Hey Mister, Wanna Rent a DVD?

If it seems lately that some of your jumpy Netflix discs have been around the block a few times, maybe they have.

Newsweek reports this week that video stores, and even public libraries, are gobbling up subscriptions to the online DVD retailer, and then renting out the discs to their own clientele. One Massachusetts video store owner pops hard-to-find Netflix titles into blank cases and sends them out with customers at a clip of 15 titles a month--saving the store two grand a month in inventory costs.


The public library in Sanbornton, N.H., went so far as to post an ad in the local paper inviting the public to sign out DVDs using the library's Netflix account. It's a three-fer account now, according to the librarian, but the library could go up to the four-disc-a-month level if the program proves popular.

Video Buyers Group president Ted Engen told Newsweek that the practice seemed to wane as DVD prices fell, but said consumer interest in Blu-ray Discs could put a bump in activity.

As for Netflix, the company's customer agreement states that DVDs are to be used exclusively for users' enjoyment and not for loaning to others. Good luck with that.--Rebecca Day