UK Changes Music Copyright Law: iTunes Trouble?

Cd, Player

Over the years, we have bought and made copies of our favorite music tracks to carry with us on our music devices. There is plenty of software in the market that can help us copy our favorite music files and upload them to a cloud through which we can download them to any device whenever we want. It is also true that most people rip their favorite tracks from music CDs.

All of this was legal in the UK, until now. According to the new copyright laws issued by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), you will not be allowed to make multiple copies of your favorite music tracks anymore. This basically means that theoretically, anybody still using iTunes can be arrested.

What does this mean for the buyers?

Since October 2014, it was legal to make copies of your favorite tracks and music which you bought legally. The copies could then be transferred to all devices that you own without any issue. This exception was created by the IPO to make life easy for buyers.

Due to a few judicial reviews, it turns out that the exception was flawed and has now been terminated by the High Court. Even making a single copy of any music media will now be considered illegal. According to 1709 Blog, the IPO has made it extremely clear that this exception is no longer present.

Alternatives?

There are currently no schemes that can allow rights holders to get something out of copies being made. You might already know that the parties who own the music media which we copy get nothing from us, because copying files is free. Now, they may have to come up with a scheme that would allow us to make copies and create backups of our music files. We might have to pay for this though.

Charging tax for making copies does not seem like a good idea according to the Rights group, but introducing levies on CDs might work. This system is being used in most other European counties as well.

This really does hurt the people who may have bought a brand new music album on a CD but carry an iPhone with them at all times. Now, they can’t rip their favorite tracks off their own CD. What makes it worse is that the buyer has actually paid for the content of the disc and is not allowed to use that content across multiple devices.

What about music purchased before the exception?

We still do not know whether the people who made copies of music media before the termination of the exception will be effected. This hasn’t been stated so far by the IPO. Although copying music files will be illegal now, it is highly unlikely that an individual will be pursued by the law even if he/she breaks it. There haven’t been many compensation claims made in the past, but it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be careful.

According to some reports, illegal copies have an estimated value of more than $65 million. This explains why Rights groups want to be compensated for copies being made, but fails to honor the purchase made by the consumer.  If anything, this may be the death knell of the compact disk, as most users are switching to the digital medium anyway.  This ruling basically provides incentive to never purchase a hard copy again, as it would require you to carry around a CD player in order to listen to your music.

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