A new UK law that makes it perfectly legal for consumers to copy or rip their own CDs for use on computers or iPods is being proposed in the UK.

At present, UK music owners are technically breaking the law when they rip their own CD for use on different devices and in different formats, though music industry bosses here have said they would never persecute music fans for doing this.

The need to pass a law making such activity a consumer right was one of the recommendations of the recent Gower Report into intellectual property.

The establishment of the new rule is being led by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Lord Triesman, minister for intellectual property, will begin a consultation process which will end on 7 March, the Financial Times reports.

Geoff Taylor, chief executive of the British Phonographic Industry, an industry group, said he was broadly in favour of the changes because it would clarify the law for consumers.

However, the consultation is also expected to examine broader issues of copyright and intellectual property, including into the legality of uploading film and sound recordings and new sentences designed to put file-sharers on par with CD counterfeiters, running the risk of a ten-year prison sentence in the worst cases.