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Question added to topic Legal Basics For StartupsMarch 6, 2009

Are there restrictions on buying movies/video games with the intention of renting them?

I'm planning on opening a video game rental store and I would like to know if there are any restrictions preventing me from simply buying and renting the games. Do I need any type of license from the game maker to enable me to rent the games?

My store will mainly rent video games that I will acquire both new and used.
Buying a movie or video game with the intention of renting it is most likely a violation of the license agreement that accompanies these products. Whether it's included as a separate sheet (you know, the kind with microscopic typeface) or among the legal verbiage you see before the credits roll, their point is this: any run-of-the-mill purchaser is buying the product for only their personal use and not for resale.

Violations can carry very stiff penalties under various federal laws. If you're serious about starting this kind of business, you must speak to the game makers to find out what kind of license arrangements they deem acceptable. And get an attorney on board to review any license or other agreements they provide to you.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.

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