CD and DVD ripping for personal use to be legalized in the UK

Making backups of movies and music you own in physical formats is a common practice. But did you know that ripping legally purchased discs is illegal in the UK? If not, then you aren’t alone — according to a government sponsored survey, 85% of consumers in the UK are unaware of this too.

Now, after inspecting of copyright legislation and public consultation, the UK government has decided to change current laws in favor of consumers by legalizing CD and DVD ripping for personal use, according to TorrentFreak.

The new law will also allow people to legally store copies of their music and movies in the cloud. However, sharing them with others will remain illegal. Similarly, people will be allowed to sell movies, music, and other media they own, but they will have to destroy all backup copies. The law is expected to come in effect in June, and the UK Intellectual Property Office has also published a brochure covering the changes.

Besides making the current copyright law more reasonable, the upcoming amendments will also will also broaden people’s fair use rights. For example, you will no longer require permission to quote people’s copyrighted work, as long as it’s fair dealing and the source is recognized.

via CD and DVD ripping for personal use to be legalized in the UK – TechSpot.

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Can former “pirates” fix a broken movie market?

For a country of 16 million people with a GDP under $100 billion, Ecuador spends a lot of time in the US crosshairs for inadequate IP protection. The country has been cited in the US government\’s Special 301 IP report every year for the past decade, alongside perennials like Russia and China.

Pharmaceutical access has been the sharpest point of conflict with the US, most recently due to Ecuador’s strong stance on compulsory licensing of medicines. But Ecuador’s pirate disc markets also appear regularly in USTR and industry reports. As the copyright industry group IIPA put it in its 2013 Special 301 submission, “The level of piracy in Ecuador worsened in 2012, and pirate music products are being massively sold in shopping malls without any control from police or local authorities.” The story hasn’t changed much since 2003, when the IIPA described “dramatic decreases in IPR enforcement.”

No one expects Ecuador to wage war on the pirate CD or DVD trade. As long as multinationals set prices for CDs, DVDs, and software at US and European levels, legal markets will be small and pirate markets large. In a country where the informal sector contributes over a third of GDP, street enforcement will be costly and unpopular.

But the US does expect the Ecuadorean government to buy into the premises of the US IP agenda by treating weak legal markets as an enforcement problem rather than a pricing problem—that is, Ecuador’s problem, not Hollywood’s. This produces a kabuki aspect to enforcement efforts in Ecuador (and in many middle- and low-income countries, according to this American Assembly piracy report), marked by high-profile but ineffective police campaigns, harsh but rarely applied penalties, and widespread, low-level graft as police and vendors negotiate the terms of day-to-day business.

The question for Ecuador and for many other poor countries, then, is how to break the relationship between poverty, piracy, and high prices. And on this front, Ecuadoreans have gotten creative. Since 2010, Ecuador has experimented with licensing models for DVDs that incorporate, rather than reject, the informal sector. Street vendors, local rightsholders, and the government have begun to work together to address the problems of affordable, legal access to media.

Full Story: Can former “pirates” fix a broken movie market? | Ars Technica.

-ROM, -R, +R, +RW? Understanding the optical drive alphabet soup

I can’t blame anyone for being confused. We’ve got three types of optical discs (CDs, DVDs, and BDs), with five different capacities between them. There are discs you can only read from, discs you can also write to, and discs you can write to, erase, and write to again. And the acronyms aren’t always helpful.

Let’s start with the acronym that appears before the hyphen, which tells you the standardized disc format:

CD-: Compact Disc. These hold about 700MB of data. A CD drive can only read or write CDs.

DVD-: Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc. They usually hold about 4.7GB. DVD drives can also handle CDs.

BD-: Blu-ray Disc. This has to be the worst tech acronym since FLOPS. I mean, shouldn’t there be an R in there somewhere? Fortunately, they’re often called Blu-ray drives and discs. They usually hold 25GB. The drives are CD and DVD compatible.

The acronym after the hyphen tells you what you can do with that type of disc or that type of drive.

-ROM: Read-Only Memory. You cannot write to a -ROM disc, which left the factory with data already on it. A -ROM drive can read discs but not write to them, and has no use at all for a blank disc.

-R: Recordable. You can write to one of these discs once (provided you have an -R drive). But when you’re done, it’s effectively a -ROM disc.

-RW: Rewritable. Another stupid acronym, that always suggested “read and write” to me. You can write to these discs, erase them, and write to them again.

-RE: Recordable Erasable. The Blu-ray variation of -RW, with a far more sensible acronym.

Here are a few other terms you may want to know:

Burn: Write to a disc. It’s called burning because it’s done with a laser, not a pen.

DVD+R; +RW; ±R, ±RW: There are two standards for recordable and rewritable DVDs: DVD-R and DVD+R, each with its equivalent RW variation, and each requiring its own type of drive and blank disc. The ± sign, which you’ll only find on drives, tells you that the drive can burn both – and +. Virtually all drives these days are ±, making the difference between +R and -R irrelevant.

DL: Dual Layer. This doubles or nearly doubles the capacity of DVDs and BDs. A DVD DL can hold about 9GB; a Blu-ray, about 50GB. To burn discs with these capacities, you need DL discs, plus a DL drive. Any DVD or Blu-ray drive can read DL discs.

via -ROM, -R, +R, +RW? Understanding the optical drive alphabet soup | PCWorld.