Can I Back Up My Old Vhs Tapes?

Jan 27, 2001
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Hi folks,
I just bought my first DVD recorder and i want to back up a fair chunk of my old VHS collection. Im aware that they wont make "great" copies as the saying go's you cant make a silk purse out of a sows ear.
However the copies would save me a fortune replacing all my old VHS tapes and i would rather spend my money on new films.

What i want to know is am i breaking any laws by doing this? I hope not as surely paying for a copyright once should allow you to back it up.

Cheers for looking and your thoughts,
It's a bit of a 'Grey' area. Yes you have bought the origional and the DVD is 'just a backup', but it is a 'copy' and the copyright does say that you can not make copies. Its the same as making an MP3 copy of a CD. I don't really think the law has caught up with this.

You wouldn't be liable to prosecution unless you were distributing copies. The recent case in point being the; then, 15 yr old who devised a program to kill copy protection on his dvd collection so's he could make backup copies and was found not guilty of piracy. In fact, he even let people get the program over the net and he was still found innocent.
On similar lines, what you may find is some of your films have copyright protections on and you may need to get a plug on mod between your vcr and dvd recorder which disables protections.
The whole area is grey but safe enough in reality.

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