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Old February 15th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #1
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Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Earlier this week, I was contacted by a local company who inquired about converting their old VHS training videos to DVD.

Coincidently, I just ordered a Canon HV40 over the weekend, and I'm pretty sure I can do an Analog to Firewire pass through to capture from my SVHS VCR (I did this once or twice with my old Canon GL1 years ago).

What they asked me to do is convert approximately 75 VHS tapes to DVD. They said they are all various lengths ranging from 5 minutes to an hour or more depending on the material being presented.

I'm meeting with them on Monday to see exactly what they have and get a better idea of what they want.

Any idea of how to cost the labor for this?

Any other thoughts on doing bulk conversions?

-Aside, due to the quantity, I'm considering getting a Canopus ADVC110 Converter too, now that this has come up, and may be able to sell this as a service.


Thanks!
Kyle
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Old February 15th, 2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Since you don't know the length and it seems you're going to be doing these one at a time, I'd suggest you charge your hourly rate.

Keep in mind you're probably going to want to check these DVDs in a player which will also take time and they may come back to you saying some disks aren't playing in some player and you're going to be faced with time troubleshooting that.

Unless you're a duplication house, quoting a flat rate would probably be a bad business decision unless you way over estimate.

What if you find out many of the tapes are 2 hours and some even recorded in 6 hour mode. You can't take their estimates at face value.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #3
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

A big factor in the cost, is if it's straight out to a DVD burner, or capture to your computer..
Capturing to computer would involve authoring and perhaps editing..

Personally, if it's a straight VHS to DVD settop burner, i charge $15/tape, and $10 for every hour over the same tape.
If it involves capturing to computer, and authoring, i might start at $25/DVD, depending on involvement.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 08:01 PM   #4
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

A quick aside as someone who used to work in a health care facility where we were frequently asked to duplicate VHS training tapes to DVD or to PowerPoint compliant video files:

One of the big issues we had was that MANY of the tapes we received were 3rd party (sometimes purchased as a training system, sometimes supplied by equipment manufacturers) and the client had NO copyright privileges at all.

And upon contacting the copyright holder, probably 35% of the time they had NO willingness to allow a simple transfer from a failing VHS tape to another format, nor did they have a system in place to PURCHASE a copy from them any more.

In your case, if the VHS tapes were produced by the company and they own all copyright, have at it.

But if the tapes are someone else's intellectual property, it may be troublesome.

And no, you can't have them sign a waiver saying that they will take full responsibility, at least in the jurisdictions I have looked into the matter in. Of course, YMMV.

VHS duplication WAS a VERY significant part of my own business plan 10 years ago... I probably ran between 5-10 thousand VHS dubs a year at the peak.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 09:09 PM   #5
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Great insights! Thanks everyone.

As far as the note about the purchased training as part of a system: Indeed, if this is the case, I will not dub them over to DVD for that reason of copyrights etc.

If it turns out they do own the rights, I'm hoping there's a chance I can sell them on getting into filming for their future needs. I'm pretty confident they don't actually have a video crew in-house kind of thing.

They said on the phone there is no real time frame or urgent turn around time needed. So I'm thinking if all goes well Monday, I'll try and not only do the DVD aspect, but try and push for an upsell of maybe like a digital tablet friendly version as well. Also, offering to put all the ISO files on a hard drive for future copies if needed. (I don't want to get into the business of trying to store files here). All priced into the final quote of course.
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Old February 16th, 2013, 12:23 PM   #6
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Just off topic, but if there's a willingness to produce the DVD's as a backup, AND if there's no way to purchase the DVD version of the same video, you should be good to go..
The only foreseeable problem, is it the customer willingly sells the actual DVD's. But this isn't your case..

Good luck.
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Old February 16th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

I'd also advise avoiding anything to do with the computer, and use a standalone recorder - which means real time, then done!

Although legally it doesn't hold water, simply making the statement in writing that the client assumes responsibility for any copyright clearances would keep me happy enough, especially as they're old tapes. I personally would just ask the client to confirm that they will assume responsibility for the copyright, keep the document and worry about it later.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Although legally it doesn't hold water, simply making the statement in writing that the client assumes responsibility for any copyright clearances would keep me happy enough, especially as they're old tapes. I personally would just ask the client to confirm that they will assume responsibility for the copyright, keep the document and worry about it later.
Doesn't cut it even remotely on this side of the pond.

Again, you can't transfer liability in the opinion of my counsel. To make illegal copies of copyrighted material is a criminal offence, whether you agree with it or not.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 10:15 PM   #9
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Manojlovic View Post
The only foreseeable problem, is it the customer willingly sells the actual DVD's. But this isn't your case..
Profiting from the duplication of the material DOES NOT factor into whether an offence has been committed or not. Common and false misconception, again in the opinion of my counsel.
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Old February 19th, 2013, 01:28 AM   #10
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

My understanding of copyright law is that you can make a backup copy (or copies) legally. I can't see how making a DVD copy of a VHS, then keeping the VHS is a backup would be illegal. Then again, I am not a lawyer, and I am not your lawyer.
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Old February 21st, 2013, 03:10 AM   #11
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

On this side of the pond making copies of copyrighted material is a not a criminal offence it's a breach of copyright which is a civil offence for which the copyright holder can sue the infringer. The only damages that would be awarded would be for the loss of revenue as there are no punitive damages. The government is about to introduce a law to permit making digital copies of music, films and other copyrighted material for personal use. This is simply acknowledging the fact that everyone already makes copies of copyright material they own & have done for decades without anyone ever being sued by the rights holders BBC News - Law relaxed on digital copying
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Old February 21st, 2013, 08:47 AM   #12
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Re: Quoting a VHS to DVD/Digital Transfer, Large Qty.

Copyright protects the audio/video content, not the support it's been sold on.

When I purchased a vinyl disk or a VHS tape, I purchased the content, the right to listen and watch. There is no time limitation on my right to enjoy my purchase - I paid for it forever. If the support is degrading and I make a digital copy for my own personal use, I simply continue enjoying the content, I continue using the right I paid for.
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