There IS not section in current copyright which deals specifically with
this issue as it related to video or film. PERIOD.
A few years back, the late, great attorney Ivan Bender--grand panjandrum
copyright--stood up before a large, assembled group of librarians in
Austin, TX and offered his opinion that making a single copy of a
damaged or at-risk video work for which a replacement copy could not be
obtained on the open market (the item had gone out of distribution, etc)
would MOST LIKELY be viewed as acceptable practice, if it could be
demonstrated that a reasonable effort had been made to
commercially-acquire the piece.
Reasonable effort (to me) would seem to be: contacting the original
producer/distributor, if possible; at least a prefunctory search thru
standard videographies (printed and/or on-line) to determine change in
One thing I think is certain: wholesale transfer of one format to another
(rather than case by case) is cruisin' for a legal bruisin'. Making
copies or transfers in ANTICIPATION of need is also a no. It's important
to remember that format transfers are considered making derrivative copies
under the law--one of the rights exclusively granted to the copyright
At UCB we have been slowly replacing our 3/4" stuff thru purchase of 1/2"
when possible and transfer of formats when not...we transfer only when the
the 3/4" copy turns out to be unplayable or harmful to the machinery (the
old oxide strip-off) and we can't buy the stuff in vhs.
Media Resources Center
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
On Wed, 11 Feb 1998, Kino International Corporation wrote:
> Actually Stan I spoke to another librarian last night who confirmed that
> the section you sited was put in specifally for audio recording and has
> never been allowed to be used for other formats. In any case it is a VERY
> SLIPPERY SLOPE. What is detiorating ? What is a fair price. I have heard
> many librarians argue that either they just do not like the format they
> have ( not that they actually can not use it ie they want tape when they
> have 16mm) or they think the price is too much. I dare any of you to take
> an old detiorating Disney short and transfer it because you can not get it
> on tape. I still do not see any LEGAL arguement for tranfering any
> copywrited material without the owners permission, though again I am not
> unsympathetic to the problem.
> Kino International Corporation
> 333 W. 39th St. Suite 503
> New York, NY 10018
> fax: (212)714-0871