Phasing out VCRs in the classrooms at Goucher College

Manufacturers have begun to reduce or end production of VCRs due to the “Analog Sunset" FCC regulations that are to go into effect beginning in December, 2010. Obtaining VCRs has already become difficult, and repair is virtually impossible. Due to the imminent demise of this media, Goucher has developed a plan to address the obsolescence of VCRs and the impact on teaching materials that are currently only available in VHS format.

Copying, displaying and distributing copyrighted works may infringe the owner's copyright. Goucher College’s Copyright Guidelines can help you determine whether your use of a copyrighted work is a fair use or requires permission. Any use of computer or duplicating facilities by students, faculty or staff for infringing use of copyrighted works is subject to appropriate disciplinary action as well as those civil remedies and criminal penalties provided by federal law.

If you wish to obtain assistance in determining whether your proposed use of copyrighted material or copying project constitutes fair use within the meaning of the Copyright Act, you should contact the Fair Use Committee for an opinion by sending your inquiry to the General Counsel’s Office (x6032) or from which it will be directed to the committee.

If you currently have a VHS tape that you use for class, you should be developing a strategy for migrating the class material to a different media for use inside and outside of class.

What is the future of VHS tapes?

The future of VHS tapes is limited since the magnetic tape used to record the film tends to deteriorate over time and with use. New and improved media is now available for recording and viewing. Standalone VHS players are becoming harder to find and multi-standard players in particular, are scarce and hard to buy or repair.

How can I replace my VHS format film that is needed for a class?

If the film is available on DVD, the library will order a replacement. Check with Sharon Hartmann about this. In rare cases it may make sense to reformat the VHS to DVD. There are both copyright and technical considerations that affect this process. Those considerations are explained in detail at and include obtaining a fair use determination, and arranging for someone (typically a department’s student assistant) to be trained by CTLT to do the dubbing. According to copyright law, DVDs created in this way must be used only in the library. Please contact the CTLT for information about the dubbing stations in the Information Commons.

Where can faculty show a VHS tape in class?
Because of the phasing out of VHS tape players in the industry and to use resources most effectively, the college has VHS players installed only in the following locations:
  • Alumni House Buchner Hall
  • Athenaeum 111 (not multi-standard)
  • Athenaeum 321 
  • Athenaeum 322 (not multi-standard)
  • Athenaeum 342
  • Athenaeum 426 – Pinkard (not multi-standard)
  • FRO (TIC) 202
  • Hoffberger 134 (multi-standard)
  • Kelly Lecture Hall (multi-standard)
  • Thormann 202 (multi-standard)
  • Thormann 203
  • Van Meter B10 (multi-standard)
  • Van Meter B12
  • Van Meter B20
  • Van Meter G07 (multi-standard)
  • Van Meter 101
  • Van Meter 102
  • Van Meter 103
  • Van Meter 201
  • Welsh Hall Classroom 128 (not multi-standard)

Because of limited resources, the college does not have the ability to temporarily install VHS players in other locations on campus and does not have the resources to provide a VHS tape player to loan.

If a classroom does not have a VHS tape player and a faculty member needs to show a VHS tape, what should he or she do? The faculty member should contact the Registrar’s office to request moving the location of an upcoming class meeting to one of the rooms above.

Where can students view a VHS tape that is on reserve?
  • Athenaeum 321, 342, and 435
  • Library's Acess Services Back Room -- ask at Service Desk
  • For individual viewing, the library has two VCR stations on the fourth level of the stacks
  • Individual viewing also possible in the Information Commons open pod

Analog Sunset FCC Regulation: Analog Sunset - 2010. With the exception of Existing Models, any Licensed Player manufactured after December 31, 2010, shall limit analog video outputs for Decrypted AACS Content to SD Interlace Modes [composite video, s-video, 480i component video and 576i video] only. Analog Sunset - 2013. No Licensed Player that passes Decrypted AACS Content to analog video outputs may be manufactured or sold by Adopter after December 31, 2010.