Hey UK, You Can Now Rip CDs and DVDs Without Going to Prison

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Ripping CDs and DVDs for personal use is to be legalised in the UK as part of new government legislation to update copyright law for the digital age. From June 1, those living in the UK will be free to copy music, movies and e-books purchased from one device, for use on another.

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However, it will remain illegal to copy content you do not legally own, or make copies for family or friends.

"The changes make small but important reforms to UK copyright law and aim to end the current situation where minor and reasonable acts of copying which benefit consumers, society and the economy are unlawful," said the UK Intellectual Property Office in a statement.

"They also remove a range of unnecessary rules and regulations from the statute book in line with the government's aim to reduce regulation."

Copyright owners will still be able to apply copy protection to their products. 

Consumer Focus, the government-backed watchdog, called for the law to be changed in 2010, after, surveying 2,000 adults and finding that 17 per cent did not realise that copying CDs onto their computer or iPad was illegal. According to Ofcom, at the time 41 per cent of the adult population - equating to 18 million people - own an MP3 digital music player, such as an iPod.

Jill Johnstone, International Director, Consumer Focus said at the time, "The credibility of UK copyright law has fallen through the floor. Millions of consumers are regularly copying CDs or DVDs and are unaware they are breaching copyright law.

"The world has moved on and reform of copyright law is inevitable, but it's not going to update itself. If the Government wants consumers to respect copyright law they have to stop sitting on their hands and bring the law in line with the real world."

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