UK Legalises media backups


Image by The Rocketeer
Used under Creative Commons

Now this is interesting. While it’s been common practice for some time to “back up” your CDs, movies, and eBooks by ripping them or copying them, it has technically been an infringement of copyright to do so. A new law has come into force in the UK, though, that makes it legal to keep backups of media you own either on local storage or in the cloud.

There are caveats, as always: you cannot sell the original media and keep the backup, nor can you share your backup with friends or family. In short, it’s about you having a backup copy of something you still own.

You are also not allowed to record streamed media, even if you subscribe to the streaming service, or to “backup” rented media like games or DVDs. Interestingly, companies like Google, Amazon and Apple are not required to remove DRM so, while you are technically allowed to back your media up, the media providers don’t have to make it easy for you to do so.

Copyright protection is still in place; you can’t copy something you haven’t already bought, but there is perhaps an argument that media providers are going to lose out in cases where a person might have bought an iTunes track to listen to on their iPod, and a CD to listen to in the car. I think this new situation is eminently sensible though: we back up all sorts of important files, so it makes sense to be able to back up your music, videos, and other media.

For more info, check out this article on BBC News.

Do you keep copies of your music, videos, etc. in other formats? Or do you buy a separate copy for every listening or viewing platform you have? Why not share your thoughts in the comments?

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