BRITISH COMPUTER USERS will finally be able to copy MP3 files between their devices with their heads held high when laws are relaxed this autumn.
Up to now it has been technically illegal to move an MP3 file to any device other than the one on which it was originally downloaded.
The new law "aims to support reasonable use of copyright materials by law abiding people".
Rightsholders have argued that a new licence should be required for each device, however the new rules have been broadly welcomed.
John Higgins, director general of Digitaleurope said, "We congratulate the UK government on this exemplary legislation which sets the benchmark for Europe in the future.
"The private copying exception model introduced by the UK government is fully aligned with this objective, and Digitaleurope strongly hopes that it will become a role model for the broader EU-wide reforms of copyright law that are likely to begin in the coming months," he added.
However Tory peer Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe made it clear to her House of Lords colleagues that it will still be illegal to give copies of material to any other person, regardless of who they are, including partners and family members.
Clarification of the law is complicated further by the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, which have significantly reduced the revenue paid to recording artists. The UK music chart recently began incorporating streaming statistics at a ratio of 100 plays to one purchase.
The new copyright laws will be enshrined in UK law from October, though it's unlikely you'll get a visit from the police for syncing your phone in the meantime. µ
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