music on an MP3 player, or on my PC / Mac without having to fiddle around with CDs every time i want to change tracks.

Clearly, if one wished to stay legal and listen to music on the move, it would be quite difficult to do with a large box of CDs in tow and a portable CD player.

With any luck, this modification will be passed.

Currently, Britons are violating an outdated 300-year-old law when copying CDs and DVDs.

About time, I've been waiting ages to copy my DVD's from 1706!

Yeah we had cd & DvD's like 300 years ago :gasp:

We are allowed with permission from the author to make a backup copy so to preserve the original content.

This kind of crap happened when VHS cassette recorders hit the retail market and before cassette recorders.

This should be the chance for the morons that are supposed to run the Britain to add a larger v.a.t. levy as an excuse.

I don't get why it takes so long to pass legislation.

Well I do however thats another thread.