Starting A Video Rental Business

An reader wrote: “I am talking with some friends about opening a convenience sort of store. In addition to everything else we want to rent a small, but good selection of DVD’s and Videos. Someone we spoke with said we could just go to our local record/video store, buy them and then rent them. I don’t think this is true and that we need some sort of license to do this. What do you say?”

The answer is that “there are no special licenses or copyright requirements for renting videos for general home use. Note, though, that they are licensed “for home use only”, but you’re renting them “for home use only”. Now if someone turns around and shows that video to a large group, they have violated copyright law, but you haven’t (unless, of course, you knowingly rented it to them for that purpose, in which case there might be a problem). Ultimately, though, it’s up to them to get the license, not you.”

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