3

In Canada, format shifting is explicitly allowed under the new copyright modernization act. I have a program and hardware that allow me to convert VHS tapes to digital copies.

From what I understand about owning movies, is that you buy a new movie, what you are actually purchasing is a license to view that movie on your own home, you never own the movie itself, because of the copyright.

I could take the time to convert all my VHS, but there's no guarantee it would be the same quality as when I first purchased it.

If you can only own a license to watch a movie in your home, and format shifting is not an infringement of copyright, then is it legal for someone to download digital copies of movies that they have already purchased a license to view in their homes in another format?

  • Could you add a reference to the legislation you mention? – feetwet Jun 17 '16 at 2:21
5

You are referring to Section 29.22 of the Copyright Act of Canada.

This allows for format shifting for private purposes but only if

the copy of the work or other subject-matter from which the reproduction is made is not an infringing copy

and

the individual legally obtained the copy of the work or other subject-matter from which the reproduction is made

among some other conditions.

In the case of downloading a copy from the internet, the source is likely an infringing copy (violating the first condition) and you wouldn't have legally obtained the copy of the work from which the reproduction is made (you don't even have the copy from which the reproduction is made, since it is on a remote server somewhere).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.