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UK copyright amendment OKs DVD ripping for disabled

Published time: June 03, 2014 06:10
Edited time: June 27, 2014 07:57
AFP Photo / Mychele Daniau

AFP Photo / Mychele Daniau

Disabled people are now allowed to copy MP3s, CDs and DVDs if there is no commercial alternative. The change is part of broader legislation that eases copyright law with a view to bringing 250 million pounds to the UK economy over the next decade.

The act of copying DVDs, MP3s and CDs is still a crime in the United Kingdom, although a survey by Consumer Focus in 2009 showed 59 percent of the population thought it was perfectly legal.

A new set of reforms seeks to streamline the UK’s copyright legal framework, “removing the burden of unnecessary regulations and helping the UK better preserve and use copyright material.”

“These changes bring an end to many instances where people carrying out minor, reasonable acts of copying could have found themselves on the wrong side of the law,”
Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger said in a statement.

The first revision is titled the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014 which will see the disabled make legal copies of materials in different formats, such as MP3s, CDs and DVDs for personal use.

“You will be permitted to make personal copies to any device that you own, or a personal online storage medium, such as a private cloud. However, it will be illegal to give other people access to the copies you have made,” UK's Intellectual Property Office explains.

The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Research, Education, Libraries and Archives) Regulations 2014 is the second amendment that London has introduced starting June 1. Under this scheme, UK libraries are now free to scan materials and distribute them to their members via digital collections. Researchers are now also able to make copies of the materials for non-commercial research.

Finally, the Copyright (Public Administration) Regulations 2014 allows public offices to publish their material in an effort to make it easier for people to stay abreast of public relations without the need to attend council offices to read materials.

To educate the public about the copyright law changes in the country, the government has published a series of guides to the new regulations.

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