Re: Discovery Channel

Randy Pitman (
Sat, 11 Mar 2000 10:23:34 -0800 (PST)

Whoever the unsigned "screenscope" is: you're missing the point.
Distributors can't set copyright law, only legislators can. If a distributor
chooses to charge a library for rights they neither need nor want (and
*clearly state* that that is the reason for the higher price), then I don't
see any ethical problem in a library trying to obtain a legal copy to use in
a legal manner at a fair market price. It's called comparative shopping and
it's practiced by legions of smart consumers.

If, on the other hand, a producer/distributor says, here's my video, it's
$250 for colleges and/or public libraries because *that's my market* and I'm
not going to sell anywhere near enough copies at $19.95 to turn a profit,
that's a completely different story.

It's the distributors who try to play both sides of the
consumer/institutional fence who run into trouble, and rightly so, if they
insist on basing the price disparity on "rights" that--in the case of face
to face teaching situations--are not needed. What incenses librarians (again
rightly so) is having a producer who is clearly not familiar with the finer
points of copyright law lecture them on copyright law.

Randy Pitman
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270

----- Original Message -----
From: screenscope <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2000 9:11 AM
Subject: Re: Discovery Channel

> Am I the only one who is stunned by the recent postings that describe in
> detail how to break the law!
> What is being encouraged goes well beyond ethics -- it's both immoral
> and fraudulent. If you don't like a distributor's policy don't buy
> their products.