Review says ripping CDs and DVDs should be legal

A review of IP and UK copyright law has recommended legalising the copying of music and films from CD or DVD to digital devices.


The Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, launched last November, sought submissions from sectors including publishing, music, design, technology and the creative industries about how copyright law could be reformed to keep pace with digital changes, protecting the interest of content owners but promoting innovation.

Among the 10 recommendations published today are:

  • Legalising the copying of CD and DVD content onto digital devices. According to the report, “People are confused about what is allowed and what is not, with the risk that the law falls into disrepute.”
  • A relaxation of the rules around ’transformative’ works or reworkings of existing content. This would mean that parodies posted on YouTube are less likely to be removed at the behest of record labels, for instance.
  • A relaxation of rules around digital archiving.
  • A relaxation of rules to support text and data analytics, promoted at EU level.
  • The creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange, which would liaise between licensing, content and rights owners to simplify rights clearance and ensure that work without an author can still be commercialised.
  • An approach to exceptions in copyright that encourages new digital technology businesses both within and beyond the creative industries.

Last October, the Government launched IC Tomorrow, a venture with firms including EMI, Sony, Universal and games developer Crytek, which would be a test-bed for digital products, services and applications.

The aim is to help development of the music and publishing industries to overcome issues like ownership protection, competing with free alternatives, monetisation of content online and micropayments, and the simplification of licensing frameworks.

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