Steve’s Media Blog

Would You Lend DVDs To Strangers?

Posted on: February 12, 2009

That’s what new service LendAround proposes.  I found out about this service from a post on Lifehacker, which makes the service sound really promising.  You make a list of the DVDs you own, and lend to people around the world (or the US only, I’m not clear on that yet); and then you can borrow from other people as well.  It’s sort of like a free Netflix.

Unfortunately I see a few issues about this service.  For one thing, can’t you already borrow DVDs from the library?  I’m sure this is the case, at least at my own branch.  However my main issue is the that of theft.  What kind of system is in place to prevent someone from borrowing your DVD and never sending it back?

Sure you could harass them by e-mail and report them to the website, but really couldn’t they just use a temporary e-mail and suffer a fate that doesn’t affect them in the least?  Namely, they get banned.  Then they might find a way around the ban and get back on and steal more DVDs.

I don’t know.  I really don’t mind lending movies to my friends who live in the same city, but I would be really hesitant about lending to a complete stranger.  It’s bad enough that I’m still missing Bubba Ho Tep from a friend who moved to Ireland (she’s coming back soon) that I lent at least two years ago…I wouldn’t want to lose my movies to someone potentially across the country.

What do you think?

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