New government proposals regarding the UK's copyright laws could legalise copying music from CDs to a home computer.
While millions of music fans regularly 'rip' discs to their computer before moving the files to their PC or MP3 players, The Practice is technically illegal under copyright law.
But under new proposals launched by intellectual property minister Lord Triesman, laws could be changed to allow consumers to make copies of copyrighted CDs for personal use only.
Owners would not be permitted to give away or sell their original copies once they had "ripped" music files to their computers.
Making multiple copies or distributing The Music via internet file-sharing networks would still be banned under the new proposals.
Lord Triesman said: "In an increasingly digital world, we need to be sure that our copyright system keeps up with the times and works effectively.
"This consultation is part of a package of measures which is designed to do just that."
He added the proposed changes would explore "where the boundaries lie between strong protection for right holders and appropriate levels of access for users".
The consultation follows the Gowers Review of Intellectual Property which recommended a reform of certain aspects of the intellectual property system.
The deadline for responses to the consultation is April 8th 2008.