Netflix adds two cents to Clinton scandal

Web vendor drops price on DVD

When millions of computer users in the U.S. and elsewhere Web-surfed their way to a look at the just-released transcripts of President Bill Clinton’s testimony before the Kenneth Starr-led grand jury, the controversy became the first high-tech cyber-scandal.

But the techno-connection won’t stop at the Internet. A small Santa Cruz digital videodisc publisher has started stamping out thousands of copies of “The Clinton Grand Jury Testimony,” starring Clinton as himself, and the voices of various inquisitors, led by Starr.

The four-hour DVD, recorded during Clinton’s Aug. 17 deposition, is available only from www.Netflix.com, the Internet-based DVD rental and sales outlet. But while many in the country have complained about the $40 million cost of the Starr investigation, this DVD is apparently the only bargain to come out of the whole affair. Its price? Just 2¢, plus the company’s standard $2 postage and handling charge.

Netflix first put the testimony DVD up for sale at $9.95 and sold about 2,000 copies before dropping the price. (The company will give refunds to customers who purchased at the higher price.)

Netflix described the lowball cost as an effort to “encourage public education regarding these history-making events.” It’s also a pretty good loss-leader for the online store, said a spokesman, who added that traffic to the Website has been “tremendous.”

The Clinton disc was published by Media Gallery.