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Profile of MagicT
Just do it. Nike made more money, just doing it, than anyone making dvd's videos, etc.

Trini Montes
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Profile of JuanTheMan
Interesting thread.

The majority of the comments relate to the US, but is there a Section 117 equivalent in other countries, UK, France, Germany, Canada etc.?

Another question relates to the fact that a DVD version may not have been produced. I have a number of VHS tapes which haven't been converted to DVD format. My VHS player is coming towards the end of it's life and I don't want to have to buy a new one just to play these tapes. IF it's legal (and morally acceptable), I'd like to make one copy of the tapes onto DVD for MY personal use. I realise that it wouldn't be acceptable to copy the tapes for gain.

Surely if the manufacturer of the tape has no intention (at this stage) of converting it to DVD, it will become obsolete when VHS players are eventually superseded by DVD players in the home environment?
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Profile of Daegs
In general, the spirit of copyright is there to protect creators.

Also, in general, what you do with your legally owned property is your buisness as long as you aren't selling/showing/giving/distrubting it to other people and aren't in any way damaging the market.

Here are some intresting questions:

If you go to borders and buy a book, should you be allowed to rip a page out of it?

Write a note inside the book? Black out words?

Burn it?

Scan the book into your computer, put annotations(notes) in specific places and print it out back into a book, for your own personal use?

Should you be able to read your book into an audio tape and play it in your car?

As I said, the reason for copyright law is to protect creators(and to an extent, consumers by providing protection from being proscecuted).... what you do with your legally purchased copy of that work in your own home is your own buisness and copyright law doesn't apply.
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Profile of Phaedrus
Just to put my two cents in: the issue hasn't been fully worked out in the courts yet.

Intellectual property protections are still very much a work in progress, not in the sense that there are no laws, but that there is a difference in opinion as to how those laws should be interpreted. For example, in the case of audio CDs, the record companies want to claim that when you buy a CD, the only thing that you actually own is the plastic; the music that is found on the CD still belongs to the record company, and you can't do anything with it, including copying it. Obviously, this flies in the face of common sense, at least from the perspective of the consumer, and in general the courts have tended to interpret existing laws to favor the idea that consumers own that specific instance of the music.

The problem that we are facing nowadays is that digital information has allowed consumers to make copies of the work that are exact duplicates of the original. This wasn't a problem in the past, because even with the introduction of the cassette tape, the general concensus was that a taped copy was inferior to the vinyl original (and it's worth noting that record companies were deadset against tape recorders at the time, and forecast the imminent doom of the recording industry; the truth was that most people bought the original and made tapes for their cars and personal stereos). Now, it's a simple matter to make exact duplicates of digital files, and share them with a large number of people, a fact which has created new legal problems, and regulations which are still being worked out.

The best interpretation of current intellectual property law is that you have the right to make as many copies of a given work as you want for your own personal use, but as soon as you share or sell a copy of that work, you have broken copyright protection, and therefore the law (keep in mind that this is merely the current general interpretation of the law; there are people who disagree with it, and are working to make it illegal for any kind of copying). That's why Napster was illegal, but downloading a song from iTunes is not: in the former case, the file sharing was an illegal copy of a copyrighted work, while in the latter you are in effect buying a license for the use of a particular work.

In the case of the poster who started this thread, the legal and ethical issues are pretty straightforward: he has the right to do whatever he wants with the work that he legally purchased, including copying it to other media (again, note that this is the likely interpretation the courts would make; there are companies who would want to make this actionable, although the chances of them winning any actual damages are small enough that it really wouldn't be worth their while to pursue it). However, if he ever then wanted to sell the original tape, he would be obligated to also destroy any copies he had made (the idea being that since he no longer owns the original, he has no right to the copies: you can't get something for nothing). Likewise, he can't sell or share the copies to anyone who doesn't own the original.

I've noticed that people on this forum are quick to jump on the "morality" bandwagon whenever the issue of copyright comes up, and start pointing fingers at people who are merely exercising their rights to do what they want with their own property. I think it would be helpful for people on both sides to do a little research about the issue before accusing anyone of unethical or immoral behavior. If the courts still haven't completely worked out the issues involved, how can a bunch of magicians think the issue is so black and white?
Jeff Hinchliffe
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And I wonder why women think magicians are losers... haha
Pick a card, any card...
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Profile of Doomo
On 2005-04-04 13:13, Jeff Hinchliffe wrote:
And I wonder why women think magicians are losers... haha

I got news for ya... It aint just women...
If you ever get to a point where words have no meaning, you're probably talking to a dog.

Remember! More Bang For LESS Bucks! It is the right way!

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Profile of kearen
Issit considered illegal duplication? Piracy...
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Profile of KidCrenshaw
In plain English, what the truth is, is this:

If you OWN something, no matter what it might be, you can duplicate it for your own personal use and for backup purposes.

If you OWNED it, the law states that any backup or duplicate should be destroyed, or sold with the original.

Backing up your files, be it on the PC, disc, or VHS format, is not only legal, but encouraged by all who market and produce them.
"Put your faith in Providence, but always cut the cards"
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Profile of blendobag2
If its an L&L video, who cares if its copied?
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Profile of brokin6
Dirko, I had this same dillema a while ago and I was feeling kinda guilty about coying my video to tape. It was actually a disc with real player files on it but I wanted to be able to wach it at my leisure and not on a p.c. What I did was contact the creator and ask him if it was ok for me to do it and he sais it was fine as long as it was only for me. Very nice of him since his permission could have not been granted but either way someone posted about the "archive" law and it is true. I think it is commendable that you ask about it before you do it. If you can get in touch with the creator or vendor and explain I think that is great. If not, you can still do it in good conscience knowing that it is legal.
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Profile of Bizarrist
Yawn, I'm bored with all this *itching,

Scratch yourselves, grab you deck and
go practice some other moves.

Peach Out,

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Profile of MWG_T_H_O_M_A_S
I'm fairly sure its legal to make a back up of anything as long as you don't sell it or redistribute it in anyway, just keep it for personal use to avoid your original getting damaged etc.

Saying that, I also think its ilegal to go around the copy right protection of something which makes it kinda hard to copy lol, so assuming you don't do that I think its ok.

Least this was what I last heard with UK laws.

don't go by what I say tho Smile

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Profile of kxxcheng
A few examples of dumb laws in the state of Texas:
It is illegal to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing.
It is illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel.
The entire Encyclopedia Britannica is banned in Texas because it contains a formula for making beer at home.

Some laws were just not meant to be followed. Strict copyright laws are one of them.
Burn it already. I find it very strange that you're asking for permission for something like this. Even if it is illegal, it's such a minor offence that no one will bother to prosecute you.
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Profile of revlovejoy
I'm really not trying to step into a flame war, I had one of those within my first month here already, but I have a question for Jeff Stone. Jeff, you've said a couple differing things here. On one hand, you make a case for Dirko's valid concern for ethics. And you made that case well. But previously, you posted this:

"If you bought any of your VHS from L&L, they have a deal where they give you a discount on the DVD equivelant. All you have to do is scan or photocopy the vhs case and send it to them. You can then get the DVD for $20.

That's what I'll be doing with most of mine. THen I'll sell the VHS on eBay. So hopefully I'll come close to breaking even and not breaking laws (pun fully intended)."

Now, aside from the copy-as-backup, don't you think this certainly is a questionably ethical practice? Isn't the discount on the DVD based on the premise that as an owner of the VHS, you have purchased the rights, but need only to upgrade the format? In this case, re-selling the tape after you get your deal on the DVD seems sketchy to me. The single act of reselling the tape and not keeping a backup would be another matter, and I believe, legal and ethical. But if you take advantage of the reduced-price upgrade, then sell, you've had your cake and eaten it too, I think.
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Profile of jstone
On 2005-04-04 21:54, revlovejoy wrote:
Now, aside from the copy-as-backup, don't you think this certainly is a questionably ethical practice? Isn't the discount on the DVD based on the premise that as an owner of the VHS, you have purchased the rights, but need only to upgrade the format? In this case, re-selling the tape after you get your deal on the DVD seems sketchy to me. The single act of reselling the tape and not keeping a backup would be another matter, and I believe, legal and ethical. But if you take advantage of the reduced-price upgrade, then sell, you've had your cake and eaten it too, I think.


First of all, let me thank you for being reasonable about this, for taking the higher road, and for asking a legitimate question rather than poking fun at someone's beliefs or questions.

You make a good point. I hadn't even thought of that. I'm going to ask L&L what the policy is on that. If they say that it's inappropriate, then I will not sell 'em on eBay. However, if they do say that it's appropriate, my assumption is that it is ok since they own the copyright.

Again, thanks for the question; I hadn't thought of that.

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Profile of jonesc2ii
Can I just complicate the issue further? Is that OK?

If I spend £20 on a gaffed card, I'm always being told that what I'm paying for is not just the gaffed card but the knowledge, the thinking behind it. That's fine. But for various reasons I don't use poker sized Bikes. So having bought the gaff, having paid for the knowledge, if I then make up my own gaff to fit into my own deck, is that theft? If I don't sell the original product on, if I keep it but never use it, is that morally reprehensible? I think not and I think the same applies here. If you have bought and paid for your tapes there is no reason why you shouldn't make copies of it so long as you don't profit from it. I don't know about US law and I suspect that it is slightly different here in the UK. But morally it is the same everywhere, if you own the right to watch the tape, you own the right to copy it to your hard drive, to a CD or to a DVD so long as it is entirely for your own use.
www.ixyl.co.uk/forums - for when you fancy a debate or a quiet chat.
Jonathan Townsend
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Profile of Jonathan Townsend
On 2005-04-04 01:02, LobowolfXXX wrote:...The law of the excluded middle (binary propositions are either true or false; not both, and not neither) applies to moral questions as well. If two people believe incompatible things about a moral premise, then one of them is wrong...

Reality is not so simple, nor is our moral environment so well defined as to make a purely mathematical argument.

Right and wrong are not the same as true/false. What is right for one, say breathing in water for a fish, is not right for a human, was we tend to prefer air. Moral right and wrong is likewise culturally and contextually defined. In order to establish a society wide notion of right and wrong about an issue, one has to establish (manufacture?) a consensus and reinforce that consensus with social programs like education.

As it happens, the implied fair use statements on most entertainment media explicitly prohibit any copying for any reason. When in doubt, contact the publisher. Copyright in intended to protect the acting copyright holder, usually the publisher of a work, from competition. The idea is that the author can sell the copyright to a work to a publisher for use for a certain amount of time, and for sale in a certain region. Nice idea. Does not protect the IP of the work though.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Tom Cutts
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Profile of Tom Cutts
Section 117 also advises that "all archival copies" should be destroyed if possession of the original ceases to be rightful.
So, if you want to follow the law exactly, make a video copy and a dvd copy, then burn the original.

If you destroy the original you may well be destroying your proof to right of ownership of the copy.

Just because software exists to allow you to do something doesn't make doing that thing legal. There are books on how to build A-bombs but actually building one is likely to net you a visit from the Feds.



PS You posted here so you have reported yourself. Smile But do not worry, backups are legal if you retain proof of your right to their posession, like owning the original.
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Profile of revlovejoy
Building the A-bomb book, where do I get such a book? Is it in the anarchist's cookbook?

Seriously though, good point. I'm a homebrewer, and in the homebrew section of my favorite kitchen shop, there was this mystical book in the corner called "the lore of home still building." Home distilling is illegal in all 50 US states, so this book was a "historical" piece of course. With full diagrams and parts lists. Smile
Dennis Michael
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Profile of Dennis Michael
My wall of VHS tapes equal one small shelf of DVDs. The purpose of copyright laws is to rightfully give the creaters and producers their portion of the money pie for that creativity. When one copies and sells the copy or the original, you are making a profit on the creator's work of Art.

Unless one is ready to persue legal action, which is expensive and stressful, it will continue. Even giving them away, is still denying the creators a profit which could have been if they bought an original.

There are no solutions, lots of opinions, and next to impossible to prosucute and receive a just reward for that legal effort.
Dennis Michael
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