First of all, if you’ve seen the news about Cumbria and the flooding, we were very lucky and got away without too much bother from it – certainly compared to people in Keswick, Appleby and so on. Millom got away pretty lightly by comparison!
You know, I don’t claim to have this parenting lark completely worked out but one thing I have got clear is that you need to be consistent in rules.
I mean, if something is allowed, it should stay allowed. If something isn’t, you can’t one day allow it – it causes problems the next day when you say no.
I just wish the “powers that be” worked this way, too.
I’m talking about the rules on “ripping” CDs so you can play them on an mp3 player, mobile phone or tablet. (Or PC too come to that, but with most PCs you can put the CD in a CD drive and play it that way.)
If you have an mp3 player, tablet or whatever, you can buy music in the right format for it in the first place and download it to your device to listen to it as often as you like.
But you might already have lots of music you’ve bought on CD… and you can (I’m talking about it’s technically possible at the moment, not whether it’s allowed) use a program built into Windows (or several other different programs if you prefer) to “rip” the music from the CD to make an mp3 file (it doesn’t affect the CD, you can still play it).
Then you can copy that to whatever device you want and play it from that.
Now, I said it’s technically possible – but the rules on this at first were very vague. When mp3s were new, there wasn’t a law to cover it. Some people said as long as it was for your own use, it was no different to playing the CD – the money you pay when you buy the CD isn’t really for the physical disk, it’s for the right to listen to it (hence you’re not allowed to play it for public use without an extra licence).
Other people said that making an mp3 was breaking the copyright of the CD.
And this to-and-fro-ed for a while. Until 2014, when a new law came in that clearly said it was legal to copy CDs (either to another CD or to an mp3) as long as it was for your own personal use. Nice and clear.
However that made the music industry rather grumpy as they’d prefer you had to buy the music you bought once on CD again on mp3… and they took the government to a high court, claiming the new law wasn’t legal.
This happened back in July – and the judge has indeed overturned the new law, so it’s now definitely not legal to make an mp3 of the CD unless you have permission.
Now I’m told some music companies are actually happy with people making mp3s as long as it’s for personal use. And in fact if you buy some CDs from Amazon they offer a service to automatically make an mp3 version of it for you. I don’t know how that’ll be affected by this new law, if at all.
But given we’re coming up to Christmas and some people will be getting new devices that could play music, it’s a good time to be aware that copying the CDs to play on other devices isn’t legal unless you’re sure that music company have given the go-ahead.
Word and Excel video clearance
I have one last set of videos to clear – all about Word and Excel (and their free OpenOffice equivalents).
Then we can finally get our little warehouse properly organised (Edward was helping me move things off my desk and bookshelf into one of the new offices earlier in the week – he was showing off his muscles to the others by carrying 6 books at once…)
Anyway, I think it’s possible Word and Excel are actually the most useful programs ever – and you can find out more about why I think that here (as well as how to get and use the free OpenOffice, which is almost as good).