Introduction to The 5th International Video Exchange Directory

Publication Type:





Satellite Video Exchange Society, Vancouver, British Columbia (undated)




Resource guide to tapes, distributors, individuals, publications

Full Text: 

Satellite Video Exchange/Video Inn

This publication, by Satellite Video Exchange Society of Vancouver, contained listings for about 500 individuals and groups involved with small-format video. The catalog was published annually, and is organized by region, internationally, with extensive information about video activities throughout Canada. It was based on information contributed by individuals and groups and compiled by Satellite Video Exchange. Initially distributed free, by 1979 there was a minimal change for those not included in the listing, to cover expenses.

Satellite Video Exchange Society/Video Inn also published Video Guide, which contained information on video events, articles by and about producers and artists, and information about the Video Inn library.
         - 1977     Andy Harvey, Shawn Preus and Paul Wong.
          -1979     Mary Ready

Introduction Paul Wong, Satellite Video Exchange


It is of utmost importance that producers of non-commercial software get tapes off the shelves and out, to be seen by as many people as possible to whom each tape is relevant. Tapes should circulate beyond immediate needs, locally, nationally, and internationally. At present the potentials of community video are still a myth amongst the general public. Although the medium is rapidly growing, there is not a massive response or demand for software being produced. Realising that most community video productions are aimed at specific audiences, an effort must be made to network video users, video producers and video centres, and to instigate easy mechanisms so that exchange may happen.

The use of video as an artistic and an information tool will hopefully continue to grow as an alternative to the big budget, profit motivated productions that exist. A dilemma which we all face is the constant comparison of slick, chic prime-time television to low budget portable video. To attract viewers we must constantly expose videotapes of good technical, vi-sual and content quality. In time a new visual literacy may occur, and viewing habits may change. The viewing public will learn to program themselves to know when to turn on and off the set.


The reasons to exchange videotapes are wide and varied depending if you are another producer or a non-producer, involved in similar intent, or a member of the viewing public. Each area has an important function to serve. For example: In the Video Inn library there is a tape entitled Alternative Food Buying, originally produced to encourage-St. Louis, Missouri citizens to join a specific food co-op. The tape has gone beyond its immediate need, it encourages people to set up their own co-ops, share administrative ideas with other established food co-ops, and for individuals to join a food co-op. The common problem is that of making the food dollar go further, shared by all.

For producers it is an important advantage to become aware of similar video activities elsewhere, to see different viewpoints conceptually and technically, and to get your own tapes circulated.

We are working with a medium that is relatively inexpensive and with materials that are reusable and easily duplicated. All these factors are encouraging signs for exchange.


Types of exchange:

  • A one for one tape exchange
  • A programmed tape for a new unused tape
  • A tape loan

Each exchange and how it is to happen must be worked out on an individual basis. Copyrights must be considered and honored. Here are some copyright limitations to consider: (Bear in mind that the tapes being considered are to be used for non-commercial intent.)


An open policy where tapes are exchanged an may be re-copied again and re-distributed. This also includes clearances for community cablecasting, re-editing, taking excerpts, translation, and transfer to foreign video systems. (Video Inn has 1/2" European Sony V.T.R.'s.)

Although many producers are more than willing, others may wish to place copyright limitations:

  • No further copies for external use to be made.
  • Only copies made from second generation or less to be distributed.
  • Second Party may not re-exchange videotape.
  • No advertised showing of tape.
  • No broadcasting or cablecasting.
  • No translating.
  • No segmenting.
  • Have interested parties contact producer, etc.

Anyway, you get the idea on copyright and how to deal with it. The Video Inn is working on an Exchange Copyright Agreement Form. Write to the Video Inn if you wish a copy.


We in no way feel that free exchanges of videotapes among non-profit producers, video centres and community organizations hampers the possibilities of commercial distribution. Commercial enterprises along with public and educational institutions should be expected to pay rental or purchase fees. As demand for software escalates, institutions will have to budget for rentals and purchases.

          We have been engaged in Video Exchange since 1973 and will be happy to answer further questions on exchange or to exchange with you.
                    - Paul Wong, Satellite Video Exchange