Crazy Fact: Ripping CDs is Illegal

By Chris Mills on at

The government's just come out with its fix for creating a "modern intellectual property framework". What with everyone suing the pants off everyone else, you'd think that this would be something to do with the crazy world of patents. But no. It's actually a 'fix' that affects something we all do on a daily basis, that's apparently illegal.

Fun fact I learned this morning: copying some kind of copyrighted digital media from one storage medium to another is illegal. So, ripping your CD collection onto iTunes to put on your iPod? Illegal. Copying an eBook from your computer onto your Kindle? Illegal. Oops.

Thankfully, that's all set to change. The government's laid out a new " modern, robust and flexible copyright framework" to address the problem -- the problem being that no one or their dog gives a rat's arse about the current law. Their theory is, if the government are nice enough to change the law (a law I'm sure no one even knew existed), we might be so grateful that we stop breaking the laws we actually know about. Or something like that.

Anyway, apparently this change, along with a few other more meaningful ones (like allowing schools to record TV programmes for "private study" and allowing greater use of copyrighted material, if it's properly acknowledged) with generate £500 million for the UK economy over the next 10 years. And if that's not an impressive conjuring trick, I don't know what is. Still, at least I should be grateful that I'm no longer breaking the law by copying CDs, even if it's not really going to change my day-to-day life one single jot. Now that we've done that, can we sort out the whole patent thing? Cheers. [IPO via BBC]

Image credit: CDs from Shutterstock