It is expected that the government of Britain will announce that they plan to legalize the copying of CDs or DVDs onto digital music players or computers in the coming days. This legalization would allow people to copy CDs or DVDs on to a digital music player or computer for their personal use only. This announcement has been expected for some time, although there had been arguments from the music industry that this may be damaging to the music industry.
This legalization was recommended to the government in a review of the intellectual property framework for the UK, the recommendations were given to Prime Minister David Cameron by Professor Ian Hargreaves.
A response to the report which was compiled by Hargreaves is now imminent, Business Secretary Vince Cable revealed that a decision has been made and that changes are highly likely.
Professor Hargreaves is a professor of digital economy at the Cardiff School of Journalism in Wales. His research findings were that the three hundred year old copyright laws used in Britain were majorly out of date and needed reforming as a matter of urgency. Hargreaves suggested that the copyright laws in place were obstructing innovation and growth. Furthermore, he stated in the report that changes to the laws could see an extra £8 billion being added to the economy.
It is expected that Business Secretary Vince Cable will legalize private copying, which is also known as format shifting. Within the announcement it is expected that it be emphasised that the copyright material must have been legitimately purchased by the individual carrying out the copying.
The decision to legalize such activities has already been made in the majority of European countries and therefore Britain are expected to follow suit.
Ultimately the changes in the law would give a consumer the legal right to make a copy of a CD they bought onto a music player such as an iPod or onto a home computer.
The music industry had been worried that this change in law may give the general public the feeling that they could legally share content over the internet, although this will not be the case. Sharing copyright data on file sharing websites will remain illegal and this is not likely to change at any point.