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Ripping CDs Set To Be Legalized In UK

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the about-bloody-time dept.

United Kingdom 156

nk497 writes "The UK is finally set to legalize format shifting, making it legal for the first time to rip songs or films from CDs and DVDs. Ripping is technically illegal under copyright protection laws, despite most industry lobbyists agreeing it was time for a change. The rules look set to be modernized as the government endorses a recent intellectual property report, which also called for the government to ditch plans to require ISPs to block illegal file-sharing sites without a court order."

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Seriously? (2)

Lanteran (1883836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969782)

It was illegal in the UK? I would have thought that of all places, it would have been illegal in the US. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction I guess...

Re:Seriously? (4, Informative)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969840)

It is indeed currently illegal to format shift here
but it's not enforced

Under the same law it's technically "illegal" to tape something off the TV
but only in the most obvious of obvious selling-bootleg-copies-down-the-market instances is anything ever done about it

Re:Seriously? (2)

zandeez (1917156) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969904)

IIRC It's not illegal to tape something from the TV. It is illegal to keep that recording for more than 14 days after the original broadcast.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36969940)

Tape it with what?

They really need to get these laws up to date.

Re:Seriously? (2)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971264)

Tape it with what?

"Tape" as a verb, meaning 'to record'. Doesn't need to be done on spools of magnetic oxide.

Similarly "ripping a cd" does not mean shredding it into pieces with your hands.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36969992)

I think you can keep it as long as you like but, you can only watch it once. UK copyright law has an explicit clause for this saying recording a live broadcast is only permissable for the purposes of 'time-shifting' - that is watching something only once at a later time than it was broadcast. So TIVOs etc are technically illegal here because they breach this.

Re:Seriously? (1)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971736)

recording from the tv is legal as "Time Shifting" not "format Shifting" you can record a broadcast to watch later....
taking a CD and ripping the music to MP3s or whatever is format shifting and that violates copyright laws...

Interesting contrast (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969938)

US, UK. Both common-law countries, yet they seem have such different legal/judicial "cultures".

I suspect that someone accused of filesharing 24 songs over dialup wouldn't get a multimillion-dollar decision of damages against them in the UK. But, of course I could be wrong. Are there any barristers / solicitors lurking on /. to chime in and give us first hand opinion about the differences in the practice of IP law between the two countries?

Re:Interesting contrast (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970058)

More likely they'd get a slap on the wrist and a large but not disproportionate fine. Not too long ago a UK firm called ACS:Law did try to shake down potential P2P filesharers usually through threats of legal action and summary judgements filed in bulk. Things didn't go too well for them what with being hacked, customer data being leaked, complaints to the Information Commissioner (over the breach), fines and judicial criticism.

Re:Interesting contrast (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971542)

I believe that in the UK you would only have to pay the losses incurred, so 24 songs at 79p would be £18.96, plus small claims court fees (may only top £50-100).

As for suing the average joe for copyright infringement for piracy, the music industry has lost every case in the UK.

Re:Seriously? (5, Interesting)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970100)

Under the same law it's technically "illegal" to tape something off the TV

No it is not; in fact time-shifting is explicitly listed as an exception in the law. For example, see section 8 of this page [copyrightservice.co.uk] . What is illegal is recording broadcasts in order to build up a library of recordings (i.e. you can't keep the recordings forever), but time-shifting is definitely not illegal.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970242)

I think the idea is to re-procrastinate the deletion each year so that you eventually delete recordings at about the same time micky mouse enters the public domain.

That way you are not exactly building up a library of everything ever broadcast, you just haven't actually deleted anything yet.

Re:Seriously? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970380)

I'm surprised they have not tried to close the TV license loophole where you are exempt if you only watch recordings. As long as you never watch any of the live streams you can watch iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD etc. without a license as it currently stands.

Re:Seriously? (2)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970678)

Close that one, and youtube, vimeo, dailymotion.... would also be illegal to watch without a TV licence. We have an issue that TV licence does not work, and is even more broken when applied to the internet.

Re:Seriously? (2)

Kakihara (958777) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971068)

The TV license is not broken in the sense that it exists to fund the BBC and the BBC is well-funded. Thus we have either the finest broadcaster in the world or something close to it. It's pretty sad that papers like the Daily Mail have gone to war with it because of a supposed left wing bias. It was sad that the Murdochs were so vehemently anti-BBC, but given their disgrace their opposition might now be a blessing.

But you are right in the sense that if TV becomes predominantly consumed via a pc, then it will be broken.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Kakihara (958777) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970874)

Is that really true? TV entertainer Bob Monkhouse obsessively recorded television shows and built up an enormous library. After lending a tape to the son of a celebrity friend, one of our charmless tabloids I think decided to 'expose' him for violating copyright. After a lengthy trial at the Old Bailey in 1979 he was acquitted.

Given that Monkhouse had tens of thousands of recordings, and was found innocent of all charges, it doesn't sound likely that building up a library is illegal, unless the law has since changed.

Re:Seriously? (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970964)

Or more likely, celebrities are immune to the laws created by corporations. Especially celebrities that further a corporation's interests (TV entertainer).

Re:Seriously? (2)

Kakihara (958777) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971162)

Private Eye (satirical mag published in UK) used to joke that "the jury found the defendant famous."

But I think in this instance, that's not case. Monkhouse was arrested for conspiracy to defraud film companies. He was the little guy. He lost most of his collection anyway because it was seized at the outset and he would have had to establish in court his right to each film individually, at least according to his obituary in the Independent.

Re:Seriously? (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970108)

On top of that, backing up media rather than time-shifting is even greyer. I can't cite a case for you, but I'm sure I've heard that making a single backup for your own use is legal due to precedent - so you can make a single copy of your Windows installation CD or favourite episode of Red Dwarf for your own use if, and only if, the original fails.

Re:Seriously? (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971092)

Under current UK law, software backups are fine, ripping DVD/CD video/audio content is a no-no.

Re:Seriously? (1)

ais523 (1172701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971760)

Pretty much every software EULA designed for the UK explicitly allows people to make one backup copy. I assume that's because the lawyers fear the entire thing will be unenforceable if it doesn't.

Re:Seriously? (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971790)

>I'm sure I've heard that making a single backup for your own use is legal due to precedent

Nope, this is exactly what this _proposed_ change is addressing. "Backups" and "format shifting" are currently illegal to make, use of the copy is largely irrelevant here (beyond level of damages), copyright law protects against people _making_ unlicensed copies.

Re:Seriously? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970582)

It wouldn't be worth enforcing it.

As far as I'm aware the only remedy would be a civil suit for damages. I seriously doubt they'd be able to sue for more than the cost of a CD.

Re:Seriously? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969908)

Things can be illegal in more than one place at the same time.

Looks like the UK has had an outbreak of common sense.

I'm particularly amazed by the line: "...the government endorses a recent intellectual property report". WTF? Heads will be rolling around the floor of the MAFIIA offices today.

Re:Seriously? (1)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970184)

> "...the government endorses a recent intellectual property report".

That's a first. I've lost count of the number of times some quango has been set up to bolster gov't policies and then been quietly buried when their report turns out to recommend the opposite.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970218)

It's not all good. The proposed "orphaned works" solution seems to be fundamentally flawed in that it mandates "voluntary" registration for *every* copyrighted work.

Read more... [openrightsgroup.org]

Re:Seriously? (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970436)

Mandating registration would likely be a breach of the Berne Convention - at least if such registration plays a legal role in the establishment of copyright on a work.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970226)

Seriously, wtf is a CD?

The only CDs in existence today are system recovery CDs. Can you still buy music on CD?

Re:Seriously? (2)

CProgrammer98 (240351) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970308)

Step out you door, head towards a shopping mall. Within you may find something like an entertainment store (HMV/Virgin in the UK) who still continue to stock and sell a surprisingly large amount of these "CDs" containing what some would call "music"

Re:Seriously? (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970364)

Hell, he doesn't even need to get out of his chair. He can go to various websites (Amazon/Play.com/BladDVD/tons of others) and find an enormous range of CDs which still sell well. He could even go to sales figures and find that to the best of my knowledge CDs still outsell downloads by a significant margin.

Re:Seriously? (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970522)

... find an enormous range of CDs which still sell well.

Blasphemer! Everybody knows you can only ever sell one copy of a CD these days and then piracy takes care of the rest!!

Re:Seriously? (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971130)

Sorry. My bad.

Re:Seriously? (1)

entirely_fluffy (756018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970386)

It was illegal in the UK? I would have thought that of all places, it would have been illegal in the US. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction I guess...

I tried to check this - can you point to a reference that confirms that format shifting is legal in the US?

Re:Seriously? (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970848)

I don't have a reference, but based on the fact that it's a long tradition to tape records and rip MP3s from CDs I'm fairly certain it's legal. What is currently illegal is format shifting from DVD or BlueRay disks to other video medium. This is becasue your are bypassing an encryption scheme to do it, which is illegal under the DCMA. As silly as it is, it's legal for me to record my music to computer for personal use (becasue CDs aren't encrypted), but not legal for me to the same with my movies (unless I'm recording from VHS or Laser Disk or something).

Kudos (1)

zero.kalvin (1231372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969786)

I am not trying to be a pessimist here, but I would think there is some small loophole in the new law, that would give the British equivalent of RIAA or MPAA some leverage. Anyone knows anything about this ?

Re:Kudos (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970074)

I'm sure the devil will be in the detail. This is legislation designed to help the content Stazi, not hinder it.

Re:Kudos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970532)

I am not trying to be a pessimist here, but I would think there is some small loophole in the new law, that would give the British equivalent of RIAA or MPAA some leverage. Anyone knows anything about this ?

I would doubt it. If its currently illegal, they would have sued 90% of the UK population by now for breaking it. Anyone who owns an MP3 player would almost certainly be guilty.

Awesome that the UK legalizes format shifting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36969816)

Awesome that the UK legalizes format shifting.

Re:Awesome that the UK legalizes format shifting. (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969918)

Even more awesome is that somebody in government actually read a "recent intellectual property report" that wasn't supplied by the MAFIAA.

good timing (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969822)

If we're finally getting around to CDs now, I guess sensible laws relating to downloaded/streamed content will be coming in around 2030.

Re:good timing (1)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969842)

I do wonder ... would format shifting a DRM'd video to xvid be legal? I guess we'll have to wait for more detail of this law to find out

Re:good timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36969902)

format shifting would be legal. Cracking/removing the DRM would not..

Re:good timing (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969924)

How do you format shift a DVD without decrypting it?

Re:good timing (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970040)

Please don't ask difficult questions, citizen.

Re:good timing (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970048)

How do you watch a DVD without decrypting it?

Re:good timing (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970142)

You do it without storing the decrypted data.

So you have an A=frame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36971176)

But then what? You need to build up the next picture frame with the additional information in the next chunk of encrypted data.

That means you need to STORE it.

Re:good timing (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970376)

The answer is you don't format-shift an encrypted DVD if you don't want to break the law. Ultimately it's a very simple answer to a very simple question (whether you agree with it or not.)

Personally I take the view that I'll rip all my DVDs to my PC and put them onto the telly from there. Technically illegal, but I don't think anyone's going to sue my ass off over it so long as I don't immediately torrent the lot as well.

Re:good timing (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970122)

I don't know, but I plan on writing to my MP to ask that he ensures that cracking DRM for interoperability is expressly permitted. I'll also propose that you get a choice of DRM xor legal protection under copyright law, but not both, but I doubt that will fly.

Re:good timing (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970382)

Good luck but neither are going to come about. I think it's more likely that producers will ultimately give up on DRM than a law is passed allowing us to bypass it for our own personal use.

Re:good timing (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970516)

Well, I intend to point out the innovation that DRM on DVDs has held back by comparing the proliferation of portable music players and MP3 jukebox systems to the complete lack of any equivalent for DVDs, and cite the case in the USA where a company that did produce a ripped-DVD jukebox was forced to stop selling them over DMCA violations.

Copy protection (1)

mosseh (1014255) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969828)

I thought the reason this was illegal was because ripping (almost all) commercial DVDs involved breaking CSS? Will this make circumventing such crappy DRM legal then?

Re:Copy protection (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969998)

Unlikely, that'll still be covered by the EUCD or other bullshit law.

This is just catching up to the state of the art of the mid 90s, when people started (perfectly reasonably) ripping unencrypted cds to their hard drives. These people are now no longer criminals.

Never let it be said that the UK is not at the forefront of technology!

There was a case of a (pretty high-end) product that copied cds to a drive so that they could be played in different rooms a little while back, that was made to carry a notice on the packaging saying that the intended use was illegal....

Re:Copy protection (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970068)

This is just catching up to the state of the art of the mid 90s, when people started (perfectly reasonably) ripping unencrypted cds to their hard drives.

Make that the mid 70s when people not unreasonably started taping their vinyl LPs to compact casettes to play in the car...

There was a case of a (pretty high-end) product that copied cds to a drive so that they could be played in different rooms a little while back

Actually, the problem there is that the manufacturer violated "don't ask, don't tell" by explicitly suggesting in their advert that people could use it to rip their entire CD collection, and some curtain-twitcher complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (the advertising industry self-regulatory body) who then had no legal choice other than banning the ad.

Re:Copy protection (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970098)

"This is just catching up to the state of the art of the mid 90s, when people started (perfectly reasonably) ripping unencrypted cds to their hard drives. These people are now no longer criminals."

Just to nit pick. They are making the action legal in the future. However all of us that have done so in the past and might well do so again before the law comes into effect are still filthy criminals. We broke the law and we could technically still be arrested and prosecuted for it even after the law comes into effect.

Re:Copy protection (1)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970186)

Just to nit pick. They are making the action legal in the future. However all of us that have done so in the past and might well do so again before the law comes into effect are still filthy criminals. We broke the law and we could technically still be arrested and prosecuted for it even after the law comes into effect.

Last time I looked, ripping for personal use was a civil matter.

Farnsworth (-1)

Vitani (1219376) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969832)

Good news everyone!

Rain on the parade... (3, Interesting)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969868)

Okay, I am curious. How does this matter in the long run? As per the US-UK extradition treaty, US laws trump UK laws anyways. If it is illegal in USA, a UK citizen can get arrested and extradited regardless. And considering the kind of laws RIAA/MPAA lobbying has managed to get passed("economic terrorism"), it will be eventually illegal, once RIAA does gets around to getting a rider attached to some important bill to get fair-use rights eroded. And at that point, the treaty means that it will be illegal in UK as well for all practical purposes automatically. Or am I misinterpreting this somehow?

Re:Rain on the parade... (3, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969906)

While the extradition treaty is a bit shit, your understanding of it is far too simplistic, and that is dangerous in itself - no UK citizen has yet been extradited for carrying out something legal in the UK that is illegal in the US. All examples of usage of the extradition has been where the act has been illegal in both countries, *and* the US has been able to show that some of the act was carried out in the US.

Re:Rain on the parade... (4, Informative)

mosseh (1014255) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970070)

All examples of usage of the extradition has been where the act has been illegal in both countries, *and* the US has been able to show that some of the act was carried out in the US.

What about Richard O'Dwyer of TVShack fame? http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/big-content-unveils-latest-antipiracy-weapon-extradition.ars/ [arstechnica.com]

The legality of linking It's not clear whether O'Dwyer has even committed a crime under UK law. O'Dwyer is not accused of hosting infringing content himself. Instead, his site provided links to content hosted by other websites. In December, a British judge ruled in favor [torrentfreak.com] of TV-Links, a website that, like Tvshack, offered links to video content, some of it infringing.

Re:Rain on the parade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36971022)

What about Richard O'Dwyer of TVShack fame? >

We'll be able to answer that question when we see the court's ruling. Speculating that what he did might not be a crime in the UK doesn't necessarily make it so.

Re:Rain on the parade... (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971388)

Very interesting. Thanks for that. Although it's not confirmed he's going to be extradited, it doesn't look good! I might write my MP about this.

Re:Rain on the parade... (4, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969978)

They're talking about repealing the extradition treaty as well (cite) [telegraph.co.uk] .

The treaty was originally only for "terrorists" but as usual the USA has been abusing it for their own purposes

Re:Rain on the parade... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970150)

They're talking about repealing the extradition treaty as well (cite) [telegraph.co.uk] .

Well, they were back in 2009 when that article was written...

Re:Rain on the parade... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970130)

Not really. I think it would be difficult to find a judge willing to extradite someone for converting a CD, which is legal under UK law. The decision to extradite can be made by a judge and in the event can still be over-ruled by the Home Secretary iirc (I'm not a solicitor/lawyer though). E.g. That is why Gary McKinnon may not be extradited. With a politician having the final say-so rather than the judiciary in this matter they prefer not to annoy voters (Home Secretary can refuse extradition - in Gary's case under the UK Human Rights Act - he has Asperger's).

As for the US-UK extradition - this is something that the coalition government want to 'revue' as it is not seen as even-handed (I believe because some part of the treaty is yet to be enacted in the US ... after years).

I think the intention was to more easily ship 'serious criminals' more easily between the two countries.

Re:Rain on the parade... (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971084)

Ignoring the other issues with your theory people are bringing up, it's not illegal to format shift in the US. It's illegal to crack CSS in order to rip DVDs to your hard drive (thanks to the DCMA), but that's still illegal in the UK under something called EUCD apparently. At least according to comments above yours. So this is actually an instance where UK law is simply catching up to US law, not going beyond it.

Re:Rain on the parade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36971742)

No, it is not. It is perfectly legal in the US to rip a DVD to your hard drive. It is one of the exceptions added to the DCMA.

everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969874)

I'm ignorant about UK laws, do you have some kind of breaking-encryption-is-verboten-law?

Even circumventing completly useless "encryptions" like CSS is afaik not allowed under DMCA, copy prevention systems for audio CDs like intentionally corrupt data are imo similar protected.

Does the format shifting law explicitly include that the original has to be unencrypted?

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (4, Informative)

pstorry (47673) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969914)

No, we just have copyright laws that have no concept of fair use.

Therefore we can't time or format shift, can't use copyrighted material in parodies or for other works without getting permission from the copyright holder, and so forth.

Nobody ever prosecuted anyone on these issues unless it was blatantly criminal activity (e.g. selling dodgy copies on a market stall). But ignorance of the law is no excuse, and under these laws about 95% of all UK citizens are criminals. I doubt you'll find anyone alive since the 80's that hasn't copied music to tape for listening in a car/walkman, recorded something to videotape for later viewing, ripped music from a CD as an MP3/AAC file, and so forth. It's just become one of those laws that's there but nobody cares about.

I've not checked the proposed changes, but I suspect that it's a fairly broad - and long overdue - attempt to introduce a more US-like set of exceptions. I doubt that we will be allowed to legally circumvent DRM, though - that would be a step too far for the corporate lobbyists.

People are just reporting the "legal to copy a CD" thing because it's attention grabbing. Most readers will look at the headline and wonder what it's on about, as they didn't know it was illegal...

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970126)

Therefore we can't time or format shift

Format shifting is illegal, which is utterly ridiculous, however time shifting is explicitly legal [copyrightservice.co.uk] (see section 8).

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971856)

>however time shifting is explicitly legal [

Unless you watch it twice or simply keep a copy beyond the first viewing.

Destroy that old Red Dwarf you taped off BBC2 now you tortuous infringer!!

You do have a "turning copy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970170)

You do have a "turning copy". Your wife (such was the societal norms in those days) can be given a copy of any copyrighted work you have. It's not often known and of course it's not promoted as a right you have by the copyright lobby.

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970706)

can't use copyrighted material in parodies or for other works

Yes you can. Parody may be covered under crticism depending on the nature of the parody.

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971682)

"No, we just have copyright laws that have no concept of fair use."

This is an often repeated myth, and is simply not true. Numerous exceptions including time shifting exist in UK law already

See here to get it straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-other/c-exception.htm [ipo.gov.uk]

What is changing is that format shifting, and parody works are being added to the existing list of things like time shifting, and research or review work.

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (2)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969922)

I'm ignorant about UK laws, do you have some kind of breaking-encryption-is-verboten-law?

I didn't know, but Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 [wikipedia.org] seems to be the relevant law.

IANAL. It seems to be illegal to break encryption for commercial reasons, I'm not sure about non-commercial reasons. But if the encryption prevents things you're allowed to do (so, soon format shifting...?) then there must be a way round that.

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969986)

"But if the encryption prevents things you're allowed to do (so, soon format shifting...?) then there must be a way round that."

Not really. Being "allowed" to do something does not mean you have a right to do so. This is also a common misconception regarding the US Fair Use doctrine. Fair Use is not a right, but it is a defence you can use in a case against you.

The difference may seem subtle, but if it was "a right", then companies wouldn't be allowed to use encryption to stop you from exercising your rights. Since format shifting will be merely "allowed", the media companies will still be allowed to use DRM to stop you from doing so.

I doubt any front bench politician would have the balls to call for format shifting to become a right.

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (3, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970072)

"But if the encryption prevents things you're allowed to do (so, soon format shifting...?) then there must be a way round that."

Not really. Being "allowed" to do something does not mean you have a right to do so. This is also a common misconception regarding the US Fair Use doctrine. Fair Use is not a right, but it is a defence you can use in a case against you.

I can't really add anything beyond just copying out the bit of the Wikipedia:

The new section 296ZE creates a remedy via complaint to the Secretary of State if a technical device or measure prevents a person or group of people from carrying out a permitted act with relation to the work. The Secretary of State may issue a direction to the owner of the copyright to take such measures as are necessary to enable the permitted act to be carried out. The breach of such a direction is actionable as a breach of statutory duty.

and the relevant section of the act [legislation.gov.uk] .

The law itself is far too confusing.

Re:everything similar to Audio CD or only Red Book (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970412)

This post should be modded up.

In the USA, the First requires fair use (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971072)

This is also a common misconception regarding the US Fair Use doctrine. Fair Use is not a right, but it is a defence you can use in a case against you.

In Eldred v. Ashcroft (2003), the U.S. Supreme Court held that there are a few things keeping the exclusive rights granted to authors from violating the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press. Expiry is not one of them, but fair use is.

NOOO OOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOOO !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36969898)

Nooo !! This is ... oh. Wait. What?

Illegal ?? Daft be ye, matey ?? What the fuck has the queen been doing all this time, then ?? Breakin' the law ?? Breakin' the law ?? A hail of Tiptons on thee, queenie !!

Re:NOOO OOOOO OOOOOOO OOOOOOOO !! (1)

Flipstylee (1932884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971324)

and a few Downings

Private copy and tax (4, Interesting)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36969976)

In France, private copy was always legal, but the fact that it stayed legal for so long is because "private copy tax" was introduced on all storage media (blank CDs/DVDs, memory cards, hard drives). This tax is per MB, and has never been updated, which means that you sometimes pay more tax on a new hard drive than the drive is worth.

Hopefully it won't get like that in the UK...

Re:Private copy and tax (0)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970000)

oh, and of course: In Soviet Russia, music format shifts you!

Re:Private copy and tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970952)

In France, private copy was always legal, but the fact that it stayed legal for so long is because "private copy tax" was introduced on all storage media (blank CDs/DVDs, memory cards, hard drives). This tax is per MB, and has never been updated, which means that you sometimes pay more tax on a new hard drive than the drive is worth.

Hopefully it won't get like that in the UK...

Fat chance. Music and video industry spokespeople have already been on the BBC and other news channels this morning calling for EU style "compensation". I always find it amusing that they tout these measures as necessary to protect smaller music labels and independent artists. How much of the tax is it likely that an independent artist will receive, as opposed to the huge payouts the major labels will entitle themselves to?

Re:Private copy and tax (1)

mijelh (1111411) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971126)

In Spain private copy (and file sharing) is also legal and had always been. Then they introduced the "private copy tax" you speak about, of course not to keep private copy legal, but because it was infeasible to change the law in regards to that, and a way to monetize the situation was needed by the powers that be.
Fortunately, the EU ruled the tax was illegal [eurotribune.eu] . And later some members of the SGAE (Spanish RIAA) were arrested [www.rtve.es] for embezzlement of the money obtained by such tax.
I ignore what's the current situation, but given the fact that wikileaks revealed US pressures to the Spanish government to change the copyright laws, I'm assuming these victories won't last long.

Re:Private copy and tax (2)

zzyzyx (1382375) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971140)

Actually it is an European law, and each country decides how much the tax should be. It is highest in France than in any other European country. For example, the tax on a blank DVD is 1.2€, and 20€ for a 1TB external hard drive. Nearly anything that can store audio is taxed, from audio cassettes to car GPS. It is not actually a tax in the sense that it is not contributed to the community but instead directly to the local equivalent of the RIAA. The tax amount is established by a committee composed by 50% representatives of the artists/producers/editors, 25% representatives of the media manufacturers/resellers, and 25% representatives of the consumers. In case of a tie during a vote, the president decides the vote. Until now, he has always sided with the media industry, which have consequently been able to unilaterally decide the amount of the tax. That might explain why it is so high.

Tories aren't Labour (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970022)

This is something that Labour went out of their way to keep illegal during the last copyright review - hopefully this helps show that while the Conservatives are evil amoral bastards, at least they're not quite so crazily desperate to set up a police state (by criminalising things that everyone does AND trying to remove the right to a jury trial / destroying the idea of double jeopardy)

But what about ripping CD`s into Itunes. (1)

bejiitas_wrath (825021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970086)

But what about ripping CD`s into Itunes, the music is only for your use, and many people want to copy music into their library and keep the music CD away somewhere safe. This is a good decision.

Re:But what about ripping CD`s into Itunes. (1)

stiggle (649614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970916)

Technically thats illegal - same with MS Media Player and all the other music players which will rip a CD to your media library.
Of course, this means that Apple & Microsoft are facilitating the crime and so should be triple fined for it :-) Its not as if either company are doing much with their billions and the governments could do with a few extra dollars.

It's the result of a one-sided change in the law (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970090)

It's the result of a one-sided change in the law. Copyright was solely a civil tort and you HAD to prove damages to get damages. Since format shifting for your own purposes was illegal but caused no damage to the copyright holder, there was no need to make it legal: no court would take it on.

Then they changed the law about needing to prove damages.

How can piracy be stopped with such a measure? (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970164)

With such a measure, the average Joe will claim "format shifting" each time he makes a copy for himself, his friends, his mates.

Re:How can piracy be stopped with such a measure? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970216)

Well, there's a vast difference between format shifting and copying.

In the first, you just change the format and how you'll use it. In this situation there are very few times when you'll use both medias (cd+mp3/flac/ogm/etc). Whereas with copying, more than one copy is assumed to be, more likely than not, playing at any one time.

To put it another way, they'd probably be 100% fine if, when copying music, it made it so the original cd was defunct or, magically, could not be played at the same time as the original cd. A person who protests that they need to give friends and family copies in order to "format shift" isn't paying attention to exactly what format shifting is defined as being. You're merely altering the state in which your media exists, not duplicating it. Palming your copy off to your friends, or keeping said copy while selling the original, is something that seems legal for the layman "well if having both is legal, then having both with different people must be legal too" but that is not so. By changing hands with the copy, the item goes from existing as a SINGLE possession, despite how many formats it's in, to existing as MULTIPLE possessions, even if there is the same number as when it was a single possession.

To myself, all I think is that this is making something that was illegal (due to advancing technologies making old laws far too clunky) and unenforcable into something legal. This isn't a bad thing. Also, I think this is how it's supposed to work in the US of A.

Re:How can piracy be stopped with such a measure? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970806)

Why would he need to do that? It's not like anyone will prosecute anyway.

Story tags (1)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970286)

More than a lot of the /. postings, this one needs a suddenoutbreakofcommonsense tag. Let's hope U.S. courts eventually come to the same conclusion as their UK counterparts.

Re:Story tags (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36971356)

More than a lot of the /. postings, this one needs a suddenoutbreakofcommonsense tag. Let's hope U.S. courts eventually come to the same conclusion as their UK counterparts.

Given how rare this happens, I reckon the "random-outbreak-of-common-sense" tag makes... well... more sense.

Don't worry - the EU will whip them into place (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970506)

After all being amoral is what copyright is all about.

Obsolete (1)

PerlDave (1534841) | more than 3 years ago | (#36970580)

Are audio CD's basically obsolete at this point anyway?

Re:Obsolete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36971370)

They are a perfectly good way to buy music that is technically much higher quality than an MP3 file. You even get a backup disc in the bargain!

If it's in the UK, it's not legalized... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36970588)

It's legalised.

Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36971160)

How is this relevant in today's "cdless" world?

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