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12-08-2020, 12:19 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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I struck out "legal" because I know that none of the forum regulars are lawyers and therefore should not be dispensing legal advice. But I am asking our experienced members to share examples which they have personal knowledge of, if possible. And, if I do need to seek out a lawyer for actual legal advice (BEFORE I get into a sticky spot!), what are the questions I should ask and points I should raise?

To make it simple:
  • I hang out my shingle offering video transfer services, VHS to DVD.
  • Someone comes in with half a dozen commercial, copyrighted VHS video tapes, which he lawfully owns.
  • He asks me to make archival or backup copies of them to DVD.
  • What are the considerations I should keep in mind?
Reason I'm curious is because I've seen "grey market" advertisers on eBay, etc., offering to sell, say, a PAL VHS copy of Song of the South and in the same breath offering to make a "backup copy" to NTSC VHS or, in more recent years, DVD. For personal archival purposes only, of course. While I Am Not A Lawyer, such ad postings don't pass the smell test with me. But if push comes to shove and I'm asked to offer a similar service, I'd like to know what you personally would do in such a situation. Not legal advice, but your own individual take on the subject. Thanks for any thoughtful comments.

Last edited by ehbowen; 12-08-2020 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Clarify this refers to commercial videos
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Someday, 12:01 PM
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12-08-2020, 12:33 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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As far as I know the fair use act here in the US or whatever the name is applies only to an individual who owns the collection of media and do it himself with no business transaction involved, What you are doing is most likely illegal. If I was on your shoes I will say no sorry, You better be safe than sorry. Now, do I think that a multi billion dollar corporation will come after you and sue you for half a million? No I don't think so, but just be careful.
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12-08-2020, 12:35 PM
ehbowen ehbowen is offline
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Right now it's just a hypothetical. But I know the question is likely to come up. I'm trying to be proactive.
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12-09-2020, 11:30 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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bcode cannot be used in titles, so no [S][/S]

You need to steer clear of certain rights holders, without exception. Don't mess with the Mouse.

Aside from that, it really depends on multiple factors. For example, to aide in creating a documentary. Or foreign sources. What you probably won't be doing (SHOULDN'T!) is converting big-budget/big-name movies or anything from the modern digital-release era. We're talking obscure and niche stuff here.

There are certain phrases that are good to know, good shoot-downs in any business. My favorite is "I'll take that under advisement" aka "piss off with your stupid ideas". So, on this topic...

"This isn't something that can be done." ... further explanation not needed. If pressed, just repeat it.

I've never understand the "IANAL" stuff. It is anal. It serves no real purpose. Silly disclaimer where no disclaimer is needed. I'm also not a baker or chef, but I'll give you a good cake recipe if you want it.

My favorite legal advice comes from the movie Liar Liar: "Stop breaking the law a--hole!"

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copyright, ethics

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