[ubuntu-uk] Format shifting vs. the Criminal Justice Act

Andrew Oakley andrew at aoakley.com
Wed Aug 3 13:18:30 UTC 2011


Slightly off-topic, but there's been a lot of anti-Digital Rights Management
discussion on here in the past, so here goes...

Today the government announced "sweeping" reforms of copyright law:
http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/topstories/2011/Aug/reforming-ip

Part of that is the legalisation of format shifting; for example, making it
legal to rip a CD or DVD to an OGG file for personal use so you can play it
on your portable device. Currently that is illegal in the UK.

As I understand it, the Criminal Justice Act in the early 1990s made it
illegal to interfere with someone pursuing a legal activity (at the time,
fox hunting; nowadays, animal experiments).

So if the CJA makes it illegal to interfere with legal activity, and the new
copyright law makes it legal to copy stuff for personal use, does this new
law accidentally make most DRM illegal in the UK?

-- 
Andrew Oakley andrew at aoakley.com
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