Slightly different from "Where can I buy X?" questions, are questions about locating archives which may contain old films or old TV episodes valid? I thought they were valid and posted three of them and quickly deleted them after one was downvoted with a link to the above meta conversation. Two were about locating old quiz show episodes from the 1960's and one was about locating a silent film. I was disappointed because I put in an amount of research for each question which I would expect would to be reasonable for a good question on StackOverflow or SciFi.SE. Is there a way to make these questions less localized and acceptable for this site? I would really like to locate these old videos if they are out there.

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    I agree with you. I think a lot of the "Identify this ___" questions could also be considered as "I'm trying to find a way to watch this again where can I find it?" questions. Which it's helpful when someone posts a link but if it's hard to find and noone posts a link then I'd say it's a valid question. However I do think that iandotkelly is right too in that the answers could be too many to choose from or quickly become a redirect to another site. But if someone has done their research and still can't find what they are looking for I don't see why it would be harmful to post a question on it. Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 11:15
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    That's a good point. "Where can I locate/buy X" questions are just as localized as "Identify this __" questions. They main goal for each is to solve an individual problem and it only benefits other people if by some coincidence they have the same problem and they use similar search terms. I think we should either allow both or not allow both. Commented Mar 8, 2012 at 16:12

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Thanks for taking the time to ask a question on Meta, and it would be interesting to see whether people's opinions on this issue has changed. The question is not that far from Where can I buy ? - and we might merge the answers from this into that at a later point.

I am sympathetic to your hunt for old material, but I think you will find that even at a level above meta.movies that such questions might fall into two categories that are frowned upon generally in stack-exchange:

  • Too Localized - a retailer or other provider that can provide these movies may be localized geographically or the information goes out of date quickly. Stack exchange is attempting to build a resource of questions that can be useful for some time, and not limited to a specific country.

  • It is a "list question" - i.e. it tends to solicit a number of equally valid answers, none of which is the 'accepted correct one' - which is kind of the format of this site.

Then there is the argument that it may be off-topic for this site as it is more about distribution.

Personally I wonder whether we can be slightly too rigid in applying these rules here, but the overall opinion of the Movies & TV community to date has been that such questions should be discouraged and the moderators take their cue from that and tend to close questions like these.

I would however be interested in contrary options now that we have been in beta for 3 months.

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