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VHSPS FAQs


Q: Hey, my disc doesn't work!

A: Email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and we will send you a new one.

 

Q: What do I get when I order from you?

A: You get a DVD backup of a pre-recorded VHS tape that you already own.


Q: Am I buying a VHS tape?

A: No. You are buying our transfer service which comes on DVD only.


Q: What's on the DVD?

A: Everything that is on the original VHS tape including any previews or copyright warnings.


Q: What is the quality of the DVD content?

A: We strive to use the best source material we can find for our archive service. Still, there is the occasional imperfection from previous use or the advanced age of the source material.


Q: Is there a chapter menu?

A: Yes. Since the original VHS tape does not have that feature, we created one.


Q: Is your service Legal?

A: Yes. VHSPS believes that if it's legal for a person to make backups of his or her VHS and cassette tapes (AND IT IS) then its legal for that person to hire someone to do it for him.


Q: Do I need to already own original VHS tapes of the DVDs I want to purchase?

A: Yes. You agree that you fully understand that by purchasing a back up from VHSPS you are purchasing our transfer service only, and that you already own an actual pre-recorded VHS copy of each title that you purchase.


Q: How do you know I really own the VHS tape?

A: We don't. We must trust that you are doing business in good faith. When you check out you must agree to our "Terms of  Service" where you attest that you are using our service for its intended purpose.


Q: What does the Law say about your service?

A: Dan Ballard, a California patent, trademark, copyright, and e-commerce attorney has this to say on the subject:

Can a person copy, or have someone else copy, his lawfully procured analog music and movies from VHS tape and cassette to a digital storage device? YES, so long as the digital file is for private, noncommercial use.


The statute on point is 17 U.S.C. § 1008.


A case that applies that statute is: Recording Industry v. Diamond Multimedia Systems, 180 F. 3d 1072 9th Circ. 1999) (“In fact, the Rio's operation is entirely consistent with the Act's main purpose — the facilitation of personal use. As the Senate Report explains, "[t]he purpose of [the Act] is to ensure the right of consumers to make analog or digital audio recordings of copyrighted music for their private, noncommercial use." S. Rep. 102-294, at *86 (emphasis added). The Act does so through its home taping exemption, see 17 U.S.C. § 1008, which "protects all noncommercial copying by consumers of digital and analog musical recordings," H.R. Rep. 102-873(I), at *59. The Rio merely makes copies in order to render portable, or "space-shift," those files that already reside on a user's hard drive. Cf. Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, 464 U.S. 417, 455, 104 S.Ct. 774, 78 L.Ed.2d 574 (1984) (holding that "time-shifting" of copyrighted television shows with VCR's constitutes fair use under the Copyright Act, and thus is not an infringement). Such copying is paradigmatic noncommercial personal use entirely consistent with the purposes of the Act.”

A case that discusses the “fair use” right to space shift movies and music from one medium to another for personal, noncommercial use is: Realnetworks, Inc. v. DVD Copy Control Ass'n, 641 F. Supp. 2d 913 at 942 (“Against this backdrop, the court appreciates Real's argument that a consumer has a right to make a backup copy of a DVD for their own personal use. … As noted above, the DMCA's ‘user exemption’ is only for the individual who has gained authorized access and who may circumvent the protection measures pursuant to lawful conduct, such as to make fair use of the subject work. … So while it may well be fair use for an individual consumer to store a backup copy of a personally-owned DVD on that individual's computer, a federal law has nonetheless made it illegal to manufacture or traffic in a device or tool that permits a consumer to make such copies.”).


Sacramento patent, trademark, copyright, and e-commerce attorney, Dan Ballard serves as outside corporate counsel for small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to general transactional advice, Mr. Ballard focuses on providing intellectual property advice and, if necessary, litigation and proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. As a patent attorney, Mr. Ballard works to protect clients' intellectual property assets through patent, trademark, and copyright registrations. View his original opinion post here.

***Dan Ballard in not affiliated with VHSPS in any way***

 

Q: What specific Law covers this?

A: TITLE 17 U.S.C. > CHAPTER 10 > SUBCHAPTER D > § 1008


Prohibition on certain infringement actions

No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings.


Q: What is "The Berne Act", and why do some sites say that it gives them the right to copy and sell movies?

A: These sites basically claim that "The Berne Act" says that foriegn released material is considered to be Public Domain in the USA, therefore it is legal to copy and sell it. This is a misinterpretation of the law. In actuality, The Berne Act protects original works produced in either the USA or overseas against copyright infringement. Release location or date are not important. The work is automatically protected by copyright upon creation. And indeed, the rights holder might choose to never release a work in a certain format such as DVD. There was a time when items first produced in foreign countries and not registered in the US could be used as Public Domain, but even those have now had their copyright protection restored as of 1996.



 

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