File Sharing is a phenomenon of the digital age. When a piece of music or a video is digitized and someone makes a copy of a copyrighted file and distributes it to someone else via email, websites, or digital storage devices they are breaking the law. This has become a serious issue for music publishers, copyright owners and artists.
File Sharing is not permitted under Fair Dealing. Format Shifting may occur under the concessions provided by Fair Dealing for the specific purposes of private study and research (non-commercial), criticism, review, or news reporting.
Following a change in the law on 1st October 2014, it is now legal to make personal copies of media (music, videos, ebooks etc.) which you have bought, for private purposes such as format shifting or backup.
Format Shifting means copying a file from one format/device to another (e.g. from a CD to a computer or MP3 player) for your own private use. It remains illegal to share files with a third-party, including family and friends.