Video stores vs. Disney

The entertainment giant instituted a 28-day shut out

Sooke Video to Go is one of about 900 independent video stores across Canada that have been prohibited from renting out new Disney movies within the first 28 days of release.

Bryan Davis, co-owner of Video to Go, has joined the petition, Boycott Disney, to corral the public to boycott the entertainment powerhouse in support of independent video stores.

“We’re not asking people to boycott everything Disney. I’m not asking people to stop going to Disneyland or Disney World. I’m not saying don’t buy other Disney products,” Davis said.

“What we are asking is: Don’t support Disney’s bid to try to get rid of us by purchasing these titles that they’re withholding from us.”

According to Davis, Disney has not been communicating with Canada’s independent video stores, leaving the family businesses to assume Disney is locking them out to try to sell more DVDs.

The first title to be effected was box office flop, John Carter.

In order to get around the 28-day holdout, Davis has allowed customers to “borrow” copies, purchased through a retailer, for free with the rental of another new release.

“My attitude is if they’re trying to get rid of my business, so they can sell more DVDs, the only way I can really combat that is to give the DVD away to people with the promise that they’re not going to buy the DVD,” he said.

“I don’t want to make a profit on that title. It’s our job to take the moral high ground, and we’re trying to as best we can to meet the entertainment needs of the community at the lowest cost to ourselves.”

Davis said so far, the embargo has not effected his business, as the shop has a, “pretty strong and loyal clientele.”

“I think a good majority of our customers would wait the 28 days and life would go on fairly much as usual.”

Video to Go opened its doors in Sooke in 1982, which Davis and his wife Susie have owned since 2008.

Since then, they have increased titles from 6,000 to 17,000.

Despite popular belief, Davis said the video rental business is a vital part of the community — particularly the rural community.

“A lot of areas in Canada still don’t have high speed internet and they don’t have cable. So if you don’t have a video store then those areas just go without.”

To find out more information on the petition Boycott Disney, visit: www.boycottdisney.ca