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Old March 19th, 2013, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
Speed Daemon
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Originally Posted by shelliewnj View Post
I just heard that there are programs that will back up your movies to hard disk or dvd. a few questions... is this legit? is it allowed? if so, how do you do it? thanks
my kids wreck their movies far too often and I was hoping for a viable solution other than not buying them
If you legally purchased an authorized videotape or DVD of the movie, then you do have the legal right to make one back-up copy under Fair Use laws in the US. If you don't live in the US, I can't say for sure.

You're 100% OK making a copy to the same meduim that you got the video on. So if you have a DVD, you can clone it to a DVD-R as your fair use copy. Although the laws don't specifically permit it, you probably will not get into trouble storing, for example an .ISO image of a DVD on your computer. Things get murky when ripping the DVD to a non-DRMed file format like MPEG2/4, AVI etc. or put the ripped video onto a video server that can be simultaneously accessed by several users at once. But as long as no electronic copies ever leave your home, you should be safe. Likewise, you should be safe if you make a single DVD-R copy to use in the family car, and don't constantly replaced "vanished" copies.

Honestly, I doubt anybody will come after you if you make a second backup copy or exceed the fair use terms in other ways as long as you're not pirating the videos. But if you are someone who needs to be 100% law-abiding, it's one copy only.

Coincidentally, the US Supreme Court is hearing a case that may affect the status of copyrighted materials that are made outside of the US, regardless who the copyright holder is. This shouldn't affect you though.
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