Today, the UK Parliament will pass a bill that finally makes it legal for you to make copies of your own CDs and DVDs and rip them onto your own computer for personal use (read BBC report here). You might not have been aware of the fact that until today this was illegal.
You might have bought that CD, but you did not have the right to make a copy of it as either backup or to transfer it to a different medium. Remind me: when did the MP3 format arrive? (14 July 1995 is the correct answer, by the way, although the codec specs were only released to the public in 1998. Winamp was released in 1997).
So, 16 years and a few days later, the UK government finally gets around to changing the law to recognise what all of us do. You can now legally rip your CDs and DVDs.
It’s not just a government issue. The power-holders in the music industry have done nothing to show that they understand the shift to the digital age, or that they are on the side of their customers. In fact, they’ve done the opposite. They have almost always consistently acted like dinosaurs desperately holding onto a dying world.
To be honest, today’s bill going through Parliament means absolutely nothing. A dumb law that nobody was obeying is being repealed and replaced. Nobody cares really because everyone knew how far out of date both government and the music industry were. Today’s bill is not a solution – it’s just a reminder of how far behind the curve some parts of society and the business world actually are!
How are YOU and YOUR industry doing in this new interconnected, digital age?