e-tailers that advertise early delivery - what's the legal stance?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by mark_d, Oct 3, 2001.

  1. mark_d

    mark_d Second Unit

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    I think my last post got deleted - probably because it had too much info.
    I'll keep the question a little more subtle this time! [​IMG]
    I have ordered a fairly anticipated DVD from on online retailer that boasts the title as being in stock and shipping.
    They are not even remotely subtle about it - if you head to their website, you're welcomed not with their homepage but a full page animated ad for the movie.
    Are street dates a gentlemen's agreement type affair or are they enforcable in any way?
    Mark
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    What online retailers do on their sites is not HTF's concern but we "do not" want any retailer mentioned by name that breaks street dates on this forum. Reason being is that breaking street dates benefits the members and that studios constantly monitors this forum. Studios seriously frowns on retailers breaking street dates and HTF's management doesn't want to contribute to retailers getting into trouble for doing so, even if the retailer advertises on their sites that they do break street dates.
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  3. mark_d

    mark_d Second Unit

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    Duly noted. Won't happen again.
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  4. HenrikTull

    HenrikTull Second Unit

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    But me wonders why the studio has this policy? They can't be loosing money by doing this? Can they? [​IMG]
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  5. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    It has been said that it is mostly due to statistics, if the release occurs on the same day all over the states, the total sales will be higher for that title, than if the sales are silently spread out over several weeks beforehand. If noone breaks street date "everybody" will buy the title the same week, thus the title will score higher on the bestseller lists.
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  6. Scott_MacD

    Scott_MacD Supporting Actor

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    But, what is the LEGAL stance on this? (I'm still confused, thicko that I am.)
     
  7. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    I don't think it's illegal. The studio can choose to not give them product.
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  8. Iain Lambert

    Iain Lambert Screenwriter

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    As far as I'm aware, the only legal issue is that maintaining street date is probably part of the distribution agreement, so it would be a breach of their contract with the distributor. I believe that the reason that its frowned upon is that if store a releases a title before store b does then b loses out and gets really angry with the distributor for not getting their stock to them as quickly. A definite release date puts all shops on a level footing and gives the distributor more time to deliver, as its no longer necessary to ship all copies on the same day to their clients.
    Clear as mud?
     
  9. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    That explanation makes even more sense! [​IMG]
     
  10. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    How do studios feel about e-tailers who will ship before the street date. Many will ship the Friday before street date so the product arrives on street date. Do they frown upon this too?
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  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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  12. cafink

    cafink Producer

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  13. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Carl,
    I would think if you wanted to help crack down, it would be better to contact the studios directly or through a private message to the ones who participate in the forum. Posting for everyone to see will just get many more people to get their copy early from that store.
    Of course, I am not trying to speak for HTF staff. Just a thought on why this would not be in the best interest of the studio.
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  14. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    It's not illegal, but the studios do have some recourse. In my experience they've punished street date violators by shipping them product late intentionally. Usually the next big title.
    Also, there's a program called co-op dollars, where the studio shares in some of the advertising costs for that store to promote that title. If a store breaks street dates or advertises below MAP (minimum advertised price) they refuse those co-op dollars on the advertising.
     
  15. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    quote: Posting for everyone to see will just get many more people to get their copy early from that store.[/quote]
    Fair enough, but no HTF administrator has ever said, "don't name retailers that break street date, because we don't want anyone to know how to get DVDs early." It's always "we like to get DVDs early, so don't want the studios to know who breaks street date." I'm not in the position, of course, but if I was a studio rep who frequented the HTF, I'm not sure I'd like too see the forum actively supporting retailers that break their agreement or contract (or whatever they have, I'm no expert on the subject) with my studio.
    Anyway, I'm just curious. Thanks for the reply.
    [Edited last by Carl Fink on October 03, 2001 at 07:59 PM]
     
  16. Brad_W

    Brad_W Screenwriter

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    Though I don't know the legal stance, I know that the reason for the release date and not to break it is that it gives one company over another to have an unfair advantage in sales. Think about it, if company x sells the Phantom Menance now, everyone (and I mean EVERYONE that shops online or around that local area *b&m*) will buy from them. During this, Company Y waits for the actual release date and possible loses sales. Now that's unfair to the other companies and prolly doesn't promote fair business tactics. Plus, say Company X knows they're selling early, they may jack the price up knowing without a doubt that you can't buy that product anywhere else. That's unfair to us.
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