Right area to ask question about DVD copying legality issues?

Someone I know used to make backup copies of their DVDs (that they owned) During a move to another state, several boxes were lost including some that contained the original DVDs. Since there is no “proof” of ever owning the DVDs, I told him that they are now considered pirated and illegal DVDs and that he should toss them. As you can imagine he has a hard time letting go of those copies. He doesn’t use them for sales or anything, just personal viewing. Problem is, a lot of those movies were accumulated from garage sales and craigslist ads.

Who is right and who is wrong?

To me it sounds like this is one of the reasons for making backup copies in the first place!

I don’t think they are “pirated”/“illegal” at all, certainly not in any moral or ethical sense whatsoever. And i’m positive that in my country, they would not be considered “pirated”.

However, I take it you are writing from the U.S., and i have no idea what sort of laws you have. My understanding is that ethics/common sense do not necessarily apply. I would ask a lawyer to settle the issue, if you really care that much about settling the argument. Industry guidelines are not likely to give you an accurate idea of the laws involved, in my experience (and speaking as the husband of a lawyer).

There’s no issue here. The backups were made from Dvd’s the person owned.

The only issue would be is if the backups were made with the INTENT to be sold. I don’t think selling at a garage sale for $1 or whatever is not an issue any law enforcement entity wants to or should respond to.

Sounds like a Gladys Kravitz here.


emsdallas ,Welcome to the forum . I liked the Gladys Kravitz comment.
My opinion is that is one of the reasons for a backup is if the original is lost or destroyed. Just because the physical original is no longer in possession doesn’t mean it wasn’t purchased & all rights with it. The prosecution would have to prove that the original was never owned or that it was sold .
As for selling any backup at a garage sale that is illegal even giving a backup to someone is. Will the law be knocking down someones door over that .Probably not.