iTunes is now basically illegal in the UK, and not because it's terrible

Making digital copies of music for your personal use is now against the law, Britain's High Court ruled.

itunes match

iTunes has taken a lot of heat in the aftermath of Apple Music’s launch, with some critics declaring that the app should be dismantled and rebuilt from scratch. But now British law has actually rendered iTunes illegal—and not because it’s so bloated that using it has become a complete pain.

The United Kingdom’s High Court just ruled that copying music from your personal CD collection to iTunes violates copyright law—and so does backing up your music library to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. TorrentFreak asked Britain’s Intellectual Property Office if the law really means that ripping a CD to iTunes is illegal. The answer: Yes, yes it is.

“It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder—this includes format shifting from one medium to another,” a UK IPO spokesperson told the site.

That is, to put it frankly, bananas.

At some point, Apple might have to go to court to defend iTunes, because it seems to very clearly violate the new law. Time Machine, Apple Music, and iTunes Match are also now illegal, because they make copies of your music files.

But the British government is apparently not thrilled with the High Court’s decision. The IPO office told TorrentFreak that the government is “carefully considering the implications of the ruling and the available options before deciding any future course of action.”

And if you live in the UK and have copies of your music library on your computer like a normal human, don’t fret too much. Apparently the government is pretty sure that no one has been taken to court over CD-ripping for personal use. That’s reassuring.

This story, "iTunes is now basically illegal in the UK, and not because it's terrible" was originally published by Macworld.