Re: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues

Susan Weber (
Tue, 14 Mar 2006 11:41:30 -0800

One question Cecilia asked that hasn't been addressed is,
Whose copyright law applies?
The answer to that is, the law of the country where you are using
the material. So, in U.S., you apply US copyright law.
In Canada, we apply Canadian copyright law.
This is because many (but not all) of the countries in the world
have signed conventions (Berne, Universal Copyright Convention) agreeing
to apply their own copyright
laws to protect the creators from other countries who sign the conventions.

The US has signed both the above conventions.


Leathem, Cecilia Anne wrote:

> Thank you. Your response makes it very clear that I need to ask for a
> multi-format player. I knew this list was the best place to send my query.
> Cecilia
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:*
> [] *On Behalf Of *Jessica
> Rosner
> *Sent:* Tuesday, March 14, 2006 11:38 AM
> *To:*
> *Subject:* Re: [Videolib] PAL format and conversion issues
> It is illegal to convert from PAL or any format.
> “fair use” has nothing to do with it and it very clear under copyright
> That you can’t transfer formats without permission ( unless we want to
> go into
> To “dead” format thing but PAL is not dead)
> You can try to obtain permission but it is unlikely to be granted as
> Different rights holders cover different territories
> There is a pretty simple solution though. BUY multi-format players
> They are fairly cheap and you should have them available.
> Like other copyright issues it is “inconvenient” but illegally
> transfering from
> PAL is no more legit than a pirate tape or converting a VHS to a DVD.
> Here at least you have legal solution.
> On 3/14/06 11:16 AM, "Leathem, Cecilia Anne" <> wrote:
> Hello,
> I am new to the list, but have searched the archives to no avail for
> information on my issues. I appreciate any input from others.
> As a subject specialist, but not a media specialist, I have received
> requests for foreign language videos from Italy and Israel, in
> particular. The videos are often available only in PAL format and we
> currently do not have the capability for converting and using them in
> our library. As a rule, we then notify faculty requesting the video
> that we cannot use the format and cancel the request.
> Unsatisfied with our current policy, I have identified several local
> companies who can convert PAL videos. I have also queried the
> library’s digital media lab and our School of Communication lab,
> neither of whom has the conversion equipment, but would buy it if we
> have a great enough need.
> My questions concern copyright issues.
> Have other libraries converted videos from PAL to another format?
> Have you obtained permission from the producer/supplier before converting?
> Does making and keeping a copy conform to “fair use”? What about
> Whose copyright law applies?
> Are there any other related issues that should concern me?
> Thanks.
> Cecilia
> Cecilia Leathem
> Head, Catalog Dept. & Foreign Languages Subject Specialist
> University of Miami Libraries
> Coral Gables, FL 33124
> 305-284-1561
> Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE
> Jessica Rosner
> Kino International
> 333 W 39th St. 503
> NY NY 10018
> 212-629-6880


Susan Weber, Media Librarian

Langara College, Advanced Education Media

Acquisitions Centre_

100 West 49th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Y 2Z6

Tel. 604-323-5533 email:

Fast Forward Media Showcase, May 2-3, 2006

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