The Hollywood film industry is struggling. The once reliably steady stream of revenue from DVD sales is vanishing. Since DVD sales are plummeting, film studios are producing fewer movies. Meanwhile, the rental industry is profiting like never before. In many cases, the rental companies are only required to pay the film studios the modest purchase price for the DVD. And, since many rental companies do not have revenue-sharing agreements with the studios, they are able to fully exploit and profit from other people's work, without giving them just compensation. Europe has recognized this problem and has passed a directive that allows copyright owners to prevent rental companies from renting out their films without their consent. This Comment argues that Congress needs to create an exception to the First Sale Doctrine that justly compensates copyright owners without going as far as the rental policy in Europe. This Comment further argues that such an exception would help a struggling industry, and promote the progress of the useful arts, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
The Rental Epidemic of The Twenty-First Century: A Look at How Netflix and Redbox Are Damaging The Hollywood Film Industry and How To Stop It,
30 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 327
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/elr/vol30/iss2/4