Making digital copies of music will be made legal for the first time under Government plans to reform copyright laws.
It is currently technically illegal to rip music from CDs onto MP3 players, but Business Secretary Vince Cable says the move will bring greater freedom to the use of content and is “not only common sense but good business sense,” the BBC reports.
“Bringing the law into line with ordinary people’s reasonable expectations will boost respect for copyright, on which our creative industries rely,” he said.
However the new measures, which will allow the copying of music for peoples’ own personal use, parody and for teachers to use for educational purposes, have been attacked by songwriters who say that consumers will now be able to copy and replicate tracks without requiring permission from artists, Music Week reports.
Previously, songwriters could claim compensation either from consumers or device manufacturers such as Apple and they are now calling o the Government to introdude a so-called ‘iPod tax’ – a levy paid by music-playing device manufacturers which operates in other EU countries – so they don’t lose out.
Musicians’ Union general secretary John Smith said: “We feel strongly that the lack of fair compensation will significantly disadvantage creators and performers in relation to the vast majority of their EU counterparts.”