Even though it is technically possible to record content from a Virgin V6 or Sky Q to a DVD recorder, it is illegal if you deliberately try to bypass the Digital Rights Management or Copy Protection measures employed by content companies to protect their content. What do you do if you really need a copy of a programme you have recorded to your set top box?
What is permitted?
Under copyright law you are permitted to record a programme on your set top box for later viewing by yourself at a more convenient time. This is called time shifting. However, you are not allowed to make copies for yourself, or share those copies with others, without the permission of the content/copyright owner.
What’s the alternative?
Since ditching Sky Q recently, I hardly ever record a programme to my YouView box for later viewing. Unless I’m watching live programmes on Freeview, I watch most programmes now on one of the catch up services, e.g. iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 or My5, or one of the streaming services. I watch sport on Now TV, BT Sport, Amazon Prime Video and Eurosport Player and I watch films and TV series on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Now TV.
What do you do if you really need a copy to keep
I was asked recently by someone what to do if they desperately wanted a copy of a programme they had watched and recorded on their set top box. The programme in question had featured a family member. I advised him to contact the rights owner and ask for a high resolution copy on a DVD or Blu-ray disk. Be aware the rights owner probably won’t be the broadcaster and you may need to scroll through to the credits to find out who they are.