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A guide to copying and digitization at Brandon University

Format Shifting 

If you would like to convert a VHS cassette to a DVD or streaming video format in order to screen a film for your class, there is an exception in the Copyright Act that might permit the library to do this on your behalf, but only provided that the film or video is not commercially available as a DVD or streaming video.

The Copyright Act also contains an exception that might allow an individual to convert a VHS cassette to a DVD or streaming format, but only provided that the reproduction is for private purposes, that the source copy was legally obtained, and that the individual does not circumvent a digital lock. Please note that this exception would not permit you to convert a VHS cassette for the purposes of screening a film in class.

(from UBC's site on Copyright Resources)


Digital Locks 

Bill C-11 reinforces the importance of digital locks. The Copyright Act prohibits the circumvention of any digital lock that restricts or controls access to a work unless it is done with the authority of the copyright holder. This means that if there is a digital lock that restricts or prevents access to the work, you must not circumvent the digital lock to access the work, even if you would have be able to copy the work relying on an exception to infringement to reproduce or use a copyrighted work in your classroom, or to post a copy onto a learning management system (such as any of the educational exceptions, or the fair dealing exception).

All commercially available movies have digital locks. Despite the educational exceptions made possible in C-11, DVDs with digital locks cannot be copied, modified, edited, digitized, “ripped” into a digital device or transmitted through a digital network without the expressed authorization of the rights owner or representative.  This definitely includes format shifting, so transferring the contents of a copy protected DVD to a computer hard drive is illegal.  In essence, any and all activities that require the circumvention of digital locks are prohibited and illegal according to Bill C-11.

(from UBC's site on Copyright Resources)

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Carmen Kazakoff-Lane
Carmen Kazakoff -Lane, Scholarly Communications Librarian
John E. Robbins Library - ( LB 2-19 )
270-18th Street
Brandon, Manitoba
R7A 6A9

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Ph: (204) 727-7483
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