Fantasy. DRM and the DMCA make reverse engineering and backup impossible.
OP was talking about analog reels made decades before digital film and the DMCA. Yes, the DMCA effectively castrates fair use and other provisions of copyright law when dealing with digital media that has anti-circumvention mechanisms in place but that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
The more pressing issue is much of this media is physically controlled by entities that have zero incentive to digitize or distribute it. The relevant laws here would be about trespassing or theft, as one would need to break into a vault and physically steal reels to do anything with the material.