Re: Personal copies of videos

Jim Scholtz (
Wed, 28 Oct 1998 11:49:22 -0600

Just as a question Carolyn, At your home use price, do you lease the video
(presummably a long-term lease and have the purchaser sign it?) because, if
you don't you are violating the first-sale doctrine which covers all books,
magazines, and videos. This doctrine gives the purchaser the right to
right to resell, use privately, libraries to circulate, business to resell
and rent, etc. Direct Cinema and several other companies offer two-tiered
pricing as you do, but within the context of a long-term lease agreement,
giving them the rights to control use within a contractual agreement. If
the purchaser is just buying the video, it is my understanding that it is
covered through the First-sale doctrine. Jim Scholtz.

At 08:28 AM 10/28/98 -0800, you wrote:
>It is not so much a matter of copyright, Stan, as it is a matter of
>trust. After many years of offering our programs only at educational
>prices and receiving requests from individuals who wished to purchase
>them but couldn't afford those prices, we finally established a
>two-tiered pricing structure to allow for home use. When someone buys
>one of our videos for their personal use, we charge $14.95-39.95 rather
>than the usual $99-250 per title for organizational use with public
>performance rights. It is implicit in this home use sale that the copy
>we sell them won't be taken to their place of work and loaned or rented
>by an organization to multiple users.
>Most of the producers we represent are independents who have leveraged
>everything they own to produce their film or video and depend upon the
>royalties I pay them to keep working. And I hope we all recognize that
>it is important for them to keep producing since some of the best films
>and videos in collections around the country are independent
>productions. I don't believe it is fair to them or the companies that
>represent them for an organization to willfully circumvent paying an
>educational/organizational price and place videos purchased for home use
>into circulation.
>Of course, it is quite another matter when a title is offered at one
>price for all markets, and we have several that fall into this category.
>PREVENTING ELDER ABUSE, for example, is priced at $24.95 across the
>board because its production was underwritten by the California Attorney
>General's office to allow it to be made available at a lower price.
>Stan Diamond wrote:
>> Carolyn,
>> While I can appreciate the need for distributors to profit on the
>> sale of their collections, the copyright law clearly provides that any
>> legally acquired video may be used in a face to face teaching situation
>> without regard to copyright restriction. It would then appear that this
>> clause (which I believe is 110a) would cover purchased home use videos when
>> used in a classroom.
>> Stan