As indie DVD label Arrow Films & Video just posted it on their Facebook I figured I’d share it on my blog as well, hoping my readers based in the UK will take action.
Following an open letter by Moviemail‘s film critic and historian James Oliver on April 1st, there’s an online petition that in short asks Maria Miller – secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport – to amend the planned changes to the 1984 Video Recording Act.
The forthcoming changes to the Video Recordings Act will harm UK small businesses and compromise a thriving industry that is admired around the world.
This is unintentional and can be avoided by refining your “Draft Video Recordings Act 1984 (Exempted Video Works) Regulations 2014”. These draft Regulations will make publishing comprehensive DVD packages – editions that dissuade people from turning to pirated copies – financially unviable.
In the light of these unintended consequences, please revisit the draft Regulations.
Now, even though things probably won’t turn out quite as dramatic as I wrote in my previous post on the subject, the new BBFC guidelines will hit the indie DVD labels pretty hard and affect us genre fans. In essence, the new law means that not only do you need to classify the main feature of your DVD/Blu-ray release, but every interview, documentary, featurette that comes with it as well – running up quite a tab if you’re planning a drool-inducing überfan edition, as the BBFC charges a flat fee for their (mandatory) service.
This will not be the end of the UK indie labels, but most likely the days of their beefy DVD editions of horror, cult classics and other films outside the mainstream that fans all over the world enjoy. If you’re a citizen of the UK, and actually give a damn about the smaller independent efforts in your country, please do sign the petition. All it takes is your full name, email and post code. Sign it here and please spread the information on your blog, Facebook etc. Cheers!