UK Government Reaffirms Ripping CDs For Personal Use Is Illegal

Proving once again that some lawmakers are still living in the stone age, the UK government has just reintroduced a law that deems ripping CDs and DVDs illegal. Want to toss that new album onto your MP3 player? Convert that DVD movie for viewing on the plane? No, and no. Don't even think about it.

What's most ridiculous about this law is that it was remedied last fall, with "Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014". That made it instantly legal for such personal ripping to occur, but as that has been effectively overturned, we're back at square one again.

A Compact Disc
Flickr: Dave Allen

There's not much that can be said here that's not blatantly obvious. Imagine being a music fan that purchases real CDs (*raises hand*) and sticks to the letter of this law - you'd be fetching and swapping CDs constantly. I think it's insane to expect someone to do this; people should have the right to rip for their own use.

The irony in all of this is that it's the legal, paying customers that are getting shafted here. Not those who pirate and pay nothing. On that note, there's no telling exactly how this law would be enforced. I can't imagine someone having their MP3 player analyzed at a security checkpoint or having their house raided so that licenses could be verified. Ultimately, it could be a law that affects no regular consumer, but instead performers who rely on such things - DJs, remixers, et cetera.

I'm not sure this law is as dumb as the one in Oklahoma that explicitly states you cannot have a sleeping donkey in your bathtub after 7PM (that'd be challenging to obey!), but it's up there.

Tags:  music, law, uk