Re: [Videolib] Fox new policy

From: Shoaf,Judith P <jshoaf@ufl.edu>
Date: Thu Apr 16 2009 - 12:35:28 PDT

It sounds to me as if these companies are suing their best customers....?

I had never heard of Redbox until yesterday's post on videolib, but reading up on the Universal-Redbox lawsuits is enlightening. Universal thinks people aren't shelling out $15-20 for a DVD because they can rent it cheaply.

Well, the first videocassette I ever bought (Grand Illusion or Top Hat, I forget) cost I think $30 and I could have rented the film for $2. People buy a movie because they want to own it, watch it again, lend it to friends, build a library. Purchasing a DVD is not the same as purchasing a roll of toilet paper.

On the other hand, I haven't bought a DVD for myself or as a gift for over a year. Not even from the $5.99 bin.

Why? (Aside from The New Poverty.) Because of all the fuss over high-def and Blu-Ray formats. (Does my son have a Blu-Ray player? I'm not sure.) I still have my VHS copies of Grand Illusion and Top Hat, and a lot more cassettes. How many libraries do I need to acquire in order to "own" a video?

Opinions have varied on this list as to whether Blu-Ray is, so to speak, an ephemeral format. When I, the private citizen, consider buying a regular DVD, I know I might regret it because two years from now I will buy a Blu-Ray player when they stop making regular players and my old player breaks. On the other hand, if I buy a Blu-Ray player and disk it might turn out to be a flop as a format and two years from now nobody will be making THEM and I will have wasted my money.

I think the big boys shot themselves in the foot here. Retailers and rental companies, like libraries, have to deal with the question of whether to offer a given film in two different formats. No wonder this kiosk idea has flourished, along with Netflix: stores without shelf space so you don't have to figure out what to put out on the shelves.

So far as I know, nobody at my university has invested in Blu-Ray players. The players in the classrooms and library, and the DVDs purchased to be played on them, are plain old DVDs. Plus, of course, VCRs because as has been noted DVDs have not managed to catch up with VCRs in terms of titles available.

In the meantime, Fox thinks it can solve the problem by *multiplying* formats? Madness.

Judy

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Thu Apr 16 12:36:00 2009

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