I want to put my DVDs on a NAS so I can have a video jukebox and play movies without having to set up a hardware player and stick the disk in.

However, when I talked to a video handling company about doing this work, they said they cannot work with "copyrighted material". This is the United States.

Is it illegal to put movies I own on a NAS? If it is not, why would the video company refuse?

closed as off-topic by Paulie_D, Meat Trademark, BrettFromLA, A J, Nog Shine Feb 22 '18 at 4:39

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    We're not a suitable place to ask for legal advice, besides we don't even know what country or state you are in. In general terms however, yes it is usually illegal to do what you propose. Why do they refuse permission? Because copying the material would allow distribution or even inadvertent simultaneous use of the material you've only licensed once. – iandotkelly Feb 21 '18 at 19:50
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    Try your question over on the law site: law.stackexchange.com – Tim Feb 21 '18 at 20:02
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    @TylerDurden You are asking for legal advice when you ask if something is legal or not...and you did. – Paulie_D Feb 21 '18 at 21:43
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    @TylerDurden Ask the video place then. Or try to work on your question to make it more generally applicable. I'm afraid we're not really a place for home theatre advice, legal or technical. It's not necessarily that we don't do laws at all here, but this question skirts quite into personal advice on playback territory, a pattern that's noticable in many of your past questions, some of them closed as being off-topic. It can be difficult balance to strike, I agree, but we're explicitly not a personal home theatre advice site. The question has merit beyond that, but it's tricky. – Napoleon Wilson Feb 22 '18 at 0:04
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    @Gnemlock .... I didn't say it was off topic or vote to close it, I just said my usual proviso that we can't offer advice before giving a very quick general answer. We do have a fairly recent meta question to that effect movies.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/4127/… – iandotkelly Feb 22 '18 at 1:47

Ok, with the usual disclaimer that we're not here to offer legal advice, and we don't actually know the territory you live in.

First of all the material you are considering copying is covered by Copyright law in most parts of the world, which on its own might make copying a movie onto a NAS illegal (even one that you have purchased and still own).

However in addition to this it is explicitly illegal in the USA to circumvent the DRM (copy protection) built into most DVD and Blu-Ray content. This law alone will make the video handling company unable to do this work.

Please see 17 U.S. Code § 1201 - part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

  • Agreed. My understanding is that in general, time shifting and space shifting are legal due to judgments in court cases regarding taping songs from the radio and videotaping TV shows. But in the case of DVDs, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act comes in because DVDs have DRM built in, and bypassing any such measures is a violation of the DMCA. – Todd Wilcox Feb 22 '18 at 2:05

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