Re: Transferring 3/4" to 1/2"

Jeffrey Clark (
Mon, 2 Dec 2002 13:11:05 -0800 (PST)

Let me add to the good advice that Gary gives below.

* Title 17, sec. 108, c 1 & 2 have the relevant info in the copyright law
(reproduced below).

* From this info, you could possibly justify a case-by-case transfer from
U-matic cassette to VHS not only on the basis of an "at risk" title that's
essentially "out of print" in any form, but also on the basis of U-matic
being considered an "obsolete" format. Right now, only Sony seems to be
producing a currently available U-matic recorder/player... and this might
qualify the format as being "no longer reasonably available in the
marketplace". The situation doesn't meet the more restrictive interpetation
of obsolete (in the same clause below) as "no longer manufactured"... but
it's much closer than claiming obsolescence for LP records (which are still
hanging on as a niche format).
Of course, a justification of obsolescence--as in the case of one for an
"at risk situation"--is contingent upon the title not being commercially
offered in the alternative format you desire (VHS), as an "unused
replacement" copy at a "fair price".

Now, here's the Title 17, section 108 text:


The right of reproduction under this section applies to three copies or
phonorecords of a published work duplicated solely for the purpose of
replacement of a copy or phonorecord that is damaged, deteriorating, lost,
or stolen, or if the existing format in which the work is stored has become
obsolete, if -


the library or archives has, after a reasonable effort, determined that an
unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price; and


any such copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format is not
made available to the public in that format outside the premises of the
library or archives in lawful possession of such copy.

For purposes of this subsection, 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."

Jeff Clark
Media Resources (MSC 1701)
James Madison University
540-568-6770 (voice)
540-568-3405 (fax)

--On Monday, December 02, 2002 9:16 AM -0800 Gary Handman
<> wrote:

> Hi...
> The concept of "archival copy" really doesn't hold water in the land of
> video. A few months back there was a lively videolib discussion on the
> topic of copying at risk materials
> ( look
> under the subject heading "copyright")
> You should check it out.
> The bottom line: If you have an individual title that has been legally
> acquired and is at risk of physical deterioration AND if you have made a
> concerted but unsuccessful effort to acquire a replacement, it is most
> likely permissible to make a copy (ONE copy) of the at risk work. The
> notion of wholesale transfer based on the nature of the format (i.e. from
> UMATIC to VHS) doesn't cut it. In other words, you need to look at each
> potential act of copying as an individual transaction.
> At 09:02 AM 12/2/2002 -0800, you wrote:
>> To: Academic Media Librarians/Information Providers
>> Hello everyone,
>> I know the issue of copyright is a delicate issue, but I need to ask
>> your opinion.
>> Question: I have a collection of 3/4" tapes that will need to be
>> transferred soon to 1/2". This will allow faculty greater accessibility
>> for classroom instruction. Not to mention--dare I say--3/4" players are
>> rarely available in the classroom and it has become a lesser used
>> medium.
>> Before contemplating the transfer, let me point out that we:
>> automatically try to find the title in 1/2" and purchase it, and
>> if the title is not available in 1/2", we try real hard to
>> obtain copyright permission
>> However, we all know that we are unable to obtain permission for every
>> title for whatever reasons. Which leads me to ask you, do you make
>> archival copies at your institution for classroom use only?
>> --Monique
>> Monique L. Threatt, Librarian for Reference and Media
>> Main Library W121, 1320 E. Tenth Street
>> Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405
>> Phone: 812.855.9857 /Fax: 812.855.1649 / Web:
> Gary Handman
> Director
> Media Resources Center
> Moffitt Library
> UC Berkeley