NAVD Takes Sides Against Weinstein-Blockbuster Exclusive27 Feb, 2007 By: Jessica Wolf
The National Association of Video Distributors (NAVD) is speaking out against The Weinstein Company and its distributor Genius Products over the Weinstein exclusive-release deal with Blockbuster Video.
In a missive the NAVD board of directors sent to Genius Products president Trevor Drinkwater, Home Media Magazine and Video Business, the trade group calls the exclusive contract “short-sighted, unfair and anticompetitive.”
“We believe all video stores should be given the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” the statement reads. “Although we fully embrace the right for all studios to control the way their product is distributed, we do not believe it is in the interest of the industry to target specific businesses for exclusion.”
Genius representatives declined to comment on the NAVD statement.
Genius Products, an NAVD vendor, distributes product for The Weinstein Company. The Blockbuster exclusive, however, was negotiated directly between the Weinsteins and the leading rental chain.
The NAVD statement reiterated retailer's right to product via the First Sale Doctrine and promised it would continue to “challenge this unfair policy” in support of non-Blockbuster rental stores in the situation.
Two leading members of the indie retailer group the National Entertainment Buying Group, have a lawsuit in Massachusetts court against Genius and The Weinstein Company regarding the companies' publicly stated but as-yet unimplemented plans to include a 1-800 number on any Blockbuster exclusive titles released to sellthrough retailers that would ask anyone renting the title from a retailer other than Blockbuster to report it to the company.