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Old December 12th, 2006, 01:28 AM   #1
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Is Smartflicks going to destroy special interest video?

Instructional videos are far different than entertainment videos. Does the First Sale Doctrine allow this?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio
Instructional videos are far different than entertainment videos. Does the First Sale Doctrine allow this?
IANAL but how does SmartFlix differ from your neighborhood Blockbuster's special interest rental shelves other than the fact it's online?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #3
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Very different

Blockbuster can't inventory SIVs because a store's market is too small.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 08:00 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Paul Cascio
Blockbuster can't inventory SIVs because a store's market is too small.
I beg to differ. Our local video rental storefronts can and do carry a number of special interest videos. Granted they don't have as extensive an array of specialized items as Smartflix but they still have 'em. So do the public libraries.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 08:05 PM   #5
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Just to chime in...

I just rented "Advanced Broadcast Camera Techniques Vol. 1 & 2" from Smartflix, and there was a specific disclaimer about the videos not being intended for lending libraries. So I just figured that there was a back end deal on part of the rental fee to the production company... Isn't that pretty standard with regular movies as well?
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Old December 12th, 2006, 09:28 PM   #6
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I never heard of smartflicks, what is the link to the website?
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Old December 13th, 2006, 03:23 AM   #7
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Quote:Just to chime in...

I just rented "Advanced Broadcast Camera Techniques Vol. 1 & 2" from Smartflix, and there was a specific disclaimer about the videos not being intended for lending libraries. So I just figured that there was a back end deal on part of the rental fee to the production company... Isn't that pretty standard with regular movies as well?
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Yes i bought that same DVD set. Extremely good for anyone starting out. Well worth the money and they have a UK distributor as well.

I can confirm it does state at the start "not for lending libraries"

Over in UK we are already starting to see special interest videos appear in online rental shops such as love joy and even supermarket store group Tesco have an online DVD rental that has SIVs for sale. So far the numbers are small.

Money or the opportunity to make some more money is probably the reason behind it? Lets say you produce a DVD and you release it for sale through a distributor. After several years you have made most of what your going to make and someone comes along and offers you a similar amount in total to allow them to use your DVD in their rental chain. You get two chunks of money and everyone seems to be happy about it!

I often wonder why even NLEs and training tutorials etc etc are not all available to rent. There must surely be a load of not so good stuff out there that you might consider buying but dont because you are not sure if it is any good? a cheap rental might make that decision a whole lot easier.

I imagine there would be a lot of copying going on as well. I suppose there are people that would never buy the video but would if they could copy it. Likewise there are others who would never copy anything. Then there are a whole lot of variations in-between that!!

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Old December 13th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tony Warren
I never heard of smartflicks, what is the link to the website?
I had to do some hunting, but it looks like smartflix.com.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #9
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Copyright laws allows rental of videos, but not music or software

Smartflix is very adamant about thier rights:

This is from the Smartflix FAQ:

I'm a copyright holder, and I want SmartFlix to NOT carry my video. What do I do?



First, it's important to realize that SmartFlix has the complete legal right to rent out legally acquired copies of any video it wishes. That being said, SmartFlix thinks that good relations with copyright holders can be beneficial to both parties. With that in mind, here are some ways that SmartFlix can help you: 1. SmartFlix can purchase your videos, putting money in your pocket. As the major Hollywood studios discovered in the 1980's, having a healthy rental market helps their bottom line: all of the evidence points to the fact that the studios make far more money selling hundreds of copies to each video store than they would make selling a few videos to individuals. After all, video stores are businesses, and can shell out $45 per title...most individuals look at $45 and think "...for a single tape?!? I think not!". You've probably been to your local video store a couple of times in the last few months. How many videos did you rent? If those hadn't been available for rental, would you have purchased them for $30-$50 instead? Probably not; you probably wouldn't have bought them...but by renting them, you created demand, and the video store purchased those tapes, putting money in the studios and actors pockets. Some SmartFlix customers have written that they do like to buy a few videos, but feel don't want to take a $40 or $80 gamble...they'd rather spend an extra $10 up front as "insurance" and then just buy the tapes that they enjoyed and want to refer to again and again. 2. SmartFlix can direct anyone who sends email asking about buying your videos to your website. 3. If you have hardcopy promotional information, an advertising deal could be reached wherein SmartFlix drops a copy of your materials in outgoing packages, the same way that you often see ads for new products in a box that you get from Amazon.com, or Duluth Trading Co., etc. To discuss any of these options, please contact us.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #10
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That smartflix language is a hoot. They claim an "absolute" legal right and then carefully explain why video producers shouldn't worry about it and accept "good relations" with Smartflix.

Does not smell right to me.

If Smartflix were renting my video I think I'd have a lawyer send them a disist or pay letter and then see what happens.

They may be betting that most special interest video producers are not willing to spend the time or money to protect their rights. If there were a special interest video producers association with deep pockets and lawyers, I suspect they might sing a different tune.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 06:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Peter Wiley View Post
That smartflix language is a hoot. They claim an "absolute" legal right and then carefully explain why video producers shouldn't worry about it and accept "good relations" with Smartflix.

Does not smell right to me.

If Smartflix were renting my video I think I'd have a lawyer send them a disist or pay letter and then see what happens.

They may be betting that most special interest video producers are not willing to spend the time or money to protect their rights. If there were a special interest video producers association with deep pockets and lawyers, I suspect they might sing a different tune.
I think the "First Sale Doctrine" protects any rental company from lawsuits of copyright infringement. I don't recall specifics, but I know an admendment to the law in the 80's specifically protects renting videos that have been legally obtained.

I'm not saying I agree with the law - and I'm not saying I don't. I suspect that a large percentage of people who rent from places like Smartflix do so because they couldn't afford to purchase the product outright. So I doubt that the copyright owner is losing much sales revenue because of Smartflix.

On a side note, I was just looking through their website and saw a bunch of recent additions of wedding DVDs. The most popular ones (according to the site) would take you 50-90 days to receive if you ordered today. If I was interested in buying a video and had the funds, I don't think I would wait that long - I'd buy it from the copyright owner.

Just my 2-cents.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 11:47 PM   #12
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Of course, there's nothing to prevent you from renting it out in competiton with smatflicks if you want to.
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