Video Rental FAQ

Can I Rent or Resell Videos and Video Games that I Own?

Yes. Under the "First Sale Provision" of the U.S. Copyright Act, the owner of a lawfully made copy of a copyrighted video or console video game may rent, resell, lend, or otherwise dispose of that copy, even absent authorization from the copyright holder.
(Note: The "First Sale Provision" does not permit the rental of computer video games.)
 

Do I Need a Special License to Rent or Resell Videos or Video Games?

No. No special license is needed to rent or resell videos or video games. A retailer, however, does need to have the normal business and tax licenses required by the jurisdictions in which they are located. In addition, in many jurisdictions, businesses that purchase and/or sell used videos and video games need to have a "secondhand dealers" license.
 

Do I Have to Purchase My Inventory from an Authorized Wholesaler?

A retailer may purchase its inventory from any legitimate source it wishes, including a video distributor and even another retailer. A list of distributors is available at http://www.idealink.org/Resource.phx/idea/resources/members/vyp/vyp.htx#phx_top (Guest registration required).
 

Can I Digitize Copyrighted Videos that I Own and Offer Them to the Public Via Streaming or Downloading over the Internet?

No, unless it has been authorized by the copyright holder. Because digitizing videos involves copying them, a reproduction license is needed from the copyright holder in order to digitize copyrighted videos and offer them electronically over the Internet.


[N.B.: These FAQs apply only to the United States.]

Copyright 2014, Entertainment Merchants Association
EMA is headquartered at 16530 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 400, Encino, CA 91436-4551 - Phone: 818.385.1500 - Fax: 818.933.0911