If you’ve rented a Hollywood Three (Universal, Fox, Warner) title from Redbox lately, you might have noticed that the cover art differs greatly from the same title for rent at Blockbuster or the sell-through version. The reason behind this is that Redbox, having been denied new release titles by the studios mentioned above, has had to resort to creating its own cover art for the embargoing studios’ films that it acquires through alternate means.
While the First Sale Doctrine (FSD) allows Redbox to purchase embargoed titles at retail and rent them, copyright issues do not allow the kiosk company to use the actual box art at its machines and on its website. Pali Capital analyst Richard Greenfield has specifically noted Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, The Hangover and Public Enemies as recently released titles with significantly different cover art.
Discussing Redbox’s rights under FSD, Greenfield had the following to say about the box art issue:
“We are far less clear whether Redbox is allowed to substitute their own digital cover art next to movie titles. . . If Redbox [was] forced to simply have a blank screen with a movie’s title, we believe it could notably impact rental behavior of certain movies, particularly catalog titles at Redbox kiosks.”
Insiders, would seeing altered cover art, possibly consisting of just text, dissuade you from renting a certain movie? What have been some of your favorite “Redboxed” movie covers lately? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
[via Home Media Magazine]