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For various reasons, DVDs of some old movies that still have a potential audience are not available. Often the reason is that the studio or other party owning the rights to the movie does not feel that the potential return from making a movie available on DVD justifies the cost.
In response to the lack of availability of certain old films, a grey market has developed in which operators make DVDs from VHS tapes or other sources and sell them. These “bootlegged” copies are often of inferior quality.
With a large number of film buffs among its customers, Netflix has a substantial potential audience for some of these films.
Titles that are unavailable on DVD but that still may have a potential audience include:
My suggestion is that Netflix negotiate with the parties that own the rights to unavailable movies that have a potential audience. Netflix would pay the cost of transferring the movies from 35mm to DVD and pay some additional consideration to license the movies for Netflix’s DVD and streaming services.
A 35mm feature film is about 10,000 feet long. I obtained a quote on the Internet to do the transfer for $4,000. The price would probably be lower for a batch of movies.
The owners of the rights to the movies would have the option of selling or licensing DVD or streaming rights to parties other than Netflix.
Movie lovers, Netflix, and the parties that own the rights to the films would all benefit.