Music Industry

Amazing: It’s Still Illegal to Rip CDs in the UK

I’ve been ripping CDs to MP3 since I learned what an MP3 was. Everyone I ripped was legally purchased and acquired, which gave me the right to transfer the music they contained to a different format for personal use. This is no different than when I bought vinyl and albums and transferred the songs I like to cassette so I could listen in the car. In the air of CD burners, I ripped albums to my computer and then created mix CDs. And when the iPod came along–say no more, right?

In the UK, everything I just outlined is still against the law. Ripping CDs for personal use is illegal.

To be fair, it used to be legal–but only for nine months. Back in October, a court ruled that because the UK lacked a copyright levy (we have one in Canada, by the way, but in realityreturns a pittance to rightsholders), the ruling that made ripping CDs was overturned. This affects not just CDs but DVDs, ebooks and other material that can be duplicated digitally.

It seems once again that legislation is a little behind technology. Given that streaming will soon become the biggest method of music consumption in the near future, it’s kind of silly to be talking about ripping CDs. When was the last time you bought a spindle of blank CD-Rs? I still have half of a 25-pack that I bought…six, seven years ago? Or was it longer?

Read more at Digital Spy (via Tom)  Meanwhile, on a related note, digital pirates could face up to ten years in jail in the UK.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37882 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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