Monday, December 14, 2015

A Veteran Says Good-Bye

I lived in USA in the 1980s for a while and being a female fighting fan with shallow pockets I logically became a subscriber of FFVRC - the Fighting Females Video Rental Club from New York (or New Jersey?). They had a large collection of VHS tapes for rent by mail and using their services I could enjoy hours of Bellstone, Women Warriors and Video Sports paying an affordable price. Things always worked smoothly - catalog (the Internet was not even a dream), deliver, return, charges.

They stayed alive for a surprisingly long time, considering the huge changes in the media business. As far as I know, they started in 1984, what gives them a lifespan of 21 years! Last catalog still has almost 7,000 titles (they now offer "modern" media as DVDs). Unfortunately, some days ago I noticed the warning below in FFVRC site about its shut down (Are they going to provide another type of service?).

I know they faced legal suits from producers but someway they could prove they were legitimate and managed to follow on. But the new channels for media distribution have been too powerful and they had no choice but retire. On behalf of many happy users, thank you very much for the entertainment hours provided...


  1. Though I haven't used them in years I wondered if they were still around. I figured they were gone since they stopped sending me their updated lists and most everyone using the instant downloads these days.

    I remember the legal issues they fought with DWW and Calif WC to mention two and was amazed they won their case.

    This practice is just what made DWW decide to throw in the towel and can see why. But on the other side I can see it helping as I many times ended up buying a video I liked after renting it.

  2. They weren't just a rental club, they were like a LIBRARY of hard to find classic catfight and wrestling tapes that you can no longer find anywhere. I was a member for a long time and loved seeing some of the rare stuff they had to offer. Farewell Gene, it was an awesome ride.

  3. They should make their stuff available for sale ... I'm sure he'd do well selling it.

  4. There was quite a form debate about this about 15 years ago, I recall that Marty from at California Wildcats was a big factor in trying to close FFVR down on alleged "copywrite" violations and he was very active in the forum debate.

    Got me interested to the point I really researched Copywrite laws, how Video rental businesses worked, etc. I have a Ph.D. (research degree) so this is right up my alley. The bottom line is that it is entirely legal to purchase any product and then rent it out to the public for a fee. Doesn't matter what the product is, and the new owner doesn't have to make any additional payment to the original product manufacturer. This is how video rental businesses like Blockbuster worked, and how your local "rent-a-tool" business work.

    While there are a host of posters whom "assumed" FFVR was violating copywrite laws based on what they "assumed" copywrite laws are, in fact FFVR was entirely legit and this is why they won the law suites. FFVR never made a copy of a video, they only rental original videos. Make a copy and then renting the copy would have been illegal, but this was never done by FFVR.

    However, while the legal costs defending themselves were somewhat of a problem for FFVR (I believe the owner's name was Gene), I talked with him a few times and it was literally a one man shop), but in addition to the legal costs the main problem for him was that "some" of the producers would allege illegal activities to the FFVR website service provider) and they would get the FFVR website shut down without given FFVR a chance to respond to the allegations. This was a big problem for FFVR and the reason they disappeared from time to time.

    I don't recall Gunner at DWW ever saying anything specific about FFVR, and as a single small video rental club the number of possible DWW sales lost would be chump change...the real thing that killed DWW was changing to instant download and streaming video, which made copying a pasting copies of these videos on Youtube, Dailymotion, and now very easy to do. Ultimately this is likely what killed the big Video Rental businesses and I would guess FFVR as well.

    My big beef with the Video producers was their attempts to illegally "force" a legit small video rental, which ultimately penalizes all of us. I'm old enough to remember when FM radio was "going to kill" music because of potential copying, then the fight against the public having the ability to create cassette tapes, then the fight against the public having the right to create VHS tapes, ...notice that music sales, movie sales, etc are still around and popular musicians and actors are paid an obscene amount of money?

    Sorry about the rant, but I'm big on personal freedom and I deeply resent any company (including a catfight video producer) trying to restrict my legal rights just so they might make more money...DWW is gone, but there are many new companies taking their place (Foxycombat, etc)...

    In regards to FFVR selling his videos, he certainly could do that legally if he chose to.

  5. Isn't it copyright?

  6. Just wanted to let you know that FFVRC is still around, based on an e-mail I just received. He will still be operating it, but via mail order. Credit cards will no longer be accepted, but checks and money orders will still be accepted.