In a useless new ruling that will change nothing, you can no longer legally rip CDs and DVDs for personal use in the UK. Ladies and gents, welcome back to 2002.
Yep, you heard that correctly: Yesterday, a high court in the UK ruled that making digital backups of lawfully purchased, copyrighted music is illegal, quashing a (very very long overdue) 2014 “personal use exemption” rule that permitted folks to backup media as long as they weren’t distributing it to others. (In the US and many other countries, it’s totally fine to copy CDs for your own personal use, and has been for a long time.)
The drama started in November, when major music industry players including UK Music and the British Academy of Songwriters challenged the personal use exemption ruling, claiming that it would cost the record industry millions, and demanding that a “compensation scheme” be introduced. Basically, they’re asking to get paid extra when you purchase a physical CD because of the terrible hardship they suffer when you back said CD up to your music library.
A UK high court judged ruled in the record industry’s favor last month, saying that the practice of backing up CDs was “potentially harmful” to music rights holders. Yesterday, it officially became illegal, again.
Of course, no one’s going pay any attention to this ruling, seeing as how we all backed up our physical CDs long ago and pretty much never buy them anymore except as a token gesture when we want to support a friends’ band. Once again, the record industry proves that it’s run by dinosaurs who’d like to bury themselves even further by focusing their time and energy on unenforceable and largely irrelevant litigation.
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