converting VHS

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  • We still use VHS video tapes in classrooms. For some portion of these, we might be interested in converting video to DVD format. We understand that we cannot do this if the DVD format is available for purchase. Is it acceptable to search to determine if the item is for sale in DVD format (& to only search Amazon)? If used copies of DVDs are for sale, would we need to purchase a used copy versus converting a VHS tape to DVD format?
  • Yes, you may search for a copy on Amazon.  Anywhere the DVD might be sold. 

    Section 108 (c) also says if all the copies you find are used, you can transfer to a different format.  So if you can only find used copies, you are good to go.  But then this provision also says if the replacement copy is in a digital format, that copy cannot leave the premises of the building.  This means that assuming a DVD is considered digital, you cannot lend the new replacement copy or publicly perform it, etc. 

    This additional rule is considered stupid by many people. It's certainly shortsighted.  Many people do not know about this provision and go ahead and lend replacement copies in digital formats.  And many people know about the provision and do not follow it relying on fair use instead to justify the use.


    Hope this helps.






  • Carrie is right on this one, but just keep in mind (especially for others reading this that might be in a slightly different situation) that Section 108 is intended for libraries and archives, not for individuals. Fair use may apply in those cases, but that would require an evaluation of the four factors. In this particular case (assuming the question is coming from a school library) Section 108 would apply. You can use our Section 108 Spinner or Fair Use Evaluator if you have additional questions (see our resources page).

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