Smartflix rents jewelry how-to videos with NO compensation to any of
the artists. They claim it is legal, but that is not quite the case.
They are parasites.
To their advantage, copyright laws in the USA are extremely
difficult to enforce and put the burden of lawyers' fees on the
looser in any case that goes to trial. At a fraction of the cost of
the purchase price of many jewelry DVD's, someone could rent several
from the site, but it is unethical, and a great way to ensure that
fewer titles will be released.
Why should Rio Grande put big bucks into producing videos such as
Alan Revere's only to have a third party keep a chunk of the revenue?
Perhaps Rio is big enough to take the hit, but that does not make the
rentals acceptable nor does it inspire individuals and smaller
companies to make readily available in the future.
My own self produced production cost over 10K because of the length
and complexity of the technique and the quality I wished to put
forth. Built into the cost of any commercial movie released on DVD,
is the reality that people will rip them, but in order to keep
retail costs down, such small, niche market, instructional DVD's
can't usually have such loss built in.
Smartflix hits the "little guys" and literally takes money out of
artists' mouths. Their president claims that because they have bought
three copies of my DVD (surreptitiously and without disclosing their
intent), I should be grateful for the revenue instead of angered by
the loss of more. I am not grateful.
I'd like to think we have an ethical community here that supports
the exchange of as well as the artists we all look to for
inspiration. I'm sure Michael, nor anyone else looking at their site
would have assumed that artists are not compensated for repeat
rentals. Please help spread the word!