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IP law should be changed to make 'ripping' CDs legal

Hargreaves report also calls for an online IP clearing house

'Ripping' CDs or the process of creating digital copies of the tracks on a CD could be legalised under proposals in a new report on intellectual property.

The Hargreaves report, which was announced by Prime Minister David Cameron at the end of last year, is due to be published tomorrow. At present, transferring a digital copy of a CD to another device, such as an MP3 Player, is currently illegal under existing copyright law. However, the report, which was compiled by Professor Ian Hargreaves, recommends amending legislation to ensure "format shifting" is acceptable.

The report is also expected to call for an IP clearing house that would offer a one-stop online shop that would ensure anyone can find out who owns the copyright to various pieces on content, as well as find out how much they'll be charged to use the work.

According to the Financial Times, the report claims the move will "turn the UK into a global hub for innovative digital content companies, such as music, film and video games".

Furthermore, the report calls for law covering parodies to be relaxed, as currently many content creators such as comedians are deterred for creating songs and videos that are caricatures of existing work. Instead, the report wants similar laws to the US which will mean permission isn't required from content creators.

"The case for introducing and updating this exception is strong in both cultural and economic terms," Hargreaves is expected to say in the review.

"A healthy creative economy should embrace creativity in all its aspects. A legally sound structure would not be mocked by pervasive infringement by otherwise law abiding citizens and organisations with the stature of the BBC."

Neil Allcock, a partner at Deloitte, which specialises in licensing, told The Telegraph: "I think it will need additional support from the Government otherwise nothing will really move on and change. These are good suggestions and it is very positive someone is saying this. However, the Government need to step in and ensure change happens."


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