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Thread: Copyright Issues

  1. #1
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    Default Copyright Issues

    I was wondering if anyone could help and wasn't sure what section to put this under.

    I've been approached by someone to convert some VHS cassettes to DVD for him which are items he's taped from the TV. Would I be correct in the assumption that if he is wanting these converted purely for his own viewing purposes and not for resale of any kind then it is okay to do them? After all, home DVD recorders are becoming cheaper by the minute and since set top DVD recorders came out, the ability to record from TV direct to DVD has become as common as recording to VHS.

    Also, does anyone know of anywhere I would be able to find wording for a contract/agreement that I would be able to use and could get this person to sign stating that my copying these items for him are purely for his own viewing purposes and that I cannot be held responsible if he decides to sell copies of the disc, or have I pretty much worded it myself.

    Cheers in advance

  2. #2
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    If you're charging him for doing it, regardless of whether he says they're for personal use or not, you're probably landing yourself in slightly dodgy legal territory.

    If it's a friend of yours that you're doing a favour for though, i wouldn't really be worried.

  3. #3
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    For the avoidance of doubt, it is the opinion of the webmaster that this would represent a copyright breach.

    Me up my own arse today

  4. #4
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    hmmmm

    This would appear to be a tricky one. Typically, one of the first people I had thru my door when I started offering this simple conversion service came to me wanting an original (bought) video tape copying onto DVD. I turned him away on the grounds that he wasn't the copyright holder and therefore as such regardless of whether it was for his own personal use or not, was not something I could do. The fact that the Canopus ADVC I have wouldn't let me copy it anyway was beside the point, but I stood up for copyright issues on that one.

    This however posed a slightly more puzzling one as regards to copyright issues. I had one customer come in with a video recording from ITV Sports from 97, a Varsity Rugby match in which her son was on the winning team. I copied that for her no problem thinking nothing really of it as it was a gift for her son. However, this new customer came to me and stated that by rights he believed he was legally entitled to posess one copy of it if it was for his own personal use. If it had been for a friend, I dare say I wouldn't have posed the question, however, as this is a paying customer I was a bit more concerned, and as such, that was my reasoning for questioning this, and also for any assistance or pointers by way of a statement the customer would sign relieving me of any potential legal action by my charging him for a format to format conversion. After all, if it was a case where I wasn't actually watching the tape, he could say it was anything and I could just bung it in a machine, copy it over and I wouldn't be any the wiser. I'm also assuming this is the reason that a lot of other companies who do format conversions state that they watch every tape to ensure that there isn't anything illegal being copied.

    Just my luck that most of the customers I get either want cine, 8mm reel converted, or something they shouldn't be converting.

    Thanks however for your advice on this one. I've got all day tomorrow to ponder this one and either figure a way out of doing it, or some legal clause that says "hey, I'm copying a tape for you but if there's any legal action, it's on your head".

    Of course, now that I start thinking of this, I'm starting to wonder if I should have put my name to that Rugby video.

    Oh the joys of copyright.

  5. #5
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    AHA

    Now here's a thing. This guy said that by rights, he is entitled to keep one copy for his own personal use. What if I was to say that if I was to copy the video onto DVD for him, I would have to erase his VHS tape?

    Hmmmmmm...... that's a possible. I can see I'm going to have to legally look into this one to make sure my back's well and truly covered.

    I hate turning away people who want to give me money. But then I don't want to take money off people, if some legal nut decides that they want that money and more off me for having done so.

  6. #6
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    Well, I'm looking into it, and from half the stuff I'm reading on copyright issues with regards to music, tv etc. it is just rediculous.

    They're essentially stripping away any rights people have for recording or their use of recorded material. However, I believe I could have a slight technicality that I can use to get round it, in a sense.

    From a website relating to copyright issues I have found this

    From 31st October 2003, the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003 SI No: 2498 came into force in the UK. It implements a European Directive that was passed in 2001.
    Essentially, copying that is carried out for a commercial purpose is no longer permitted.


    However, if this customer signs an agreement that states that they will destroy the original recording they have or they will allow me to destroy their original recording by erasing it and returning to them a blank tape, I am not actually "copying" this item, but merely transferring it from one media to another, which, from what I can see, should be acceptable.

    Personally, from what I'm starting to gather here is that I'm going to have to come up with credits for the start and end of this video stating that it is for personal use and not for commercial gain, get this guy to sign something to indicate that I am merely transferring this item from one media to another and that the source should be destroyed and put nice big "ANTI-PIRACY" signs all over the place.

    As a former software developer, I'm not a great fan of piracy but to be honest, I believe that copyright laws and enforcement agencies quite often go the wrong way and spend more time imposing large fines on smaller individuals.

    Madness.

    Well, wish me luck.

  7. #7
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    Good luck! You sound as if you're taking the sensible approach though.

  8. #8
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    On a slightly different (but related) tack, I have encountered problems when making Showreels for singers etc. One client had done some TV work (appearing on Vic and Bob, some Ikea ads etc) and wanted them including in his showreel.
    He has signed an agreement (witnessed) stating that he has sought and gained relevant permissions for any material he supplied to be included. Furthermore, the agreement states that he bears full responsibility for any such issues arising from any use of copyrighted material used on his DVD.

    Considering that the showreels are not sold commercially I believe I am covered. I may be mistaken, but I decided to take that risk.

    One other point is music.
    The Tsunami Aid DVD I did recently for Vince Eager cost 70.50 to licence through MCPS. It had 5 bands and roughly twenty songs. This licence allows up to 500 copies to be sold under a `Limited Availablity Licence` It strictly restricts production to 500 and states they are only to be sold locally. I did not have to supply a list of songs but they can sometimes require it.
    Wedding videos come under the same requirement if ANY music is included. Distribution of even ONE copy requires a licence from MCPS.

    Not really relevant to the original question I know, but knowledge is power, so they say.

  9. #9
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    Well, thanks for all your advice etc.

    I think I've got it sorted. I've wrote out a "Media Transfer Agreement" form, stating that I am transferring the item from one format to another and that it is his responsibility to destroy the original copy once he is satisfied that I've done my job properly. Also, I've stated that I will be putting copyright notices at the beginning and end of the DVD, as well as information on the DVD Sleeve stating that the item was recorded from TV and is not for Resale.

    Hopefully this should do it. Now I've got that off my chest and out my hair I can have a proper look round this forum and see what's been going on since I was last here.

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