[Videolib] More Midwest Tapes Fun--Slightly OT

From: Jaeschke, Myles <mjaesch@tulsalibrary.org>
Date: Mon Oct 19 2009 - 11:33:48 PDT

So those of you that have been following the retail v. rental dilemma may find this latest issue interesting as well. As many of you probably know Midwest Tapes has been selling books on CD from most of the major distributors for about a year or two now. They provide retail editions of many books on CD that are made available from Recorded Books. Recorded books will not sell their retail editions to public libraries and insist that we purchase a library edition (at a much more expensive cost). Meanwhile Midwest Tapes has made it easy for a PL to purchase these retail editions.

Apparently this has upset RB to the point that they have started to silkscreen the CDs for their retail editions with the words "Not for Sale to Libraries". REALLY?! Not for sale to libraries? Get real. Sounds like scare tactics to me. Sad thing is that this has the potential to upset public library customers. They may wonder why a library is circulating a CD that specifically says it's not for sale to us. It most likely will scare some systems into continuing to purchase the overpriced library edition. Keep in mind these are the EXACT same recordings-just packaged differently. Library editions may offer replacement discs at no charge or a reduced charge while a retail edition obviously would not. That is not really an incentive enough for me to want a library edition.

Midwest Tapes seems to be upset as well-they have filed a lawsuit against Recorded Books because of this practice. I have a copy of the brief if you are interested in the suit in further detail but it is a bit too big to send over the listserv (4MB). Now it may turn out that RB can print whatever they please on their discs, but I for one do not like the tactic. My thoughts are if you offer a product in the marketplace at a "retail" price you have got to expect that libraries will want to make their purchase at this price point. Don't scare us into thinking that we are doing something illegal by purchasing a consumer edition.

End of Rant...

Best regards,
Myles Jaeschke
Tulsa City-County Library System
Media Collection

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 Mon Oct 19 11:34:07 2009

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