Copyright law makes format shifting legal

The Government has announced that it is to make changes to copyright law, legalising the practice of transferring video and audio files from one format, say a CD, over to another - in this age most likely being a digital file.

The current law states that it is illegal to format shift, regardless of whether the individual intends to share the media with others or not - the very act is unlawful.

A review of this law was carried out by Professor Ian Hargreaves who concluded that copyright should be changed to fit in with modern digital advancements. Therefore, on this basis, business secretary Vince Cable will introduce "exceptions" to current law, making distribution of material within the family, and parodies of copyright material, legal.

Although this change in law of copying onto different formats will have little impact on the public at large, the fact that parodies are now exempt from copyright law means that many videos that have been taken off sites like YouTube, will now be free stay.

"This move will bring copyright law into line with the real world, and with consumers' reasonable expectations," said a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman.  

Mr Cable said: "Allowing people to create parody or satire without fear of copyright infringement has the potential to boost the creative industries and expand their freedom of expression."

What do you think? Are you happy to see this or would you like to see more far reaching changes?