9 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2006 9:54 PM by Beverly Maneatis
Peace Freak! Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
I have about half a dozen older movies that have copy protection on them and I am wondering how to go about saving them to DVD. I tried using a friends VHS to DVD Recorder but it wouldn't permit me to do so.

I wonder if it is possible. I really don't want to buy the movies again. Is there an easy way to do this with a Mac?

PowerBook G4 12inch 867 Mhz, Mac OS X (10.4)
  • VJK Level 5 Level 5 (4,260 points)
    Can of worms. Can of worms. Copy protection is there for a reason.
  • SDIllini Level 6 Level 6 (16,670 points)
    Peace Freak!

    VJK is right you know....


    Sue
  • T. Haire Level 3 Level 3 (755 points)
    Besides copyright issues....Factor in time, reduced quality, playability on different players, questionable life of dvd-r/+r media, etc....Do a search for the availability of these videos on dvd. May be well worth it to avoid the problems listed above.

    Just a suggestion.

    T.
  • Peace Freak! Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Yes, I know copy protection is there for a reason... Yes, I guess factoring in time and hassle, if I can get the DVD’s that would be the way to go... I just feel it is a bit of a shame having to repurchase again, as I have them already. I had the same feeling when going from LP’s to CD’s... I spent quite a bit of money repurchasing my music collection. I just don’t value these movies so much... Anyway I guess I will check out ebay...

    Thanks for getting back to me!
  • Hoover411 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I disagree. Peace Freak is has the legal right to make a copy of purchased VHS tapes for personal use. I'll bet everyone here has made back-up copies of media, and the law protects that right. The copy protection is the sticky wickett, though. Don't give up, Peace Freak! Search the discussions for this topic discussed elsewhere.

    Powermac G5, 1.6Ghz SP   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (31,545 points)
    Hi Peace,

    to add some technical advice: (I'm no lawyer and copyrights are handled very different in different territories)

    some stores offer socalled "copy enhancers" (normally wired between two VCRs) which are able to eliminate any copyprotectors as MacroVision etc....

    but as said: if your tapes have a copyprotection, there's a high chance, they are not so old AND were commercial successfull=> a dvd version exists (which offers a much higher quality then tape and esp. then tape>>dvd )

    because such blackboxes cost money plus your time...- that's a NoGo for me, I would re-buy the movies
  • Peace Freak! Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Thanks for that idea... I will do some searching for such box as I have checked and some of the movies I have are not available on DVD, at least at this point in time. Lets hope I can find a way around this restriction.
  • Daniel Filice Level 4 Level 4 (1,180 points)
    I have one of the earlier versions of the Canopus ADVC Analog-to-Digital converters and it by-passes copy-protection. I'm not sure the new ones do it, but then you'd have to spend $200+ to buy one. I also read that you might be able to side-step copy protection if you used a camcorder for either pass-through or recording. But, having already done this, I've got to say: What a pain in the butt! The quality stinks, you will have compromised audio since a DVD will have 5.1 and a VHS is only 2-ch stereo, VHS is only 260 lines of resolution vs. a DVDs 480, not to mention that this is time-intensive. How much is your time worth? Since you can buy most DVDs for $10 to $15, it would take many hours just to copy one 2-hour VHS tape with lousy results. I've gone through this tedium to get an old movie onto DVD just so I could have it on a convenient format, and I added chapters so I could skip ahead, but I've only done this on a rare occassion.
  • Beverly Maneatis Level 5 Level 5 (7,150 points)
    Daniel, and all,
    I agree that it is a waste of time....and after all the effort, may not work. I have never copied a commercial VHS tape to DVD, but I did have 90 seconds of my daughter's dance recital that I wanted to include in my home-movie DVD. I had made it myself by copying a friend's purchased VHS. It copied to my VHS just fine, and it copied fine to Hi-8mm tape, but 15 years later when I tried to copy it to my DV tape for importing into iMovie, I received a copy-protection message that inserted itself after the first 10 seconds of the dance. I really wanted this segment, and I don't have a converter. My understanding is that the new ones don't do this well...maybe one from Miglia (?) something like that.

    I ended up having a copy service try it and the only way the guy could do it was to make a quicktime movie and put that on a CD for me and then I copied the QT to my iMovie. It still had a slight gap where the warning had been, and was a little jumpy, but at least I had it. It cost me about $40 to have it done, but it was a local guy and I could drive over to the place easily.

    I was not worried about the copy-protection because I did not know the name of the company that produced the original VHS, the clip I wanted was on my own VHS tape, and after that many years, I didn't think the company was around.

    I would never advocate that anyone copy a commercial movie by any method.