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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Right or Wrong? » » A Question of Ethics, Converting VHS to DVD (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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dreidy
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Just remember, if the country in which you reside is a signatory to the Berne Convention (USA, Canada, Australia and pretty much everywhere else) then if you distribute a copy (or the original and keep the copy) what you are doing is a breach of your local copyright laws. Now the chance of getting caught may be slim, but remember - they made it illegal to protect the rights of those who created the material.

David.
Garrett Nelson
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"Purists will argue that there is a major ethical issue here. Hey, we're talking about magic, not national security!"

If national security were as straightforward as magic ethics my blood pressure would be lower and I would be home for dinner a lot more often!
bakerkn
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Quote:
On 2003-12-24 07:05, Peter Marucci wrote:
Donate the old VHS tapes to a magic club.

Purists will argue that there is a major ethical issue here. Hey, we're talking about magic, not national security!

There are probably about three people in the world that will do what you are doing (transferring magic tapes to DVD), so that's hardly a big deal for any single producer of magic videos.


So unless it concerns the welfare of the nation or a significantly large amount of money, respect for intellectual property is not an issue?

Good to know that ethical considerations can be so neatly circumvented.

Kevin
David Eichler
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I love having the ability to purchase from an amazing selection of magic DVDs and videos. I, very slowly, am purchasing my favorite magic videos on DVD format. I figure it is the best way to support those who hold the power to make these wonderful teaching tools.
Bill Palmer
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Okay. I'll step in here, too. I'm a member of ASCAP and I earn a significant amount of my income from royalties. We conservatively estimate that we lose 50% of our rightful income every year to people who make illegal copies. Some of them are done with the best of intentions. Others are done by people who should know better. You can make a backup or archival copy as long as you keep the original. That's within the law. But as soon as both the original and the copy end up being used simultaneously, i.e. at home and at the magic club, then the law has been violated. It's not like donating old paperback books to the nursing home. It's like donating photocopies of paperpback books to the nursing home. And donating them to the club may be a bad idea unless they are so heavily copy protected as to be uncopyable.

Make DVD's for convenience, but keep the originals. That's the only legal and moral way to do it.

And Joe, thanks for being considerate enough to ask. Most people don't.
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debaser
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You really can’t ask other people to decide your ethical choices for you. (It’s impossible.)

It would be against copyright laws. Even if you donated them to a church. That's all anybody can really do for you.

Do I think its a big deal? No, but as you can see from all the other posts its still a fifty /fifty chance.

matt
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

Many thanks one and all for weighing in with your opinions.

After sharing the opinions voiced here with the significant other, she understood completely, and due to the fact that all of the tapes in question fit into a couple of mover's book boxes, storing them in the basement became a non-issue.

So, as the videos are converted to DVD, the original will be boxed and stored until such time as I choose to dispose of both original and copy. Which, I believe, is the concensus of those expressing an opinion.

I thank you all again.

To one and all, have a magical life, live a great adventure!

Joe in KC
Peter Marucci
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Kevin writes (and his point is argued by others): "So unless it concerns the welfare of the nation or a significantly large amount of money, respect for intellectual property is not an issue?"

So what would you do -- close all the libraries for the very same violations?

Please join the REAL world!

In a "perfect world", this would not be an issue.

But, then, in a "perfect world", poverty, hunger, and terrorism wouldn't be issues, either.
Blitzen
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Mr. Palmer is right. Giving away or selling the original after you've copied it is copyright infringement. Statutory damages for doing that run between $750 and $30,000 based on a whole mess or factors that are beyond this post. Since you've made DVD copies you don't need your VCR originals, I'd just throw them out.
Bill Hallahan
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Blitzen is correct, it is illegal, however do not get rid of the original videotapes, since they are the only way you can prove that your DVDs are backups and not pirated copies.

If you ever decide not to use any of the material on the videos, then you can sell the tapes. You can never sell the copies alone.

It is not illegal to sell the original tapes of course, but my own sense of ethics is that I would never ever sell the source of material that I use. Creators should be paid if their material is performed.
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Peter Marucci
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Bill Hallahan writes: "Creators should be paid if their material is performed."

Fair enough. But what if the person on the tape and selling it is not the creator of the move/routine/whatever?

Again, we come up against the "perfect world" argument. In a perfect world, there were be no conflict; but, then, in a perfect world, this wouldn't be an issue, either.

How about this, to satisfy everyone:

Copy the tapes onto DVDs.

Put some tape over the little hole on the side of the VHS tape case so it can be taped over.

Use that tape to tape sports events, TV movies, whatever.

(Of course, you run into the problem of others complaining about copyright violations -- but at least it's not magic! LOL!)
debaser
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If you happened to read the mp3 post in "not really magic, but" you'll notice that CD-RS and DVD-RS can lose their ability to work in a couple of years. While VHS wears out slowly.

Note: This is not the same as DVDs you buy with movies on them.

matt
Paul Chosse
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Do whatever you can live with - you're going to anyway...

Best, PSC
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Mark Rough
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Legally, if that's important to you, it's pretty clear. You are allowed to make ONE archival copy at a time. But if you sell or give away the original the copy is supposed to be destroyed.

Mark
What would Wavy do?
Blitzen
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Bill Hallahan is right, sorta...

If you're really just backing up to DVD for personal convenience, I don't see any practial legal problem with destroying the originals--I'd like to see the rightful copyright owners claim that your backup is an illegal copy. I'm not saying the might not try, but the possibility of them bringing suit against a "private use" copier boarders on the absurd. It's entirely differnt if you try to sell the original or copies. That's copyright infringement, no ifs/ands/ or buts...

Quote:
On 2004-02-10 01:36, Bill Hallahan wrote:
Blitzen is correct, it is illegal, however do not get rid of the original videotapes, since they are the only way you can prove that your DVDs are backups and not pirated copies.

If you ever decide not to use any of the material on the videos, then you can sell the tapes. You can never sell the copies alone.

It is not illegal to sell the original tapes of course, but my own sense of ethics is that I would never ever sell the source of material that I use. Creators should be paid if their material is performed.
mkiger
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I am converting all mine now. It is nice to be able to extract a trick from a tape and learn from it without constant rewinding and no danger of consumption by the recorder.

I have no intention of selling either the originals or the CD/DVDs. Just like the practice copies of tricks from some of the books I have purchased. Strictly for my own use.

If you are copying a tape, book, or trick and passing it on to anyone else, you are in the wrong. Rationalize as you like, it does not alter the fact that you are robbing the originator.

As to the flummery that the performer on the tape might not have originated the effect, so what? He or she is working a gig and you are stealing from the payroll.

Magic is a very vertical market, if you dilute the profits it makes it that much more difficult to get new stuff.

Bottom line, would you like to see your material distributed without compensation?
Steven Steele
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I'm going to convert all of my VHS magic tapes to DVD, but I will not give them away or sell them. They will be destroyed. However, before I do that...I'm going to take my digital movie camera and record my destruction of the VHS tape and make that part of the new DVD. I will also attach as a PDF file a copy of the invoice, if I still have it (which I do for most of my tapes). That should take care of it.

I don't worry about it. After all, I've bought "Meet the Beatles" more times than I care to count. (Vinyl, 4 track, 8 Track, A proprietary cassette machine, Mini Cassette, Cassette, CD...
mkiger
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Make sure you have a notary to verify that these are the tapes, ten witnesses, and a DNA sample. The millenium copyright is a real bear!

Someone said that character is what you do when nobody is watching. Most of us know the difference between right and wrong.
landmark
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<<Another related issue that really ticks me off is the person who buys a tape or DVD learns 2-3 tricks off it, and then sells it, while continuing to perform the effects gleaned from the recording. That is just plain wrong!

I see a lot of DVDs and tapes for sale here, where the seller comes right out and says, "I learned all the effects, so I am selling this item."

When you buy the item, you are buying performance rights (possibly limited ones--some do not allow TV etc) but you are buying the effect and rights to perform. When you sell it, you no longer own the right to perform it! >>


This can't be right can it? So, by analogy, if I sell my copy of Royal Road to Card Magic, then I can no longer perform any of the effects I learned from it? And if I sell my copy of How to Bartend, I'm not allowed to mix another daquiri again?

Not possible.

Jack Shalom
Steven Steele
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Hmmmm...interesting point landmark. I guess that since I learned to add and subtract from my second grade textbook, which I no longer have, I should stop adding and subtracting. Is a DVD any different? And what to do with my college education since I've sold or lost all of my college textbooks.

By the way landmark, I kind of agree with you as I am wrestling with the same issue, but can see how this gets confusing? Smile

Wow!
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