16. Is it okay to change the format of something? Can I translate something?


Changing the format of a work – known as format shifting – can be an infringement of copyright.

On 1 October 2014, a private copying exception for format shifting was introduced into UK law to allow people to make copies on different media for their own use. However, following a judicial review filed against the UK government, on 17 July 2015 the High Court quashed the regulations introducing the exception. As a result, the private copying exception is no longer part of UK copyright law. You can find out more information about the private copying exception here.

In terms of a translation, UK law states that it is an infringement to adapt a work without permission, which includes a translation.

See: Section 21(3)(a)(i) Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988



Copyright is a set of ‘exclusive’ rights, giving creators the right to control the use of their work and the ability to earn from it. The term ‘exclusive’ in copyright law means…


There are many situations where copyright can limit the way that people with disabilities access and make use of protected work. For example, a visually impaired user may need to convert the text of a book into a format compatible with screen reading software…

Private Copying

According to Copyright Law, creators have several exclusive rights they can exercise to restrict others from using their work. These include, amongst others, the reproduction right.