Re: Laser Discs

Kristine R. Brancolini (
Mon, 13 Nov 2000 11:57:04 -0800 (PST)

There seems to be confusion about whether you can or cannot buy a
laserdisc player. Some people responded that you can still buy one. The
last I heard, you could buy a combination player -- DVD/laserdisc/CD --
but not a laserdisc player alone. However, I haven't bought a combination
player in about two years. As long as you can buy a player, the format is
not obsolete under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The
relevant portion is a revision to Section 108:

"For purposes of this subsection [c], a format shall be considered
obsolete if the machine or device necessary to render perceptible a work
stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably
available in the commercial marketplace."

You can find the entire section here:

The law seems to be clear that you can reformat it without permission once
the format is actually obsolete. The catch is that it may be a long time
before that happens. Or then again, it may be soon...

For more about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act:

I think most of us are doing what was suggested by another respondent --
replacing titles as they become available on DVD. In the meantime, our
combination players are holding up well. We may have them for many years
to come. I expect that reformatting will be the last resort... -- Kris

On Mon, 13 Nov 2000, Frank Landrum wrote:

> Well Rick is right,
> It is a great question. Where does the Digital Millennium Copyright fit
> in? It "allows" digital preservation of works in obsolete formats. At
> what point does this video disk technology become obsolete and who decides.
> And what if it is in another format availability?
> This stuff really is better than daytime TV.
> Frank Landrum
> Lane ESD
> At 11:14 PM 11/9/00 -0800, you wrote:
> >On 11/9/00 10:57 PM, at may have written:
> >
> >> Would anyone like to share your suggestions/plans regarding the
> retrieval of
> >> information recorded on video discs in the future? Our Library has about
> 4,000
> >> video discs and we were told by our suppliers that SONY & JVC have
> stopped to
> >> produce video discs players and other manufactures would act the same. All
> >> ideas
> >> are welcome.
> >>
> >> Thank you.
> >>
> >> Wai-king
> >>
> >
> >Great question! And, this is definitely a question that needs to be
> >addressed to the copyright holders of the materials you have and wish to
> >move to a different medium.
> >
> >It's not an automatic thing, by any stretch, that you can move the content
> >to another format without permission from (and/or payment of $ to) the
> >holders of the copyrights.
> >
> >Rick
> >Oregon, USA
> >
> >
> >
> >

Kristine R. Brancolini, Director, Digital Library Program
Main Library E170, 1320 E. Tenth Street
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405
Phone: 812.855.3710 | Fax: 812.856.2062 | Web: