[Videolib] Re: promotional copies

Gary Handman (ghandman@library.berkeley.edu)
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 10:22:00 -0700

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You see, I step out of the office for four days and look what happens...

I feel your pain, Dennis...and I agree that there's a danger in having, uh,
mis- and dis- information flung around. Nonetheless, I balk at swinging
over to formal moderation. I figure there are enough cool and sage heads
on the list to temper abovementioned weirdness.

That said: I agree with your take (and JR;s) on sticking promo and
screener copies in the collection... The thing that miffs me a bit,
frankly is being lambasted for sticking review copies in the collection for
which actual journal reviews have been written. For example: For a long
while I wrote reviews for Randy Pitman (I'm taking a sabbatical at the
mo). I usually received the screener as compensation. Now, these reviews
took a fair amount of time to write and, let's face it, Randy (and others)
pay little more than popcorn money for the effort. My rationale for doing
some of this work on company time was always that it ultimately contributed
stuff to the collection. Increasingly, however, I'd get calls from
distributors harpooning me for "donating" my personal copy to the
library. I know times are tough, but let's face it, distributors benefit
from the publicity that reviews afford, too.

OK. End of rant.


At 01:00 PM 8/10/2004 -0400, you wrote:
>Ah, so this is what Jessica was ranting to me about this morning! Damn, I
>agree with her 100% once again and only sorry that the Mets couldn't help
>her out this past weekend. And here's ten top reasons why Jed is wrong --
>and I'm being a gentleman here. J, let's see if Shecky can get it on
>Letterman tonight. ;-)
>1) It's ridiculous to claim first sale doctrine WHEN YOU HAVEN'T BOUGHT
>2) Preview copies are meant just that way -- they're for preview. Not for
>any other use. If the studios wanted free advertising as suggested, they'd
>send DVDs to every person and library in the country and avoid that messy
>profit and loss thing. Maybe I should have taken that Lexus home that I
>test drove yesterday -- neighbors will like it and buy one! (Note to those
>who don't know me -- I didn't ACTUALLY test-drive a Lexus yesterday -- I'm
>still driving my 1994 Saturn...)
>3) I strongly resent the concept that corporations are meant to be ripped
>off and it's morally justified. It's a blanket license to steal -- and
>frankly, there are companies on the listserv that can't afford such theft.
>If Jed thinks this is a good idea, I suggest he keeps his front door
>unlocked and welcome all comers. After all, someone might like his
>television set and actually buy one...
>4) Libraries are supposed to support the arts. Whether you purchase
>Terminator 3 or I KNOW WHERE I'M GOING, it encourages more DVDs like that.
>(So PLEASE, buy the latter!)
>5-10) As a consumer, a distributor and a DVD Awards judge who gets 100s of
>previews (I store them after I'm done with them), I still find what was
>suggested legally, morally, ethically, subjectively and objectively WRONG!
>I know that the library is just asking a simple question and this is not
>directed at that person. I don't think that if given a book by a publisher
>because they thought that librarian would like a preview that it would
>actually end up on a shelf. Maybe I'm starting to rant because I'm
>actually listening to our new score for "The Wrath of the Gods" and it's
>inspiring me to feel petulant.
>Frankly, I would ask Gary (and I'm so sorry to say this!) to consider
>having this listserv moderated. There are too many things that are advised
>here that can get people arrested or fired.
>Dennis Doros
>Milestone Film & Video
>PO Box 128
>Harrington Park, NJ 07640
>Phone: (800) 603-1104 or (201) 767-3117
>Fax: (201) 767-3035
>Email: milefilms@aol.com
>Website: http://www.milestonefilms.com

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley


"Movies are poems, a holy bible, the great mother of us."
--Ted Berrigan
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