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Old 11-18-2012, 02:27 PM   #1
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Clunky VHS Tapes

I have clunky VHS tapes taking up way too much space in my entertainment center and the Disney ones take up even more space b/c of their cases. Does everyone just get rid of them or can they be converted to DVDs somehow? My daughter is starting to LOVE movies, but it's still not worth it to me to rebuy stuff we already paid for, you know? I already checked craigslist for cheap DVD versions, but to know avail.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:29 PM   #2
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My mom converted all of hers although I'm fairly positive it's illegal. Her argument was that she already paid for it so she shouldn't have to pay twice. But I dunno-I never had any VHS tapes that I really wanted to keep.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

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My mom converted all of hers although I'm fairly positive it's illegal. Her argument was that she already paid for it so she shouldn't have to pay twice. But I dunno-I never had any VHS tapes that I really wanted to keep.
Actually she's right. Fair use rights do allow you to rip/reincode copyrighted material that you have a legal copy of for your own use. Now, she can't covert them and make an extra copy for you, that would be illegal. If you own a copy, you can make all kinds of copies into all different media so long as you're using it only for yourself. There are sticky situations you can run into while exercising your fair use rights, but they don't apply to converting VHS.

If you get an encoder, it's pretty simple. There are places you can take them to have it done for you, but AFAIK they won't do copyrighted material.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:45 PM   #4
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Actually she's right. Fair use rights do allow you to rip/reincode copyrighted material that you have a legal copy of for your own use. Now, she can't covert them and make an extra copy for you, that would be illegal. If you own a copy, you can make all kinds of copies into all different media so long as you're using it only for yourself. There are sticky situations you can run into while exercising your fair use rights, but they don't apply to converting VHS.

If you get an encoder, it's pretty simple. There are places you can take them to have it done for you, but AFAIK they won't do copyrighted material.
Where did you did this info? The copyright stuff? I've googled and never found this but I'm interested.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

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Where did you did this info? The copyright stuff? I've googled and never found this but I'm interested.
Google fair use rights. Be warned, a lot of the information is technical and legal jargon. I don't have a great "this is how it works" link unfortunately, my understanding of fair use rights has come from reading a lot on fair use vs piracy vs DRM stuff over the years - it's been a point of contention that I've followed since the late ninties and the Napster debate. The law is not clear cut, but in general, making a copy or even copies for your own use is ok. Where it gets sticky is if you have to break a DRM encryption to make said copy such as making your own digital copy from a DVD or Bluray disk. Technically deconstructing their encryption is illegal, even if making the copy is not. That's one of the many reasons that they now include digital copies with DVDs and blurays these days - keeps people from trying to decrypt their DRM software. Fortunately there's no encryption on VHS tapes, so that part of the arguement is academic.

You'll have to wade through a bunch of related stuff too, as part of fair use rights is using for other purposes, like parody, commentary, educational purposes.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:23 PM   #6
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

Ive definitely heard of conversion, have you checked google too? Id be willing to ship (media mail is cheap) in order to digitize them and then burn them to cd.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:09 PM   #7
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

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Ive definitely heard of conversion, have you checked google too? Id be willing to ship (media mail is cheap) in order to digitize them and then burn them to cd.
Checked google and everything sounded like I'd have to invest in software and/or hardware and the reviews weren't even great. Some people said the quality came out worse...which has got to be terrible as quality is already low on VHS.

Do you mean I should ship them to a place that does the conversion? I think those services are usually pretty pricey which would be ok for a few priceless home videos (and all the related memories) but not worth it for kids cartoons and my chick flicks.

For now, I just put folder labels on them so I could read them vertically and put them back in the entertainment center. Getting rid of the Disney boxes helped, but it's not a long term solution. I want to minimize more!
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

No solution here other than every 6 months or so I ask hubby to look through them again with fresh eyes and reevaluate what he wants to keep and what he can let go... just did that a couple weeks ago and he found 6 or so to pass along. BUT - then the neighbor girls just brought over a box with about 12 disney movies in it... ... so not sure we made any progress! Hoping to go through the disney movies and pick out a few keepers and pass the rest along.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:18 PM   #9
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

Walmart does VHS to DVD conversions. I think I've seen it advertised for $3/tape.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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Re: Clunky VHS Tapes

I have done some digital conversions, and it's time consuming and you definitely need a fast enough machine. I have a video card that lets me watch TV on my computer, and it's the same as using a VCR as the input.

I get lots of things on freecycle and free CL, as well as browsing garage sales and have a nice little selection of DVDs. So that is the preferred method for me.

Converting has a learning curve and it is a bit time consuming. Although not entirely legal, I've found it easier to just download a fresh copy than rip it from a tape. To count as legal, would you have to retain your original VHS copy of the movie as proof that you own it legimately?
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