You could go to court for backing up your music collection in the UK

You could go to court for backing up your music collection in the UK
Credit: Shutterstock

It is once again illegal to make personal copies of your own music, videos and ebooks in the UK, thanks to the withdrawal of last year’s private copying exception.

The exception, which was introduced in October 2014, was the subject of a judicial review sought by music industry stakeholders including the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, the Musicians’ Union, and UK Music.

In June, it was ruled that the decision to usher in the private copying exception was flawed because “the evidence relied upon to justify the conclusion about harm was inadequate/manifestly inadequate.”

Rather than research whether copyright holders would indeed be negatively impacted by the exception, the UK government chose to withdraw it completely — rendering the act of creating copies of your digital media illegal.

That’s just stupid.

There’s little to be gained from bullying customers and attempting to clamp down on what everyone has been doing for years.

It would be virtually impossible for law enforcement agencies to learn which people in the UK are making backups of their favorite albums and movies — unless they resorted to absurd measures like rifling through every citizen’s physical and digital belongings.

As The 1709 Blog notes, copyright holders seeking to persecute people for making personal copies of media they own “would undoubtedly alienate the buying public and strengthen the argument that the record labels are out of touch with what music fans want.”

One Year on, the Private Copying Exception is now Dead [The 1709 Blog via Ars Technica UK]

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