Video no longer available - convert to DVD?

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  • Several years ago, our local Pepsi company gave away educational copies (edited lightly to remove R rated violence) of the Civil War film Glory. Our teachers have used the video extensively over the years and want to contiue to use it. The copy is having some problems- stretching and fading. It is no longer available for purchase. Can we convert the video with it's limitations to DVD format without violating copyright?
  • Really, you cannot find a DVD copy of Glory for purchase? Maybe you mean you cannot buy an edited copy of Glory.

    A few years back there was some hoopla about companies like CleanFlicks that would edit out "bad language" or violence to make an "R" rated film more suitable for school or family viewing. I believe that some school districts actually required schools to edit R rated videos.

    CleanFlicks was taken to court for copyright infringement. The suit was brought by several film directors. The court ruled against CleanFlicks. CleanFlicks then went out of business - their inventory of edited DVDs was given to the studios who could sell the DVDs on their own.

    Now CleanFlicks is back but only rents unedited DVDs.

    There are Canadian companies who sell edited DVDs. If you purchased a Canadian copy, it would be a legal copy since editing films is not an infringement in Canada (as far as I know).

    There is also equipment called ClearPlay that edits out offensive language etc as the DVDs plays. So the DVD itself is not altered but the performance of it is.

    This seems to be the "legal" option - Congress passed the Family Movie Act that said people can edit films they purchase but they cannot make a copy.

    Even if all of this was not an issue, and you made a copy in DVD after looking and not finding a replacement in the market place, there is a silly stickler in the law that says the digital copy cannot leave the premises of the library. (this rule is probably ignored for the most part in schools).

    Confirm that you really cannot find a DVD copy of Glory. Then we can discuss more if necessary.
  • This situation happened to me. A sound filmstrip was not available in any format whatsoever so I was able to make a copy in a new format. Since the video is still available for purchase (I checked) with the original rating, I do not think this applies in this situation. You may have find another solution for your teachers unless someone on this forum can provide a good argument for making the copy.
  • You'll want to look at Section 108 of of the copyright law ( , particularly this bit:

    c) The right of reproduction under this section applies to three copies or phonorecords of a published work duplicated solely for the purpose of replacement of a copy or phonorecord that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, or if the existing format in which the work is stored has become obsolete, if —

    (1) the library or archives has, after a reasonable effort, determined that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price; and

    (2) any such copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format is not made available to the public in that format outside the premises of the library or archives in lawful possession of such copy.

    So you'll need to consider -- can you buy a copy? There are lots of copies of the unedited DVD on Amazon, but the edited version might be impossible to find. Is the format obsolete? No, you can still buy and use VHS tapes. Will it be available for circulation outside the library?'s stretching it, but you could say it won't be leaving the school.

    However, I think the fact that the unedited original is widely available will count against making any copies.
  • We are a small, private university and want to show an R-rated film in a classroom situation. The faculty member has asked "I'd like to show an R-rated film (Capote) without showing the "R" parts--mostly the gore of the murders. Is there a way to manipulate or edit the DVD so I don't have to fast-forward through these parts during class?" The department owns the DVD.
  • I don't think there is any legal reason you'd have to show the whole thing -- after all you don't have to read a whole novel when it's assigned. The technicalities, however, are beyond me.
  • It looks like ClearPlay provides software to skip over parts of DVDs. There may be other vendors as well. I haven't used ClearPlay, so this isn't a recommendation. Doing a search in Google Scholar, I found quite a few interesting articles on this topic.
  • You know, I'd forgotten about ClearPlay! I actually have a ClearPlay equipped DVD player, though we haven't filtered a movie for years. They are fairly easy to find and use. If I recall correctly, you can set the filters at various levels for sex, violence, language, etc. You download filters for specific movies from their website, and they do have Capote, and, getting back to the beginning of this thread, Glory.

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