UK Law Makes it Illegal for iTunes Users To Rip CDs, Back Up Purchases

UK Law Makes it Illegal for iTunes Users To Rip CDs, Back Up Purchases
If you're looking to rip a copy of recent albums from UK artists like Foals or Mumford & Sons onto your iTunes, you might not want to do it while traveling through Ol' Blighty. A recent ruling from the UK's High Court has apparently made that quite illegal.

Earlier in the summer, a judge had overruled an exception the UK Government had introduced in 2014 as part of their copyright laws to allow music listeners the opportunity to rip a copy of a CD for "personal use." Industry groups including the Musicians' Union (MU), the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and UK Music complained, and applied for a judicial review to have this common practice looked at once again. The judge ruled in their favour.

The implications on this affect UK music consumers in many ways, most notably making it unlawful to use their iTunes to transfer music from a CD onto their portable device.

A spokesperson for the UK Intellectual Property Office clarified for TorrentFreak [via Consequence of Sound]: "It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another."

While directly noting that CD-to-MP3 conversion is unlawful, the law could also apply to anyone transferring old video clips onto their computer, as well as those who use USB turntables to toss their old vinyl collection into their iTunes.

It's added that backing up a song, whether onto your hard drive or on the Cloud, "without permission from the copyright holder" is also verboten. Making things even more complicated, this could affect music fans trying to backup their digital purchases onto an external hard drive.

The UK Government is apparently unhappy over the over-ruled measure, but a spokesperson told Torrent Freak that it's unclear whether any new action will be made. "As this is a complex area of law, the Government is carefully considering the implications of the ruling and the available options, before deciding any future course of action."