UK legalises backing up of films and music by consumers in change to copyright law

Consumers now cleared to keep duplicates on local storage devices or in the cloud

A new law has finally been passed allowing UK citizens to make copies of their DVDs, CDs, MP3s and e-books.

Consumers are now legally cleared to keep duplicates of works they own on local storage devices or in the cloud. However, it is still an offence to share data with friends or family.

The changes were detailed in June when the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) issued guidance but have only just come into effect, reports the BBC.

Britain’s minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, said: “These changes are going to bring our IP [intellectual property] laws into the 21st century. They will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers.”

According to the BBC, “The change to the law also allows the parody of copyright works. Previously, there has been a risk of being sued for breach of copyright if clips of films, TV shows or songs were used without consent.”

However, there are limitations to the change in the rules. The new law states that while consumers can copy any CD they own they are not allowed to sell the original disk and keep the duplicate.

Also, subscribers to streaming services like Spotify and Netflix are not allowed to make recordings and “likewise, they cannot rip a rented Blu-ray, video game, e-book or other file”.