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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   kir210484

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Posted June 11 2011 - 08:52 PM

I just bought a new RCA dual vhs to dvd machine which works fine for my own tapes from tv. My problem is when copying movie vhs (about 30 of them) which won't copy (pops up with "video is copy protected".
Any way of getting around this? Some of these tapes are 10-12 years old and i'm afraid they may get outdated and break the tapes.
Thanks in advance for any help.  



#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted June 11 2011 - 10:27 PM

The "copy protection" is almost certainly MacroVision. This was a signal that was added (from a certain time on) to some VHS releases to avoid easy copying.

People do it all the time, though, on the internet a lot is known about MacroVision Removers.


(On this forum, we don't discuss circumventing legal copy protection. The reasons for this are obvious. Please see our rules.)


Good luck!



Cees



#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted June 12 2011 - 11:17 AM

There's only one fair use way I know of, and I only use it when there is no DVD version available (there are films that came out on VHS and aren't on DVD yet).  To me, it's no worse than making a cassette (remember those?) or CD of music you bought legit for your own private use (NOT giving away to others unless you're giving away all the copies and the original as well).


I use a video editing program and bring the movie in via an analog capture card from the VHS player as I'm playing the movie. In other words, if it's a two-hour flick, it will take you two hours to bring it in.  Then I burn it to DVD from the video editing program.


Again, I'm assuming you own a totally legit VHS copy of the movie in question, and this is simply a case of putting it on media you can play.  Be aware, though, it won't look as good as it will if the movie ever comes out on DVD.  You can't do better than the source, and VHS is lower resolution than DVD.  In addition, you're losing a level of quality because you always do in analog.  If the movie is currently out on DVD, don't bother going through the bother of copying the VHS.  DVDs are so inexpensive nowadays, it's not worth the time and trouble unless you have no other option.



#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 13 2011 - 08:35 AM


Originally Posted by Rick Thompson 

There's only one fair use way I know of, and I only use it when there is no DVD version available (there are films that came out on VHS and aren't on DVD yet).  To me, it's no worse than making a cassette (remember those?) or CD of music you bought legit for your own private use (NOT giving away to others unless you're giving away all the copies and the original as well).



IANAL but ---


The problem is that this is not "fair use."  With one exception that I'm aware of in the U.S., fair use only applies to reproducing portions of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism, illustration or parody.  Any reproduction of a substantial portion of a work, much less the entire work, is a violation of copyright.  (Making back-up copies of computer programs, licensed code which is intended to be copied onto the hard drive of a computer in order to function, is a wholly different exception to copyright.  It has nothing to do with "fair use" and not parallel to copying music or video discs - or books or magazines, for that matter.)  The sole exception in which copying an entire work was found legal by a U.S. court is the famous "Betamax Case", which does not mean what half the people posting to web fora seem to think it means.



 

  • Fair use. In a lawsuit commonly known as the Betamax case, the Supreme Court determined that the home videotaping of a television broadcast was a fair use. This was one of the few occasions when copying a complete work (for example, a complete episode of the Kojak television show) was accepted as a fair use. Evidence indicated that most viewers were “time-shifting” (taping in order to watch later) and not “library‑building” (collecting the videos in order to build a video library). Important factors: The Supreme Court reasoned that the “delayed” system of viewing did not deprive the copyright owners of revenue. (Universal City Studios v. Sony Corp., 464 U.S. 417 (1984).)

COPYRIGHT & FAIR USE: Stanford University Libraries.



So the "Betamax" decision only legalized timeshifting.  It specifically did not legalize "library building" as persmissable "fair use".

I can only assume that the people who keeping citing this case as "proof" that their copies are legal have simply never read the actual ruling or any discussion of it in a legal journal.



#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Anggawijaya

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Posted June 15 2011 - 12:04 AM

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#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted June 15 2011 - 01:16 PM

I guess I'll just have to be illegal.  I'm not going to deprive myself of No Highway in the Sky, High Road to China or City in Fear (all of which I dubbed from my legit VHS copies to DVD) simply to make the studio happy.  When they release a DVD, I'll be happy to buy (better quality), but until they do I reserve the right to enjoy the movie I paid for.

If we're going to be picky, isn't buying a Blu-ray released only in Europe (from, say, Amazon UK or Germany) a violation of their right to restrict where the film can be home viewed?



#7 of 9 OFFLINE   mattCR

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Posted June 15 2011 - 01:45 PM



Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino 
So the "Betamax" decision only legalized timeshifting.  It specifically did not legalize "library building" as persmissable "fair use".

I can only assume that the people who keeping citing this case as "proof" that their copies are legal have simply never read the actual ruling or any discussion of it in a legal journal.


You're correct.   It doesn't imply the right to keep a copy in that way (Betamax doesn't).  And the concerns over fair use are both tricky and hard to really get a firm ground on.


Here's the reality:   The part that cannot be discussed here, for any reason, is breaking the encryption technique.   So, no one should get into that.   Because there have been several cases that have pretty much fleshed out that it's a no.   But as the arguments pointed out then (I'm thinking of 321 Studios) that it was more a "NO" to sell the means by which to do the work, then the people who did it.


There are guidelines within the industry that are changing fluidly, just the same as eventually ripping Audio CDs as a backup became a legitimate and accepted practice (see: Itunes).. but even those still have a lot of fiddle room.   Unfortunately for you, in the case of VHS tapes, the exemptions that are being built in thanks to moves like UltraViolet and Disney's PixieDust don't apply.    Those rules are for digital media format only (DVD/BD) and relate to the ability to register and prove ownership of a title and then you do whatever..   And the reason for that is to bolster new platforms.


But VHS?   I don't think anyone has any interest in ever going back and managing that practice.    There may be ways to get around it, but I agree with the mods, we can't/won't/shouldn't discuss here.  Will the studios come after you if you have a legitimate copy?  I'd think that in light of their moves on digital, they likely aren't interested.


And you're right on the other-region BDs or DVDs.. but again, there are technical rules that stand in the big "grey area" and a studio will never do anything about them because while there is no on point case, nobody wants to walk into a court room and say "Joe bought a title from Amazon.UK, he can't do that.."


When the studios sued Real over RealDVD, they recognized the game had changed - Real's case was one where they accussed real of profiteering and allowing people to make illegal copies.  When questioned, they did not argue at any point that a person would do so with legitimate owned/purchased media, only that Real couldn't guarantee people would not use it illegally, to rip say, rented titles, etc.    That's where something like UltraViolet, PixieDust, etc. start to come in.. but in the end, nothing is coming to give you much help on VHS..


:)



(And, to my knowledge, the only ones we can completely talk about in the clear with all government guidance given is Laserdisc and anything to do with HD-DVD.  If you want to talk about how to copy HD-DVD or convert it to whatever, it's completely legitimate fair game now, but that's the only newer exception I know of.. )



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#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted June 16 2011 - 11:41 AM


If we're going to be picky, isn't buying a Blu-ray released only in Europe (from, say, Amazon UK or Germany) a violation of their right to restrict where the film can be home viewed?


No.  Blu-Ray has a region coding system, and if the studios want to honor their distribution contracts in various countries (one of the main reasons for the region system) they can.  For instance, until recently Modern Times and The Great Dictator were available on Blu Ray in the UK, but not in the U.S.  (Criterion released former last November and the latter in May.)  The UK versions were region B locked, so I couldn't buy them.  But I was able to buy Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Band of Brothers from Amazon.co.uk, becaue the controlling studios chose not to region-lock them. 


Is the world going to end if you transfer a film you own from one type of media to another?  No.  There are definitely more important things in life to worry about.  I just wanted to correct the impression - which is widespread - that such copying constitutes a legal action under the "fair use" doctrine.  It doesn't.  And because it doesn't we - as a forum that is well-regarded by industry pros and which benefits from its good reputation among them - have to be extremely careful about how far we allow discussions of such things.

Look, speeding, running red lights and running stop signs are all illegal, and for good reason.  Do most of us do one or all of things from time to time?  With good road conditions, reasonable traffic density, good visibility and no cops, I've been known to exceed the speed limit.  At 3 AM in a flat area at a four -way stop or red light, I'm might slide through after slowing to verify that there is no other traffic in sight. I do these things, knowing they're illegal, because a quick cost-benefit analysis tells me that saving some time is worth the infraction - especially since there is essentially no danger and no chance of getting caught.

I'm satisfied that breaking the law under those circumstances is reasonable.  But I can't argue that it isn't breaking the law.  Stop signs and red lights mean the same thing at 3 AM on an empty road as they do at 5 PM on a busy man street.  My convenience and the lack of danger don't mean the laws are suspended.  And if it turns out a cop is hiding behind a billboard at one of these places and I get busted, I'm not going to argue that I was "going with the flow of traffic" or that I shouldn't have to stop at the sign or the light because no one was coming - because none of those things constitute an exception to the normal rules of the road. 

Regards,


Joe



#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted June 18 2011 - 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by Rick Thompson 
......


If we're going to be picky, isn't buying a Blu-ray released only in Europe (from, say, Amazon UK or Germany) a violation of their right to restrict where the film can be home viewed?


No - because that is not the nature of their restriction.

They code it so they can restrict the machines it can be played on.

They limit the places where it can be legally sold.


If however, you buy a machine in another country/continent and take it to the place you're living (e.g. if you're on a mission), you can also buy a DVD/BD and legally export that to play it on the machine you legally bought and exported.


Export restrictions are regulated by different laws and means.

I bought a BD-player in the USoA, had it legally shipped to my country, payed all taxes and dues and can now legally play BDs I also import from the US.



Originally Posted by Joseph DeMartino
.......

The UK versions were region B locked, so I couldn't buy them. But I was able to buy Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Band of Brothers from Amazon.co.uk, becaue the controlling studios chose not to region-lock them.


Joe


Strictly speaking: you could buy the B-locked ones legally. You just don't have a machine (yet?) you can play them on.

But you could buy that one too (mind the power voltages, though!)


Cees