Answered By: Linda Neyer Last Updated: Apr 12, 2017 Views: 76
Copyright law is open to interpretation, but generally speaking if you want to convert an out-of-print VHS to DVD format because there is no DVD version available for sale, you need to make a good faith effort to obtain permission from the rights holder, even if it's not likely they will respond. Keep copies of all your letters, emails, etc., as proof that you made a good faith effort. And then go ahead and make the copy for your classroom use, once you've made your good faith effort.
There are some exceptions to copyright law, and some of them specifically apply to libraries. This University of Connecticut page does a nice job of explaining these exceptions.
For more background info:
'Media Duplication and Conversion Services' at the University of Colorado at Boulder