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DVD vs. Video.

Our experience at UNCC is that in replacing video in the library's
collections the DVD version is much less expensive than VHS versions have
been and are now. We've replaced a lot of VHS with DVD over the last two
years.And prefer it now to VHS replacements. Overall, they have been much
less expensive than the prices we pay/ and see from our vendors for VHS
titles. (There are individual exceptions, but thats mostly mass market
titles I believe). We buy a lot of video titles because of comparative
film studies programs in many departments, from Foreign Languages to
Religious Studies. And we can't use Amazon for most of them, though we do
check there to see if they are available.

I suspect that general release movies go to an inexpensive VHS pricing
model while the more specialized, such as are in Academic collections and
of interest to small groups, i.e specialized titles,continue with high VHS
prices. The smaller market making the difference? However DVD's, again
just a guess--are so inexpensive to reproduce and ship that there hasn't
been that much incentive to diffentiate high volume vs. low volume titles
in terms of pricing. And maybe the industry is seeing an expansion in
sales of backlist titles in DVD format?? I hope somone in he movie or
video industry can explain these different types of pricing, I'd lke to
know the why!

It's obvious music is in a recession. The why I suspect is much more than
the open and shut denunciation and blame the industry places on file
swapping. I'd like to see some customer research--asking why they are
buying less. I believe there are other reasons contributing to their
slump. But bashing their customers is an easy case to make and from their
perspective improves their chances of ever more draconian law making.

The copyright empire seems to have decided that blaming the customer is a
winning approach to regulatory action. We are seeing it from spokespersons
in trade organizations from books to video to music. We aren't hearing it
much from academic and scholarly publishers-who's primary experience is
academic markets and its users. In fact, some of them I strongly suspect
are embarassed by attacks on libraries, librarians and individuals and may
be as concerned as many librarians are about preserving basic use rights
in digital mediums.However in solidarity with their industries they
generally stay silent on some of these issues. (and yes, I personally have
experience with sholarly publlishers privately disagreeing with IP
industry initiatives while publicly remaining silent).

There is a long history in the US of failing industries and markets
demanding protective laws for their production and distribution models. RE
:legally mandated monopolies,businesses love them-it protects them even
when they should be changing how they do business, protects them from
their own mistakes, though ultimately may doom their existence. To the
credit of the scholarly publishing community many of them are trying to
re-invent themselves and their sales, production and marketing models. I
think the music industry is trying to protect existing sales and marketing
patterns rather than working hard at creating alternative models.

There is some indication that kids in the lower grades are less tolerant
of unpaid use.( a report in the news yesterday).Having lived with a 20
something (our son) I can say without fear of Rick proving me wrong ;) not
everyone with a highspeed modem and a pc is interested in file swapping.

Also, re IP rights, we've had a number of video producers refuse to sell
to us in any format-for lots of different reasons, i.e. their primary
product is motivational sales to individuals, or their primary product is
instructional sales to individual teachers, etc.  so they won't sell to
libraries.  Short sighted IMO.