Re: Videos purchased in other countries

Daniel Bickley (
Fri, 30 Oct 1998 09:49:23 -0800


I know of no law binding a buyer to any particular seller, but in most of
the cases such as you describe there would be contractual law binding the
_seller_ to sales in a particular geographical territory or territories.

That is, typically if there is both a British and an American distributor,
they will not have the rights to sell in one another's territories. For
example, one may only have the right to sell in England and the other only
in the USA.

If you or a faculty member purchase such a video in England you'll most
likely have a PAL version that, at least legally, you won't be able to
duplicate into an NTSC version once you return here with it (of course, if
you have PAL playback equipment in your classrooms that won't be an

I know there is some disagreement among members of this list regarding the
legality of transferring videos from one standard to another when there is
no American (or other NTSC) source for a title, but I can't see how one can
argue that such duplication could be legal if there is an American

Best regards,

Daniel Bickley

>If an owner of a film title gives distribution rights to an American
>firm and to a British firm, please tell me the law that states an
>American buyer must buy from an American seller.

Daniel Bickley
Media Marketing Specialist
University of California Extension
Center for Media and Independent Learning
2000 Center Street, Fourth Floor
Berkeley, CA 94704-1223

Phone: 510-642-1340
Fax: 510-643-9271