Re: Preview videos

John Holland (
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 09:11:13 -0600 (CST)

In my past lives I have been both a buyer for a large record store in
Chicago and a sales rep for an "educational" video line, and have had to
deal with the issue of preview/promotional copies of audio and video
materials for years. As someone has already pointed out, the manufacturer
claims ownership of the promo coipy and technically can ask for it back.
Such items used to have long disclaimers about such ownership, and they
stated that any use other than reviewing or sales promotion (as in
"instore play") is strictly prohibited. The person who recieves such items
can usually keep it for his/her own collection at home, but putting it
into a public collection would not be legal. The manufacturer is counting
on you to buy a copy or two to make back its investment.

That said, some companies don't go to the expense of running off preview
copies that are marked as such (either on the video itself or on the
packaging), so presumably no one could tell that you didn't buy it. If
such companies are going to cut costs up front, they should expect to be
ripped off down the line. (I'm not advocating anything here, just stating
a few facts!)

John Holland
Chicago Public Library
Film/Video Center