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Can I record my DVD discs with my VCR?
You have a VCR and a DVD player. You may be tempted to try recording your DVDs onto video tape. Unfortunately, you can't.

DVDs contain special copyright protection, called Macrovision. This prevents the signal from being copied onto video tape. As a result, you can't use a VCR to copy your DVDs.

There are ways to make duplicates of your DVDs onto recordable DVD discs using your computer. Programs like DVD Shrink allow you to fit a DVD movie onto the smaller capacity recordable DVD discs. You will need a DVD recorder in your computer in order to make use of this software.

One thing to consider when duplicating your DVDs is whether it's legal or not. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) makes cracking copyright protection illegal. In order to duplicate a DVD, you have to do just that. The catch to the whole thing is most user agreements allow you to make backup copies of your software. DVDs are considered software. This creates a conflict with user rights and the law.

Of course, the authorities will probably not be looking to arrest you for making a duplicate of your kid's favorite DVD in case it gets damaged. They're more concerned with people who are involved with mass duplication and sales of pirated materials. However, there's no guarantee they wouldn't crack down on individuals who are simply backing up their software, so be aware that there is risk involved in this activity.

Consumer rights activists are currently working to have the DMCA modified to allow for personal backups of copyrighted material.

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Some of the tips and advice may void your equipment or service warranty. When in doubt, consult your owners manual and/or seek professional assistance. GadgetFAQs.com does not recommend performing any task that may damage your equipment, void your warranty or violate applicable laws. Since laws vary, depending upon your location, check local regulations regarding any activity you choose to engage in.