Hargreaves Report calls to legalise ripping CDs

Ripping CDs could soon be legal, but has already been surpassed by downloads anyway
Ripping CDs could soon be legal, but has already been surpassed by downloads anyway

The Hargreaves Report, a government report looking in to digital copyrights, brings with it a recommendation to make it legal for people to copy CDs and DVDs to their computers and other devices.

It seems hard to believe, but it is currently still illegal to copy tracks from a CD to a computer (described as 'format-shifting'), something many people have been doing for over ten years.

This means that every time you bought a CD and copied it to an iPod, smartphone, tablet, computer or stored it in the cloud, you were breaking the law.

Pick up the pace

The report confirms that while technology and digital content have leapt forward at a cheetah-like pace, the UK's legislation has been left behind.

Other recommendations on how the legal system can catch up with the internet include relaxing the copyright laws around parodies and setting up a digital copyright exchange to make it easier for businesses to locate copyright holders and thus use digital music, image and video files.

Professor Ian Hargreaves, who authored the report, said: "My recommendations set out how the intellectual property framework can promote innovation and economic growth in the UK economy.

"They are designed to enhance the economic potential of the UK's creative industries and to ensure that the emergence of high technology businesses, especially smaller businesses, in other sectors are not impeded by our IP laws."

Vince Cable, the UK's business secretary, is expected to add his support to the report's reforms in a speech later today.


News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.