Cloud storage backups of personal music collections made illegal in the UK, reports say

Legal ambiguity around uploading of tracks to the cloud no longer exists, following IPO decision

If you store your music collection on the cloud you’re now breaking the law in the UK, reports emerging over the last few days based on an Intellectual Property Office decision suggest.

The storing of your own music in the cloud had previously been an ambigious legal area when it came to copyright, with the UK government hoping to introduce an exception when it comes to personal use. The subject came up for judicial review in June.

The 1709, a copyright-focused blog, have explained the withdrawal of the exception – an issue of legal limbo since that review in June – in a detailed blog post, saying:


“So where does this leave ordinary users in the UK? Clearly some will have been unaware of the introduction of the exception last year, and possibly a larger minority will have been unaware of the rescinding of the exception, so they will no doubt continue to format shift their personally owned music and store tracks on the cloud in blissful ignorance that that is not legal in most cases.”


The post continues: “Then there is the grey area of the legality of copies made while the exception was in force. Those users who are aware of the changes face a difficult decision: whether to make copies for personal use in contravention of the law in the reasonably sure knowledge that they won’t get caught, or abide by the law and deny themselves a degree of sensible flexibility in their viewing and listening choices. One thing they will not do is go out and buy a digital replacement such as a download, for a CD or DVD they already own.”

The blog also suggests that the decision might have an impact on cloiud storage services, who may amend their terms of service to account for the removal of the exception.

Information on the decision can be found here.