[Videolib] Re: promotional copies

Threatt, Monique L (mthreatt@indiana.edu)
Tue, 17 Aug 2004 11:51:50 -0500

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Thanks Randy.
Makes sense to me.

-----Original Message-----
From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
[mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Randy Pitman
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 6:04 PM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Re: promotional copies
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Hi Monique,
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Our reviewers do keep review copies. FWIW, here's my two cents
on the "promotional copies" issue--from the standpoint of a video review
journal editor. All of our "film" reviewers receive a notice from me
regarding screeners to the effect that "screeners" can be added to their
personal collections or deep-sixed, but they should *not* be added to
library collections or--god forbid--hawked on eBay (to me, this is not
rocket science: the studios, like book publishers with "advance reader
copies," are making a clear and reasonable professional-to-professional
stipulation regarding the treatment of review copies).=20
=20
Review copies that are *not* marked as such are, in my opinion,
a different story. I personally do not see a problem with a reviewer
putting these titles in library collections (and, in fact, many titles
we receive for review include specific instructions/encouragement in the
accompanying paperwork to donate titles to public or school libraries).
=20
As far as I'm concerned the only real gray area is higher-priced
titles for the institutional market. It wasn't all that long ago that
smaller distributors with high-priced titles were still confusing price
and worth (i.e., we would receive review copies that were marked "please
return and insure for $400" as if review copies were somehow worth more
than $.99 cents--or whatever blank tape costs these days). Fortunately,
this attitude has mostly disappeared.
=20
On the "loss of sale" argument, for 90% of our reviewers, this
is a non-issue, since they never would have spent $350 in the first
place on a particular title. But even for the 10% who might represent a
sale, my personal feeling is this: if 3 or 4 reviewer copies (which lead
to reviews that generate additional revenue) are intrinsic to the bottom
line, then the company's business model sucks and they need to rethink
it. Or label their videos as screeners, which I--and I think my
reviewers--understand and respect (but we're not Kreskins; we need to be
told--especially since so many filmmakers specifically request that
review copies be given a good home in collections).
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Best,
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Randy
=20
Randy Pitman
Publisher/Editor
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270; Fax: (360) 830-9346
Email: vidlib@videolibrarian.com
Web: www.videolibrarian.com

----- Original Message -----=20
From: Threatt, Monique L <mailto:mthreatt@indiana.edu> =20
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu=20
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 2:06 PM
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Re: promotional copies

Not bad Randy. Does that include the cost of the video
or DVD?
=20
So far I have been lucky to keep titles that I do
review, and I am allowed to add them to our media collection. Writing a
review for any type of media format is hard work, and I think it's wrong
for even independents to ask people like Gary to pay a discounted price
to keep them.
=20
Ok, enough of the soap box from this person.

-----Original Message-----
From: videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
[mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Randy Pitman
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 2:57 PM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Re: promotional copies
=09
=09
Actually, since my name came up, I should
clarify that "Video Librarian" pays reviewers in the "low two figures,"
but I'm told that that is two figures more than many library journals
pay reviewers :)
=20
Randy Pitman
Publisher/Editor
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270; Fax: (360) 830-9346
Email: vidlib@videolibrarian.com
Web: www.videolibrarian.com

----- Original Message -----=20
From: Jessica Rosner
<mailto:jrosner@kino.com> =20
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu=20
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Re: promotional
copies

I always liked Calvin Trillin's remark
that The Nation paid him
in the "high two figures" for his
columns
--=20
Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018
jrosner@kino.com
212-629-6880
=09

From: "Threatt, Monique L"
<mthreatt@indiana.edu>
Reply-To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2004 13:37:07 -0500
To: <videolib@library.berkeley.edu>
Subject: RE: [Videolib] Re: promotional
copies
=09
=09

Gary,
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Are you saying that educational
documentary review copies, unless otherwise noted, can or cannot be
placed in an institution's collection? =20
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Monetary compensation huh? Maybe I'm
reviewing for the wrong people.--Monique
=09

-----Original Message-----
From:
videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu
[mailto:videolib-bounces@library.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Gary Handman
Sent: Monday, August 16, 2004 12:22 PM
To: videolib@library.berkeley.edu
Subject: Re: [Videolib] Re: promotional
copies
=09
You see, I step out of the office for
four days and look what happens...
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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.
=09
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.
=09
OK. End of rant.
=09
gary
=09
=09
=09
At 01:00 PM 8/10/2004 -0400, you wrote:
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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. ;-)
=09
1) It's ridiculous to claim first sale
doctrine WHEN YOU HAVEN'T BOUGHT THE DAMN THING.
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!=20
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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.
=09
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.
=09
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
<http://www.milestonefilms.com/>=20
=09

Gary Handman
Director
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley
ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
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<http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC> ****
=09
"Movies are poems, a holy bible, the
great mother of us."
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--Ted Berrigan=20
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