Re: Personal copies of videos on reserve

Jim Scholtz (
Thu, 29 Oct 1998 08:28:05 -0600

Hi Carolyn, I hope you agree that I'm not on a sopbox either and that I'm
certainly in favor of paying an "acceptable price" for a quality product.
Your analogy about the woman with breast cancer needing your video is very
poignant and to some extent I agree; however (there always seems to be a
however in a reply, doesn't there?) if you charged a lower, acceptable
fee, chances are that this video (or even multiple copies of it) would be
available at public libraries and other sources so that this woman could
have access to it and not pay a dime - saving her even more money and
giving access to many more people (many of whom would rent/borrow your
program, but probably not buy it - even a a very low price. Now I know
that there is a thresehold where not even a low price would insure a
maximum number of sales and that advertising your product to 38,000+
libraries, numerous colleges, universities and schools is not economically
feasible with regards to cost versus expected sales return, but sometimes,
I feel that two-tiered pricing really is like shooting oneself in the foot.
The duplication and physical tape costs are the same. I can see offfering
public performance and other rights for more money - possibly as
"value-added" add-ons to an existing tape (such as PBS and Ambrose do). It
seems that several companies like Kaw Valley Films, Acorn Media,
Findley-Holiday, and IVN do survive in offering quality tapes with pp
rights at $19.95 - $29.95 - they must sell an "awful lot of tapes". (keep
in mind that I know an "awful lot of videos" in the educational market may
mean as little as 1500 copies. These are just musings, not meant to get
your hackles up - I've written 4 books about videos in libraries and
distributing videos and I sympathize with the producer/distributor's
plight. Independent film/video cannot survive without customers, otherwise
everything will look formula like National Geographic and Nova. I'm in
your corner - but you have to realize that I can help you by buying your
stuff. Jim Scholtz, Yankton Community Library.

At 02:08 PM 10/28/98 -0800, you wrote:
>On Wed, 28 Oct 1998 12:13:48 -0800 (PST)
> (Gary Handman) wrote:
>>There are fairly few librarians or educators who "do" film and
>>video as a
>>regular part of their jobs, although they may be occasional
>>video buyers
>>and users.
>>these folks are often completely at sea about a)
>>the workings of the video distribution marketplace b) the means
>of locating
>>materials c) copyright and other intellectual property issues
>attached to
>Running a large, regional video library for K-12 circulation is
>at least 50% of my current job. Having been out of the biz for
>awhile, I now find that I'm the sales target of a whole 'nother
>world of video distributors than was my experience before (with
>the likes of Disney, the Churchill, Stanton, Barr, etc.). These
>new-to-me folks are doing exactly what's being argued about here
>- namely trying to sell me "home-use" videos for 1/5 (or less)
>the price that I was used to paying previously and indicating to
>me that copyright law allows this.
>Yup, I'm completely "at sea" on this. I don't see how new,
>quality, curriculum-related, and instructionally-valid materials
>are going to be continued to be produced at $30 per resale "pop"
>- unless the target market is shifting from the regional K-12
>media centers to every single K-12 institution in the world.
>I think this is possibly short-sighted as no local district that
>I know of has the need or the dollars to duplicate my regional
>collection of 15,000 educational titles.
>In many ways, it seems that I'm currently looking at two
>different "film industries" these days.
>Rick Faaberg
>Manager, Technology and Support Services
>Northwest Regional Education Service District
>5825 NE Ray Circle
>Hillsboro, Oregon 97124
>(503) 614-1648 audio
>(503) 237-8426 pager
>(503) 690-5440 fax