Ugh… DVDs are the new eBook?

Ok, this post is NOT about ebooks but somehow I feel like its along similar lines. I just received this email from Midwest Tapes (who is a fantastic vendor) about a recent change in Time Warner’s policies in regards to sales to libraries. They said-

We have recently learned that Warner Home Video will no longer distribute theatrical releases to libraries or home video rental stores until 28 days after they release the movies for sale at retailers. This Warner Home Video policy applies to all public libraries and video rental outlets such as Redbox, Netflix, and Blockbuster.

In addition to being released 28 days after the retail version, Warner’s rental version DVDs and Blu-rays will not contain bonus features or extras. However, we understand that there will be a significant price reduction for these products, apparently amounting to an average $4 per DVD title and $8 per Blu-ray title.

Warner Home Video has announced that it may seek to enforce its new policy by auditing its distribution partners’ sales. Additionally, Warner may require retailers, like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target, to limit the number of copies of a new release that may be sold to a single customer.

Please note that Warner’s new policy will only impact titles that have a theatrical release, perhaps amounting to about 12 titles per year. Non-theatrical Warner releases will not be affected by this policy.

Below are the first three Warner theatrical titles affected. Note that Warner’s rental versions will feature rental artwork.

So, once again, major multimedia companies are giving libraries the shaft. I’m kinda tired of getting picked on as if we’re some horrible organization responsible for ruining the capitalism of America. But what can we do about this kind of thing? Its not good for our business, its a disadvantage to our patrons, and it forces libraries to remain subservient to the whims of commercial America. I have to point out, that libraries are NOT a threat to captalism nor are we in competition with any company in the world.

Ebooks are already a big enough problem, and now we have to deal with basically the same ideal behind this DVD policy too? Anyone have a solution?

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About pcsweeney

Currently, I'm the Branch Manager of the East Palo Alto Library in California. If you find yourself to be extremely bored (and would like to be more bored) you can find all of my internet mind droppings about libraries by googling pcsweeney.
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3 Responses to Ugh… DVDs are the new eBook?

  1. Abigail says:

    Again? This is the second time this has been tried. first time we managed to raise enough fuss that they reversed it. I think it was Fox trying to pull it then? STOOPID!!

  2. I’m a little confused. Wouldn’t just buying the DVD from a retailer like Amazon solve the problem?

    • pcsweeney says:

      yes, but it would be more costly because we would have to do the processing purchases from Amazon. Also, having multiple DVD vendors would increase the chances for mistakes like duplicate orders, etc… Midwest Tapes does such an excellent job that our costs are kept way down by using them as our primary vendor.

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