Re: Preview videos

Randy Pitman (
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 10:56:00 -0800

Hi Leslie,

Speaking from two different perspectives (former head of AV services in a
public library and as a person who works closely with publicity arms of film
studios), I would say not to put the titles in the collection. Most
"screeners" as they are called specifically state anyone who has rented or
purchased the title should call the MPAA (Oscar screeners may be
different--I'm not sent those). Although it doesn't specifically say "loan"
or "circulate", I suspect the intent of the studios is the same (they just
wouldn't have envisioned video retailers freely loaning out feature video).
In addition, screeners are sent out 2 or months prior to street date; in
addition to--I think--being illegal to put those titles into circulation, it
would also be unfair (and, if any retailer were to see them on the shelf,
troublesome for the library). I know it seems silly to let good materials
(I'm not counting movies by the Farrelly brothers) go to waste, but
"screeners" and "not for sale" items were never intended to be for public
use. It's the same thing as uncorrected galley proofs of books--libraries do
not ordinarily catalog and circulate review copies of forthcoming books. Of
course, you're in L.A., which operates under rules somewhat different from
anywhere else in the known universe :)


Randy Pitman
Video Librarian
8705 Honeycomb Ct. NW
Seabeck, WA 98380
Tel: (800) 692-2270

>We receive quite a few donations of videos that have been given to
>Motion Picture Academy members to preview while voting for the
>Academy Awards. They often have some indication of that printed on
>the video itself (such as "For your consideration" or similar) and
>sometimes include some extra footage about the preview. Does anyone
>know of anything prohibiting these videos from being included in a library
>collection? Similarly, how do people treat "promotional" CDs which have
>a "not for sale" printed on them? I would appreciate any feedback -
>Thanks -
>Leslie Andersen
>Non-Print Materials Evaluator
>County of Los Angeles Public Library