Thursday, October 22, 2009

DVD Duping? Edited Movies? Ixnay!

Dear Rich: I purchased a number of edited DVD movies a year or so ago, when several professional editing companies went out of business. Can I make copies of these DVDs and sell them on eBay? Does someone still own the copyright to the edited versions? The short answer is yes, someone owns the copyright (unless it's one of those movies that fell in the public domain) and your duplication and sale infringes that copyright. 
Edited DVDs? We're not sure what you mean by "edited DVDs" but we think they are the kind that used to be sold by places like CleanFlicks until the courts shut them down in 2007-2008. For example, if your version of The Proposal is missing the scene where Sandra Bullock collides nude with Ryan Reynolds, then you've got a CleanFlicks DVD. (Wait...that movie came out this year!). CleanFlicks thought they had a way around copyright law by selling a legit copy of the DVD with their sanitized version. Alas, that didn't fly since the copyright owner controls the right to make modified versions. Based on that court ruling it would be illegal for you to sell dupes as well as any unauthorized edited versions. 
Of course, that's just the opinion of the Dear Rich Staff and who are we but a bunch of geezers who sit around eating vegan donuts and drinking green tea. It's possible that somewhere in an alternate blog universe, there's another crew who thinks you should proceed with this potentially infringing activity. We'd like to meet them but until then we want you to stay healthy and out of trouble.