U.K. Revises Music Copyright Law for MP3 Era (Finally)

  • Share
  • Read Later

Britain is joining the rest of Europe in legalizing the copying of CDs and DVDs for personal use, following up on the recommendations of an institutional review on intellectual property framework carried out on behalf of the Prime Minister. In other words: The UK Government has finally decided that it’s legal for Brits to rip music that they’ve already paid for so that they can play them on iPods and similar devices.

Admittedly, the first thing this brings to mind is, “That wasn’t legal already?” but apparently not.

It is legal throughout Europe with the exceptions of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta, but the change—to be announced today by British Business Secretary Vince Cable—goes further than just making Apple less likely to be accused of inciting mass lawbreaking across the U.K.

The review is also expected to lead to a change in copyright law that will allow comedians to parody creative work without first receiving permission from the original creators. Still unsure is the review’s final recommendation: the creation of a “central digital copyright exchange,” a one-stop shop where licenses for copyrighted material would be managed.

MORE: YouTube Sends Copyright Pirates Back To School

Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.