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BPI prepared to discuss ripping CDs

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The British Phonographic Industry- the UK's equivalent of the Recording Industry Ass. of America - is prepared to discuss the issue of personal CD ripping.

Despite what most consumers believe, it is technically illegal for UK consumers to make copies of their own CDs.

It is believed many within the BPI accept that this is a farcical legal situation, but fears over file-sharing - which the BPI has actively pursued - mean some are unwilling to allow CDs to be ripped onto computers as this could be seen as a first step to file-sharing.

Reports suggested the BPI is offering full support to ending this anomaly, but a spokesman for the BPI told us the story related to submissions made to the Gowers Review - a government probe into wider intellectual property issues. He said the BPI was open to discussion on the issue.

BPI spokesman Matt Philips said: "Our submission to the Gowers Review does not say that the law should be changed to allow private copying. The submission states that we are willing to explore options to clarify what behaviour should be deemed acceptable for the consumer.

"We look forward to having that discussion with the Gowers team, and to reaching a framework which protects copyright effectively and allows consumers to take advantage of new technology fairly."

The review, headed by ex-FT editor Andrew Gowers, is collecting evidence until 21 April 2006. Its report will be presented to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in the autumn. ®

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