The UK government has published new draft Regulations which would create copyright exceptions for parody, text mining, research and education, and which would legalise making personal copies (e.g. ripping) of lawfully acquired CDs, DVDs, ebooks etc.
The Regulations, which will require parliamentary approval before coming into force, also allow for file conversion and cloud storage for personal use. However, the “personal copies” exception does not apply to computer programs.
Digital rights campaigners welcomed the changes, calling the new Regulations “a great leap forward into the 21st century”.
These changes are important for both free speech and consumer rights. They mean that people will no longer be infringing copyright when they make personal copies of their own music, films and books. Nor will they have to break the law if they contribute to our rich online culture of advert, film and music parodies. The important thing now is for MPs and Peers to say yes to the regulations and bring the UK’s copyright laws up to date and in line with most other European countries.
— Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group
The Regulation on “personal copies for private use” also contains measures relating to Digital Rights Management (DRM) - referred to as “restrictive measures [which] prevent or restrict personal copying”. These measures do not sanction the use of DRM removal technology, but do allow consumers to petition the Secretary of State if DRM “unreasonably prevents or restricts the making of personal copies”.
If approved by Parliament, these Regulations will come into force in on 1 June 2014.
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