[[KeepCirculatingTheTapes.WesternAnimation Examples of rescued Western Animation shows]] are on their own page.

* The long-lost American commercials for ''VideoGame/BanjoKazooie'', ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'', and ''[[VideoGame/JetSetRadio Jet Set Radio Future]]'' have been recovered on YouTube after years of people searching for them (heck, some people didn't even ''know'' that JSRF had an American ad). ''Banjo-Kazooie'' took 14 years to be recovered (aired in 1998, uploaded to the internet in 2012), ''Secret of Mana'' took '''17 years''' (aired in 1993, recovered in 2010 from a French VHS that had French subtitles), and JSRF took 9 years (aired in 2002, recovered in 2011). View each commercial below:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bxHbFMZhm0 Banjo-Kazooie]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nntk4Y3uvE Secret of Mana]]
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ifbN8eXmu8 Jet Set Radio Future]]
* For years, the only recordings of the Game Boy Pocket "Factory" commercial that existed online were: [[http://gameads.gamepressure.com/tv_game_commercial.asp?ID=7806 A recording with poor video quality and a few seconds missing]], and [[http://gameads.gamepressure.com/tv_game_commercial.asp?ID=12332 a variant of this ad that aired in Australia.]] Finally, in 2013, [[http://gameads.gamepressure.com/tv_game_commercial.asp?ID=15063 a better recording of this commercial was uploaded,]] with clearer video quality, and including the entire length of the ad, so now we can finally hear what the female voice at the end is saying.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The English-language version of ''Anime/TheMysteriousCitiesOfGold'' was believed to have been lost after the dubbing studio went bankrupt. However, DVD editions of the entire collection were finally released in 2008, and the whole show is currently streamed on Netflix instant.
* It was announced that the ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' series will be released by The Right Stuf International - through Creator/NozomiEntertainment - across three DVD sets (using the show's remastered Region 2 DVD release as the video base), as well as the movie.
* In Australia, Creator/MadmanEntertainment successfully licensed the ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' dub and put out a pair of boxsets constituting the series' complete run. No word on whether they'll follow up on any of the other ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' series currently lacking full dub releases, nor on any such thing for the rest of the world.
** They're YTV's copies, featuring a logo on the openings. 'Sly', an executive at Madman, said this was the best quality one available to them. They don't seem to be missing any scenes, but what happened to the clean originals?
** In late 2012, [[http://www.amazon.com/The-Official-Digimon-Adventure-Set/dp/B008L5FFMO/ref=pd_ybh_1 a remastered box set of all 54 episodes]] was released in Region 1 countries. ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'', ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', and ''Anime/DigimonFrontier'' followed throughout 2013, with ''Anime/DigimonSavers'' coming the following year. Still no word on any of the movies, but we'll see...
** And to solidify ''Adventure'''s rescue, both ''Adventure'' and ''Adventure 02'' are on Netflix, in both English and Japanese.
*** As of May 2014, ''Tamers'' has been added as well.
* For the longest time, only half of ''Anime/SamuraiPizzaCats'' was available on a hard-to-find DVD box set. This box set had a good 26 episodes (most series only run that long), but the second season had some of the funniest episodes of the series. There was also almost no merchandise in the US. Cue frustrated fanbase. Until Discotek announced the license of both the dub and original version in two complete box sets[[note]]52 for the dub, 54 for the sub which includes the two clip episodes[[/note]]. Cue happy fanbase. (Even moreso after since the below ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' announcement came the same day.)
* The anime version of ''Manga/BoboboBoBobobo'' experienced this when it had a one-run on ''{{Toonami}}'' in 2005, and only two DVD sets were released in the states. The company that was distributing them went under rather quickly and without notice. But in 2012, S'more Entertainment officially released the anime in two box sets (divided into 38 episodes each) in the states.
* The uncut Creator/ADVFilms releases of ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'' have become out of print, hard to find, and painfully expensive if you do find them. However, at Anime Boston 2013, Creator/SentaiFilmworks (the successor to ADV Films, appropriately) announced that they've acquired ''Gatchaman'' among other shows, with plans for a DVD and Blu-Ray release of both the TV show and the OVA. [[SincerityMode Thank you, Sentai Filmworks.]]
* Creator/BandaiEntertainment announced on January 3, 2012, that they would be ceasing DVD production. Fortunately, however...
** Creator/{{Sunrise}}, an animation studio that [[{{Franchise/Gundam}} has]] [[Anime/CowboyBebop produced]] [[Anime/TheBigO many]] [[Manga/OutlawStar of]] [[Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne the]] [[Anime/RoninWarriors titles]] [[Anime/{{Scryed}} licensed]] [[Anime/CodeGeass by]] Bandai, has announced that they are currently discussing with other distributers to give their properties "new homes". So far, the first show to get a new distributor is ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'', which is now being released by Creator/NozomiEntertainment.
** As of Otakon 2013, Sunrise announced that several more titles have been rescued by Creator/FUNimation[[note]]''Anime/CowboyBebop'', ''Manga/OutlawStar'', ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'', ''Anime/MaiHime'', ''Anime/MaiOtome'', ''Anime/CodeGeass'', ''Anime/AngelLinks'', LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars, VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss, ''Anime/WitchHunterRobin'', ''Banner of the Stars'', and ''Passage of the Stars''[[/note]] and Creator/SentaiFilmworks[[note]]''Anime/TheBigO'', ''Anime/ArgentoSoma'', ''Anime/{{Betterman}}'', ''Anime/{{Scryed}}'', ''Z-Mind'', ''Anime/{{Zegapain}}'', ''The Girl Who Leapt Through Space'', ''Anime/InfiniteRyvius'', ''[[Manga/{{Kurokami}} Kurokami: The Animation]]'', ''Anime/BrainPowered'', and ''Anime/OvermanKingGainer''[[/note]].
** We can now [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-08-09/funimation-licenses-haruhi-suzumiya-lucky-star-anime-strike-witches-steins-gate-films/.77477 add]] ''Manga/LuckyStar'' and ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' to Funimation's list of former-Bandai shows.
*** ''Gundam Unicorn'' is now no longer the only title to be rescued. Sunrise has [[http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2014-10-11/sunrise-partners-with-right-stuf-to-release-gundam-franchise-stateside/.79830 made a deal]] with Right Stuf to distribute almost all other ''Gundam'' titles, including the original ''Mobile Suit Gundam''. This deal also includes unreleased titles, meaning that ''Anime/TurnAGundam'' will finally be getting a long-awaited U.S. release.
*** ''Yoroiden Samurai Troopers'', better known as the Toonami-classic ''Anime/RoninWarriors'', was [[https://www.facebook.com/147168055312297/photos/a.196378827057886.55668.147168055312297/919854214710340/?type=1 picked up]] by Discotek Media, [[https://www.facebook.com/147168055312297/photos/a.196378827057886.55668.147168055312297/919853091377119/?type=1 along with]] the [=OVAs=]. Unfortunately, they currently only have plans for the japanese dub of the anime due to issues that need to be cleared first (though the OVA will have its own english dub included).
** ''Anime/BlueSubmarineNo6'', one of the non-Sunrise titles licensed by Bandai, has been rescued by Creator/DiscotekMedia and will receive a future rerelease.
** During San Diego Comic Con 2013, Creator/FUNimation, who previously released Anime/DotHackQuantum, [[http://www.funimation.com/lee/blog/funimation-acquires-hack/7789658 announced]] that they acquired the rights to several .hack series[[note]]Anime/DotHackSign, .hack//ROOTS, Manga/DotHackLegendOfTheTwilight, and [[VideoGame/DotHackGU .hack//G.U. Trilogy]][[/note]].
** Funimation also managed to license Anime/EurekaSeven, another one of Bandai Entertainment's non-Sunrise shows (this one in particular was made by Creator/StudioBones). Not surprising, considering that Funimation has previously released [[Anime/EurekaSevenAO its sequel series]].
** ''Anime/IGPXImmortalGrandPrix'', an original series co-produced by Creator/ProductionIG and Creator/{{Toonami}}, initially had its DVD release handled by Bandai Entertainment and, like many other Bandai shows listed here, went under when Bandai halted production. To add insult to injury, Cartoon Network wrote the show off as a financial failure, which prevented it from ever airing on the channel again. It was ''sort of'' rescued when Toonami was able to take advantage of the complex structure of its production deal and "un-write off" the show, allowing them to air reruns on the revived Toonami on Creator/AdultSwim. The show was then definitively rescued when Discotek Media announced that they managed to license it for a 2015 DVD rerelease.
* New Video Group, the same company who is currently responsible for rescuing and distributing the Digimon series, is now also rereleasing the Anime/YuGiOh Classic series on DVD, in [[http://www.amazon.com/Yu-Gi-Oh-Classic-Season-Vol/dp/B00CYI4L42/ref=sr_1_7?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1373552983&sr=1-7&keywords=yu+gi+oh+season+1 both]] [[http://www.amazon.com/Yu-Gi-Oh-Classic-Season-Vol/dp/B00CYI4KAW/ref=pd_sim_sbs_mov_3 volumes]] and [[http://www.amazon.com/Yu-Gi-Oh-Classic-Season-coming-soon/dp/B00CYLRQ46/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1373552958&sr=1-1&keywords=yu+gi+oh season sets]].
* Three anime that feature work by Creator/YoshitoshiAbe (''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain, Anime/HaibaneRenmei'', and ''Anime/{{Texhnolyze}}'') fell into this trope for U.S. fans after Geneon stopped distributing the titles they'd licensed. All three series have been relicensed by Creator/FUNimation and are now available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital services.
* ''Dragon Ball Z'' is probably the last thing you'd expect to see on anything related to the KeepCirculatingTheTapes trope, since Creator/FUNimation has released and rereleased the series so many times that you can fill an entire shelf with the series alone. However, their latest rerelease deserves a mention. Named ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKzYm9GHfTA Dragon Ball Z: Rock the Dragon Edition]]'', it's a DVD release of the original 1996 Ocean dub that was co-produced by Funimation and SabanEntertainment and never received a release until now, containing the 53 episodes (comprising the Saiyan Saga and the Namek Saga) and the three movies that were dubbed and broadcasted on Toonami before Funimation completely took over and made their own dub from scratch.
** Although, want to watch the series in Japanese, and in its original screen format? ''Too bad'', because [=FUNi=] has only delivered a consistent release of the entire series that satisfies these demands precisely once; The Dragon Box sets, which were a limited release and are long since out of print. (The old single-[=DVD=]s were uncut and bilingual starting with the Captain Ginyu-episodes, but that still left sixty-odd episodes that were only available in edited format. The "Ultimate Uncut" line was set to fill this gap, but it was cancelled after only releasing 21 episodes.) The only readily available version of the series is [=FUNi's=] "[[DigitalDestruction remastered]]" season-sets, which are cropped to 16:9 and have gone through excessive filtering to get rid of the (quite prominent) grain on the footage, and as a result have suffered considerable detail loss. The more recent UsefulNotes/BluRay-releases are an improvement over the DVD-sets, but even they do ''not'' offer anything even close to what the show originally looked like.
* ''Anime/TransformersArmada'', the first part of the ''Anime/UnicronTrilogy'', aired on {{Toonami}} back in the early 2000s and received several DVD releases from Rhino Home Video. Said releases have unfortunately gone out of print, but recently, Amazon has added a [[http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GSTHDCU/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER pre-order page]] for a DVD rerelease of the complete series. The distributor, according to a [[http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Transformers-Armada-The-Complete-Series/19200 couple]] [[http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/armada-5/transformers-armada-returning-to-dvd-178808/ articles]] commenting on the subject, is Gaiams Americas, who provides most of the distribution for ShoutFactory, who currently handle most of the recent Transformers DVD releases.
** The second installment in the Unicron Trilogy, ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' is also set for a DVD rerelease from Shout! Factory. Much like its predecessor, it too was given a release by Rhino Home Video, which eventually went out of print. Hopefully, this means that the third and final installment, ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'', will get the rerelease treatment as well.
* After over 10 years of the first four seasons being out of print and the final season not being licensed at all, Creator/VizMedia announced the rescue of the original ''Anime/SailorMoon'' anime at Anime Central 2014, with plans for a DVD and Blu-Ray re-release featuring an all-new uncut English dub, and a streaming run on Creator/NeonAlley and Creator/{{Hulu}}. Creator/MadmanEntertainment has picked up the Australia and New Zealand rights to this dub.
** The series is not streaming in Canada, due to Hulu's nonavailability there.
* The English dub of the Japanese puppet series ''Series/StarFleet'' (or ''Series/XBomber'' as it's known in Japan) for many years was only accessible from fan circulation. The entire Japanese dub had been released to laserdisc in the 90's and DVD in the early 2000's, the English version mostly disappeared after syndication ended in the late 80's/early 90's. The circulation mostly relied on tapes released in the 80's in the UK and US (where the show never even aired). All these tapes were cut up, losing much of its material to be made into hour-long episodes in the US or in the UK's case, the compilation films "The Thalian Space Wars" and "Space Quest for F-01"; which were greatly incoherent, cramming much of the series' story arc into a single hour and a half. The tapes in the US were usually the go to as they suffered less cuts, spanning the entire series, although with the 24 episode combined into 8 compilation tapes. In 2009, Fantastic Films released the first DVD release of the English series with all the episodes intact from their analog broadcast masters.
* ''Anime/StreetFighterIITheAnimatedMovie'' has been released multiple times with different edits for censorship, with the uncut version being released by Creator/MangaEntertainment and streamed by Netflix. The DVD by the former has since went out of print, and Netflix no longer streams the movie. Recently, the movie, along with the infamous ''WesternAnimation/StreetFighter'' cartoon, has been licensed by Creator/DiscotekMedia for a rerelease on DVD and Blu-Ray.
* For sixteen years, the easiest way to watch the first ''Manga/NintamaRantarou'' movie was through the VHS copies until it was ''finally'' released on DVD in November 2012 by Creator/PonyCanyon.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''[[Comicbook/{{Miracleman}} Marvel/Miracleman]]'' comic was long considered to be inextricably ScrewedByTheLawyers, due to notoriously complex legal wrangling between multiple camps over the rights to the characters and stories. The rights were acquired by Marvel in 2009, but only for the original 1950s/1960s ''Marvelman'' stories, the scripts from the Creator/AlanMoore and Creator/NeilGaiman stories, and the rights to use the characters in new stories. While this meant that the Gaiman stories could be reprinted, Neil's run completed, and new ''Marvelman'' stories published, the Moore stories were still off-limits due to Marvel having to renegotiate with the artists, and a reprint without the Moore stories was considered infeasible since they were the ones that most people wanted to see. Marvel finally managed to come to an agreement with the artists and start releasing the Moore run, initially in serial comics form, in 2014. However, Moore refused to allow his name to be used on the comics, causing him to be credited only as '[[TheTropeFormerlyKnownAsX The Original Writer]]'. According to Moore, this was because he had come to believe that the '''original''' ''Marvelman'' creator Mick Anglo had been cheated out of his rights, and that it had been wrong for Moore to write about the character.
* ''Comicbook/FlexMentallo'' was originally introduced in an issue of ''Comicbook/DoomPatrol'' as a parody of the well-known "Insult That Made a Man out of Mac" comic-strip bodybuilding ads by Charles Atlas. Later on, in 1996, he got a mini-series of his own, written by his creator Creator/GrantMorrison and drawn by Frank Quitely. Some time after the mini-series came out someone (reportedly a fan who [[WhyFandomCantHaveNiceThings thought they'd be flattered]]) informed the Charles Atlas company about Flex, and they promptly sued DC (the publisher of ''Doom Patrol'' and ''Flex Mentallo'') for trademark infringement. Since Flex, as an obvious parody, was legally considered to be a case of FairUse, the lawsuit was [[http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500E2DC1430F932A0575BC0A9669C8B63 settled in favour of DC]]. However, even though the creative team of Morrison and Quitely later released some critically praised and popular series (''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'' being the best known of them), DC took many years to collect the ''Flex Mentallo'' mini. The origin story of Flex (where the Charles Atlas connection is much more obvious than in the mini-series) was actually collected in a 2006 ''Doom Patrol'' trade paperback, so clearly there was no remaining legal obstacle, but it took until April 2012 for the mini-series to be collected.. Only 16 years after it originally came out.
** The legal problems over Flex are probably why it took until the mid-2000s for the Morrison ''Doom Patrol'' run itself to get a proper trade paperback series, despite its high reputation.
* IDW has scored the reprint rights to the original Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and has begun putting out definitive collections: five-six hardcovers that collect the core "canon" of the series (the issues that Laird and Eastman did together) and a softcover line for the filler stories done by other creators in TMNT #15-18, 22-44).
* In [[TurnOfTheMillennium 2000]], MarvelComics finally released a volume of ''Essential ConanTheBarbarian''... which was never followed up, as Creator/DarkHorseComics acquired the license soon after. Seven years later, Dark Horse started reprinting not only the original Conan ongoing, but also ''Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian'', ''King Conan'', and all the other ComicBookAdaptation(s) of Creator/RobertEHoward's works.
* The SamAndMax comic collection, Surfin' The Highway, was printed in 1995 and went out of print. For years second hand copies were going for a substantial amount of money. However, in 2008, with the success of Telltale's SamAndMax games, the company was able to rerelease it. As Steve Purcell works for Telltale, the rerelease was greatly expanded.
* ''SuicideSquad'', a popular late-1980s series which had super-villains being sent on black-ops missions in exchange for a full pardon for their crimes, remains uncollected and plans for a black-and-white Showcase Presents reprint were scuttled by issues involving royalty rates for DC Comics published from 1976-96. These royalty rates also have screwed other Showcase titles such as Jonah Hex (Volume 2 can't be released because the issues that would be collected would contain issues published in this timeframe) and scuttled plans for Showcase volumes collecting "Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew" and "Who's Who in the DC Universe".
** More specifically, DC royalty rates from this time period were for a fixed amount rather than a percentage of the cover price. Showcase Presents reprints a lot of issues at a low cover price, and the fixed amounts would make it unprofitable, so DC has to renegotiate everything.
** While a color TPB ultimately DID come out for the first nine issues, the second volume (effectively collecting everything in the aborted Showcase Presents volume) was cancelled a week before it was to come out and DC basically once again shelved the series.
** The series has finally been completely re-released digitally. It's not a printed edition, but it's at last available.

* Several studios, such as Creator/{{MGM}}, Creator/{{Universal}} and Creator/WarnerBros, have established "Archive Series" or "Vault Series" to release burn-on-demand DVD-Rs of older movies and television shows that aren't cost-effective to put out as regular releases but for which there is demand among old-film aficionados and fans of various actors, actresses and directors involved with said shows. Two examples: the 1979 Peter Sellers version of ''ThePrisonerOfZenda'' and the 1977 Marty Feldman/Ann-Margret spoof ''The Last Remake of Beau Geste'' are available through Universal's "Vault Series". (These releases most often are on DVD-Rs which some drives may have problems with, but nowadays unless you have a cheaper brand dvd player you shouldn't have a problem.)
* The delay of the [=DVD=] release of ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossThe8thDimension'' is one of the strangest stories in the industry. Producer David Begelman made a shady career for himself as an executive at several major Hollywood studios, including Columbia Pictures and MGM. During this period, he was the target of multiple lawsuits and criminal prosecutions for embezzlement and fraud (including a notorious check-forging scandal that exploded after actor Cliff Robertson discovered that fake checks had been made out in his name, which eventually led to Begelman's being fired from United Artists), and successfully blackmailed Creator/JudyGarland with illicitly obtained medical photos. After being fired from those studios, he ran an independent company, Sherwood Productions, where he backed ''Buckaroo Banzai''. Due to some legal chicanery, he ended up the sole owner of the rights to the film, and because of a falling-out with the writer and director over financial issues, refused to allow any further use of the property. This included blocking a planned television series, a sequel film, and the later DVD release. During this time, Laserdisc copies of the film were selling for well over $100. It took Begelman's bankruptcy and subsequent suicide for the rights to devolve to his largest creditor, Crédit Lyonnais bank, and then to Polygram Entertainment where executive Steve Gelber (a ''Banzai'' fan) pushed for a DVD release; it was finally released in 2002 under MGM's distribution. Begelman's obfuscatory and legally-questionable bookkeeping practices continue to prevent any further development of the Banzai property — such as the long-awaited sequel, or a soundtrack album — as no one is really sure who owns the various rights involved.
* ''Film/{{Tron}}'' lapsed into this after its 20th anniversary DVD release went out-of print around 2008. In 2010, when the sequel ''Film/TronLegacy'' hit theaters, the film was reaching prices of up to $215 on Amazon, and even Netflix was having availability problems (the lack of re-release at such a propicious time [[http://herocomplex.latimes.com/2010/11/10/tron-dvd-is-hard-to-find/ was questioned]], [[http://blog.moviefone.com/2010/11/16/tron-dvd/ raised]] [[http://io9.com/#!5690466/is-disney-deliberately-keeping-tron-out-of-print-on-dvd theories]], [[http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/new-strategy-for-tron-dvd/ and boosted piracy]]). But at least it got a re-release, on both DVD and Blu-Ray, when ''Legacy'' hit shelves in 2011.
* Due to rights problems (including song copyrights), ''Hellzapoppin'' has never been released on VHS or DVD in America. It ''did'' get a UK DVD release in 2007, though.
* For nearly 20 years, a copy of ''Literature/JohnnyGotHisGun'' was fairly difficult to acquire. Why? Well, Music/{{Metallica}} wanted to use footage from the movie for their video of "One" back in 1988, and found it simpler to just purchase all the rights to the movie...and then do nothing with it. Only in 2009 was a DVD release made.
* ''Film/{{Nosferatu}}'' was like this for a long time due to claims from the [[{{Dracula}} Stoker Estate]]. Both are now in the public domain, ending the dispute.
** It's worth noting that because of the dispute, all copies of the film were ordered to be destroyed; were it not for those dedicated bootleggers, ''the film would not have survived at all''. To those collectors and reprinters, wherever you may be — the fans and historians of the world salute you.
* ''Film/{{Moonwalker}}'' didn't get a Region 1 re-release for a long time, [[ScrewedByTheLawyers for obvious reasons]]. It was finally released internationally on Blu-Ray in 2010, albeit with some of the violence in the "Smooth Criminal" segment trimmed.
* The underrated 1981 made-for-TV thriller ''Film/DarkNightOfTheScarecrow'', having only been released on VHS in the mid-1980s, was finally released on DVD in September of 2010.
* Creator/RodgersAndHammerstein fans received [=DVD=]s containing the movie versions of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'', ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'', ''Theatre/{{Carousel}}'', ''Film/StateFair'', ''Theatre/SouthPacific'' and ''Theatre/TheKingAndI'' from 1999-2000, but ''Literature/FlowerDrumSong'' did not receive a DVD release at this time. It ultimately did so in 2006, partly to celebrate the movie's 45th anniversary, and partly because Creator/{{Universal}} wanted to cash in on Creator/TwentiethCenturyFox releasing remastered [=DVD=]s of seven R&H movies.
** Similarly, the widely panned 1962 remake of ''State Fair'' just barely beat ''Flower Drum Song'' to DVD. It did not receive a release until 2005, when its predecessor turned 60.
* The 1995 teen comedy ''Film/{{Angus}}'' was a title demanded by fans to be released on DVD since the format's inception. It was finally released as a launch title for the Warner Archive in 2009.
* The 1980 PBS made-for-TV adaption of ''Literature/TheLatheOfHeaven'' was unavailable after the rights expired in 1988. A DVD was finally released in 2000, albeit with a cover version of Music/TheBeatles song used in the original.
* ''Film/TheLegendOfBillieJean'' spent years in release limbo with no shot of ever getting a DVD release, despite massive fan demand. It was finally released in November 2011 through Sony Classics On Demand with an audio commentary.
* ''Film/{{Static}}'', the first feature-length film by ''Film/OneHourPhoto'' writer/director Mark Romanek, saw its theatrical debut in 1985. Was not made available on DVD despite a fairly strong cult following; and the existence of VHS and Laserdisc versions; both becoming increasingly difficult to find in good condition. WordOfGod was that, while Romanek didn't view it as an OldShame, he considered it an inferior sophomore effort (if he acknowledged it at all), and therefore not worth re-releasing. Romanek eventually relented, and it was officially released on DVD by Telavista in 2007.
** The Telavista release is actually a bootleg so technically it's still a case of KeepCirculatingTheTapes.
* The 1927 classic ''Film/{{Wings}}'', the first film to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture, was announced for release in 2011 on DVD and Blu-Ray by Paramount. Before this announcement, it had been the only film that has won Best Picture at the Oscars that hadn't been released on DVD. It doesn't help that the movie is one of the very few silent movies still under copyright, which made public domain releases impossible.
* The original widescreen version of ''Film/WestSideStory'' inexplicably disappeared from DVD shelves in the mid-2000s. All the [=DVD=]s produced during the remainder of the decade presented the movie in PanAndScan, although movie boxsets contained the uncropped version. Widescreen [=DVD=]s finally became available again in 2011, in honor of the movie's 50th anniversary.
* ''Film/TheAfricanQueen'' only got a DVD release in 2010, as both the rights to the film jumped from hand to hand and the original negatives for restoration were hard to find.
* ''Film/ETTheExtraterrestrial'' came to DVD in 2002 with the 20th Anniversary Edition included on Disc One, and the original version included on Disc Two. A while later, Creator/{{Universal}} stopped selling this DVD with the second disc, making the original ''ET'' a rarity. In 2012, Universal started selling the original ''ET'' again, on Blu-Ray and DVD. Interestingly, this release does not include the 20th Anniversary Edition (the two scenes added to the 20th Anniversary Edition are included as bonus features, though the alternate gun/walkie-talkie shots are not), turning ''it'' into a rarity. (Although no one seems to mind as much.)
* ''Film/ElectricDreams'', starring Lenny Von Dolen, Virginia Madsen, and Bud Cort. It's a love triangle between a man, a woman, and a computer. Made in 1984, the VHS copies of this movie (all of which are apparently former rentals) cost enough to buy a supercomputer. There's only one discernable reason given why this movie remained out of print until 2009 (but even then only released in Region 2): they thought nobody would buy it (well, we didn't say it was a bad reason).
* For 28 years, the only way that you could see the film ''White Dog'' was through the occasional repertory screening or a bootleg copy taken from the few television airings of the film. Until 2010, when Creator/TheCriterionCollection came to the rescue and released a DVD.
* The 1977 nuclear-war thriller ''Twilight's Last Gleaming'' was in DVD release limbo for years after numerous announcements followed by cancellations from former rights holder Creator/WarnerBros In 2012, Olive Films released it on DVD and UsefulNotes/BluRay, making a legal DVD copy now possible.
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock pulled ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'', ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooMuch'' (the remake), ''Film/TheTroubleWithHarry'', ''Film/RearWindow'', and ''Theatre/{{Rope}}'' from legal circulation starting in the 1970s. Fans turned to the black market to watch them, unless Hitchcock's estate managed to destroy the distributor's print. ''Rear Window'' and ''Vertigo'' became especially valuable. After Hitchcock died, Creator/{{Universal}} bought distribution rights to these movies, and then gave each a long-awaited theatrical re-release. They also give them official home video releases on several formats.
* The Music/VanillaIce starring camp classic ''Film/CoolAsIce'' was given a DVD release in 2011 after much fan demand (along with people wanting to see if it was that bad).
* ''The Iron Petticoat'', a 1950s film featuring the only on-screen performance of BobHope with Creator/KatharineHepburn, was suppressed by Hope shortly after its original theatrical release, as he had bad memories of the making of the film, including fights between him and writer Ben Hecht (Hope insisted on having him and his gag writers write schtick for the movie, and Hecht resisted.) Hope had ended up with all rights to the movie, and sat on it for the rest of his life. It was only in 2012 that his estate relented and allowed the film to be released on Blu-Ray and for TV broadcast.
* ''Film/AtLongLastLove'' is a legendarily awful 1975 musical starring Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd. The movie was so hated that director Peter Bogdanovich took out ads in several newspapers throughout the country, apologizing for the film and saw to it that the movie was never released on video in any format. Bootlegs were hard to find but did exist, and those who saw them can't seem to agree if the flick is SoBadItsGood or just unwatchably awful. (There was no lip-synching -- the actors had to sing while filming. And these actors weren't known for their singing.) This film is of historical interest regardless; aside from the star power, Bogdanovich was one of the great auteur directors (he did ''Film/TheLastPictureShow''). Eventually it surfaced legally on Fox Movie Channel from time to time, then appeared on Netflix Instant for a while, and finally got a Blu-Ray release in 2013.
* After its original theatrical release, ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld'' had its {{Intermission}} dropped and was cut to 159 minutes for worldwide distribution with the edited footage discarded. Some of the discarded film was eventually found in an abandoned warehouse, and roughly 20 minutes of footage were re-edited back into place for the VHS release. The movie couldn't be digitally converted with the extra footage -- which was still in 70mm format -- so DVD releases used only the general release 159-minute cut, at most using some of the cut scenes as bonus features. But in 2014, Creator/TheCriterionCollection brought out a set with both the general release version ''and'' a 197-minute cut that incorporates the surviving cut material.
* Every ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' film from the Showa era has received a DVD release or two. Some of the movies, such as those released by Classic Media, are still available and easy to acquire, but several have fallen out of print. Fortunately, to coincide with [[Film/{{Godzilla2014}} the 2014 remake]] of the original ''Film/{{Gojira}}'', a company called Kraken Releasing has acquired the rights from Toho to rerelease ''Film/GodzillaVsHedorah'', ''[[Film/EbirahHorrorOfTheDeep Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster]]'', and ''Film/GodzillaVsGigan'' on Blu-Ray.
* The films of Creator/AlejandroJodorowsky were unavailable for many years due to a bad partnership Jodorowsky had with manager and producer Allen Klein. For years fans had to circulate bootlegs. This changed in 2007, when El Topo and The Holy Mountain became widely available for the first time on DVD.
* Considered to be a forefront for the DisasterMovie genre, ''The High and the Mighty'', starring Creator/JohnWayne, was in this trope for a couple of '''decades'''. After a decade-long string of television repeats, it was stricken off the airwaves in 1985 due to multiple royalty issues and a constantly delayed restoration due to years sitting in the vault surviving water damage and having one copy of the movie lost, making a near pristine restoration of the film nearly impossible. After a year of remastering and an extra three months to correct audio issues, the fully restored and remastered film finally made a rebroadcast on AMC on July 2005, 20 years since its most recent showing on television, and a DVD release followed just a month later.
* The infamous ''Film/{{North}}'' was withheld from a DVD release for almost two decades because of how notoriously awful it was, especially to [[OldShame everyone who worked on it]]. Creator/ColumbiaPictures finally released the film on DVD-R as part of the burn-on-demand Sony Pictures Choice Collection in 2012. Before that, all you had to rely on were the VHS release and television broadcasts just to catch it.
* ''Film/OnceUponATimeInAmerica'' is considered one of the best films ever made...or one of the worst, depending on which version you watch. There's the amazing original cut (which runs nearly four hours) and the awful hackjob version that was released to US theaters (which is barely half as long). Up until 2014, those who wanted to see the theatrical version were out of luck, as it was never released to DVD and the studio was seemingly (if understandably) intent on pretending it was never made. The theatrical cut finally resurfaced on the 2014 Extended Director's Cut (which had the theatrical cut as well as a restored version of the director's cut).
** Not quite: What's labelled as the "Theatrical Version" is a port of the same cut that's been available on home video forever. And considering it's labelled the "theatrical cut," it looks like that infamous short version has officially been put down the memory hole.
* Howard Hughes tried ''everything'' to ensure ''Film/TheConqueror'' would never, ever, ''ever'' be seen again. He went as far as buying every print to the movie from RKO to keep it out of circulation. It remained off television for decades, and it's rumored that he had watched the film constantly to remind himself of his OldShame toward the movie in the final years of his life[[note]]Though this could also have had something to do with his infamous SuperOCD complications he had suffered for much of his life[[/note]]. It took several years after his death for Creator/{{Universal}} to purchase the rights to the movie and return the film to circulation, getting VHS and DVD releases in decades that followed. The film became sort of a CultClassic because of [[SoBadItsGood how awful the film really was]].
* Parodied with ''Film/DudeBroPartyMassacre3'', which claims that after its first airing at midnight in the late 80s, [=DBPM3=] was banned by executive order of President UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan, with this copy only existing because a teenager stayed up to record the broadcast on his VCR.

* For a long time [[Creator/TerryPratchett Sir Terry Pratchett's]] first novel, ''TheCarpetPeople'', was out of print and almost impossible to find second hand due to a tiny original print run. However, eventually his publishers got so fed up of having to tell people there was no demand for it that it was reissued. Technically, it was reissued as a new [[DirectorsCut Author's Cut]], since Pratchett wanted to fix a lot about the novel. So you can read the special edition, but good luck finding the original.
* ''Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute'' has previously not been released in the States because of issues with the publishers. But as of 2012 it is scheduled to be released sometime in 2013.
* For over a century, James Scarth Gale's account as a missionary of an early 20th century Korea, ''The Vanguard: A Tale of Korea'', was only available in its original 1900s printing. But in 2013, a Korean publisher created a modernized and bilingual (Korean and English) edition for sale in Christian bookstores, making this almost forgotten and historically important work available for purchase again.
* While many English versions of Creator/JulesVerne's more obscure books are only available in their original century-old prints, one such book, ''Sans dessus dessous'' (literally "[[ItMakesSenseInContext Topsy-Turvy]]") was retranslated and republished in 2012 as ''The Earth Turned Upside Down''. As an added bonus, the new translation is much better than the original English one, which, as with other English versions of Verne's books from the time, was reviled by scholars and the knowledgable public for its low quality.
* Probably one of the oldest and most obscure examples is the story of Michael Servetus's heretical text ''Christianismi Restitutio'' (Latin for "The Restoration of Christianity"). Since Servetus was more radical than even most Protestants of the time (for example, he rejected both the Trinity and infant baptism), Catholics and Protestants alike denounced and suppressed him and his works. John Calvin led a huge effort to destroy all copies of Servetus's books and eventually [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill had Servetus burned at the stake on a pile of copies of ''Christianismi Restitutio'', with the last known copy of the book bound to his leg.]] \\\
Only three first-edition copies still exist; for nearly half a millennium, these copies have passed from person to person through Europe. But there are many later copies, and the book is still in print (you can find it on Amazon.com).
* The ''Literature/MythOMania'' books went out of print in the mid-2000s, but re-appeared in 2011 with a different publisher, updated covers, and even some new stories.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* As with movies, several studios now make various TV miniseries for which there's not enough demand in the market at large to justify regular release but which are of interest to fans and collectors available through their burn-on-demand DVD archive series.
* ''Series/TheAdventuresOfPeteAndPete'' got around this by replacing any protested music cues with clips from their house band Polaris on the [=DVD=]s. Unfortunately, the "Nick Rewind" DVD series was discontinued (''after'' it was designed, but) ''before'' the last season set was released.
** However, the fact that most of the music was independently owned and the musicians involved enjoyed working on the show makes it so that the number of replaced music cues can be counted on one hand.
* ''AmericanGothic'' was one of the most campaigned-for shows for a while, until it was finally released on DVD in 2005 (R1) and 2006 (R2).
* ''AllyMcBeal'' fans in the United States either had to trade tapes, import the British DVD series set from the UK, or be content with a five-episode "Best Of Season 1" compilation for many years because of a flop of a syndication deal where FX took a nearly $2 Million bath every time they aired an episode (they stopped after two years and nobody else dared to air it again), and the sheer fact that all the music rights used on the show were not negotiated at all before the rise of TV on DVD, not to mention that Vonda Shepard would be looking at quite the sweet DVD royalty check for being the house singer on the show. Thankfully, the long wait was worth it — in October 2009, Fox released the full series in a Region 1 box set with no music cuts whatsoever.
* The circumstances surrounding the holdup of the 1960s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' TV show were numerous, even compared to other works. The prints of the series are owned by 20th Century Fox, but the characters are owned by DCComics, which is owned by competitor Time Warner. Fox went to court in 2008 to battle Creator/WarnerBros. regarding rights issues with the then-unreleased ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' adaptation, of which the acquisition of the rights to the ''Batman'' series was a key sticking point. Even besides that, there were still many other factors.\\
This includes clearance rights for the cameos in each episode (some of which were fictional characters [[IntercontinuityCrossover from other shows]] like [[Series/TheAddamsFamily Lurch]] and [[Series/HogansHeroes Colonel Klink]]), music rights, writers' residuals, a prior lawsuit that was filed by the Dozier estate (of Charles Dozier, the creator of the series) for residuals, and copyrighted designs that were unique to the series.\\
Things had gotten so bad that Creator/AdamWest basically said "screw it" and gathered up the remaining living writers, producers, and actors in order to produce his own Behind-The-Scenes [=DVD=]s about the series in the form of roundtable discussions of each two-part episode; before that, another company issued ''Batmania'', a 2-DVD set featuring screen test footage, interviews and other content that can only be described as "DVD box set bonus features, without the box set". Ultimately, [[http://tvshowsondvd.com/news/Batman-DVDs-Planned/19353 WB managed to clear the rights for a home video release in 2014]]... just in time for [[MilestoneCelebration Batman's 75th anniversary!]]
* ''BillNyeTheScienceGuy'' is now available on a number of [=DVD=]s, but as they are classroom-licensed releases they cost [[CrackIsCheaper $25 or $30]] for ''one'' thirty-minute episode. Those looking to save money ought to check their public library for these. Thirty or so episodes have also been added to Netflix.
* ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'' once spent a long time in limbo with Season 5 and Season 6 not being on DVD due to low sales of the first four seasons, it wasn't until Shout Factory acquired the rights to the series in 2014 and released a complete series boxset on May 27, 2014 and later released the fifth and sixth seasons in individual sets on February 3, 2015.
** A lot of the Season 5 and Season 6 episodes also have the MTM logo followed by both the Viacom "V of Doom" logo and the 20th Television logo for some reason.
* ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'''s third season sold worse than expected on DVD, leading Buena Vista to indefinitely delay later seasons. Fortunately, Lionsgate acquired DVD rights, and managed to release the whole series.
* The Belgian TV show ''Buiten De Zone'' was finally released on DVD in 2010, after the last of the music negotiations (over the music from ''TwinPeaks'') had concluded. The show, which ran for 2 seasons starting in 1994, still has a huge fan following and has achieved a cult status in Flanders. Bart de Pauw, one of the creators, was a soundtrack buff and used music from hundreds of films like ''Film/JamesBond'', ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', ''Franchise/IndianaJones'', and even ''Film/RobinHoodMenInTights''. Acquiring all 380 (!) music licenses while keeping the price at a reasonable level was a huge undertaking.
* ''Series/{{ChinaBeach}}'' was unavailable on DVD for years due to music rights issues. Time-Life finally cleared most of the rights and released all four seasons on DVD in 2013 and 2014.
* 1987 - Present British BBC kids show ''Chuckle Vision'' suffered this as due to a bad schedule episodes over 20 minutes were not shown after 2004, but Barry Elliot anounced the BBC picked it up for a DVD release.
* ''CrimeStory'' has been released, but with knock-off tunes in place of the original early-1960s pop numbers underscoring the action. It just isn't the same.
* The Underwater Menace, [[MissingEpisode an incomplete]] ''Series/DoctorWho'' story of which only episodes two and three of four exist, is a particularly unfortunate example. The entire soundtrack exists and was released on CD and episode three was released as a set with other "orphaned" episodes in 2004, but when episode two was discovered in 2011 it was decided to release the full story on DVD with an animated reconstruction of the missing episodes. With the special features and audio commentary complete and every other existing episode released, the animation fell through. The BBC couldn't justify a full DVD release of a single "new" episode and cancelled the DVD in June 2015. Then, in September, it was announced that it will finally be released in October.
* ''Series/TheEqualizer'' was just that, until Creator/{{Universal}} released Season 1 on DVD. And, the funny part with "Complete Season 1" DVD set? It's a rare case of "[[BadExportForYou Better Export]] [[AvertedTrope For Them]]".
* The civil rights documentary miniseries ''Eyes on the Prize'' was once unavailable on DVD because it includes a lot of music and film footage that was licensed only for a limited time. The license was renewed in 2006, thanks to additional funding from the Ford Foundation. The funding to remaster and rebroadcast the series for PBS came with the stipulation that the DVD release be available for purchase only to schools and libraries, not individuals. However, as of 2010, it is now available to the general public for purchase on the PBS website.
* The ''Eyewitness'' educational video series of TheNineties was once only available on DVD via obscenely-expensive copies from teachers' sites; one had to hope that they might be available in a local public library collection for checking out. But episodes have since been made available at a lower price point through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc.
* {{Averted|Trope}} with ''Series/FreaksAndGeeks'', which got a DVD despite having a soundtrack that included Styx, TheGratefulDead, Cream, and two episodes that used only songs by TheWho and BillyJoel respectively. One time when a short runtime helped the {{DVD}} release.
* ''Series/FamilyMatters'' qualified for this for almost a decade until they finally released the first season on DVD. A second season was released in February 2012, more than two years after the first season was issued, giving hope to fans that the remaining seven seasons will eventually be released.
* ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' got Seasons 1-4 (of six) out on DVD, then got stalled...by music rights for the last two seasons. When it originally got made, the amount of licensed songs used was relatively small, but increased during the course of its run. As Warner cleared music rights, fans ended up having to wait six years for a fifth season DVD, and 11 more months for the last season.
* In the early 1980s, ABC had a late-night sketch show called ''Fridays'' that was meant to rake in the same success that NBC had with ''Saturday Night Live''. When it first premiered, it got flak for being a shrill, unfunny clone of ''SNL'', but when ''SNL'' hit the wall in the early 1980s due to bad writing, a mediocre new cast, and the incompetence of new showrunner, Jean Doumanian, ''Fridays'' was revered as the new, edgy sketch show with a crazy young cast of comedians and a lot of new sketch ideas not even ''SNL'' would think to do (to name a few: a Bob Hope/Bing Crosby "Road To..." movie that takes place in an El Salvadoran torture chamber[[note]]with a catchy, yet {{Anvilicious}} song about how the American government set up their relations with El Salvador so that way Reagan can instigate another Vietnam War[[/note]], a sketch about a human couple dining at a restaurant catering to zombies, a variety show starring ultra-conservative televangelists, a spaghetti Western about the creationism vs. evolution argument, a MarxBrothers-esque take on the Iranian revolution, and a 17-minute ''Rocky Horror Picture Show'' parody that mocked UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan's inaugaration). Naturally, ABC at the time [[ExecutiveMeddling felt this was all inappropriate and confusing]], so a lot of sketches got cut in reruns, the show was moved to midnight from its cushy 11:30 spot and ratings dropped. After an unsuccessful stint as a primetime sketch show, ''Fridays'' was canned. It did air EditedForSyndication in the 1980s on the cable channel USA, but those reruns were gone just as quickly as they premiered. Home video and DVD release was impossible as Larry David and Michael Richards refused to sign for it, and the only way for people to see ''Fridays'' was either on the videos they taped the episodes on in the early 1980s or seeing clips of sketches on YouTube. Creator/ShoutFactory [[http://splitsider.com/2013/08/fridays-is-finally-out-on-dvd/ has finally saved Fridays from obscurity by releasing it on DVD]], though it's a "Best Of" collection featuring a selection of memorable episodes. Hulu Plus also has this series, under the "Shout Factory" channel.
* ''Series/{{Ghostwriter}}'' wasn't available until Creator/ShoutFactory announced a DVD release of the first season.
* Fans of ''Series/TheGlassHouse'' had to make do with the DVD that only contained the 2002 best-of episode and the six "Double Glazed" specials and the (very) early morning reruns of Seasons 8 and 9 in 2009-10, as the ABC did not have the rights to replay earlier episodes and did not say if full seasons would ever be released. The first five seasons (spanning 2001-2002) have been released in full on the iTunes Store, but the ABC currently have no plans to release seasons 6-9 in any form.
* ''Series/FXTheSeries'' skipped the VHS format altogether and finally landed on DVD after 15 years, much to the relief of fans who pleaded with its production company to release the two seasons of the show.
* ''Series/HappyDays'': Slowly but surely for the first four seasons. The first season was issued in 2004, and it was nearly three years before Season 2 was released. Seasons 3 and 4 were issued during the next 18 months, but nothing since December 2008. Music licensing, slow sales ... no official word has been given as to what the hold up is for the remaining seven years.
* ''Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero'', released but with music rights problems.
* ''Series/ItsGarryShandlingsShow'': All four seasons were released on DVD in Fall 2009.
** And Shandling's follow-up, ''Series/TheLarrySandersShow'', had all its seasons released in Fall 2010 after its post-Season 1 run was in release limbo due to a dispute between Shandling and Brad Grey, his former manger and producer of the program.
* From Sweden is the show ''Series/KennyStarfighter'', a big cult classic over here. There was a VHS release in 1997 when it came out, but had major rights problems. It wasn't until 2006, before the movie came out, that the show did eventually see a DVD release.
* ''Series/LaFemmeNikita'': Season 2 was released and then unreleased, pulled from store shelves, when one of the featured bands demanded more money for the use of their song. Instead, the song was replaced, the [=DVD=]s re-released and they got nothing.
* ''Little Muppet Monsters'' was like this for over 20 years. Beyond the first episode, Muppet fans had no way to gain copies of the three aired episodes. In 2008, a Muppet fan came forward saying he had all three episodes that aired on Creator/{{CBS}}. He made copies for the Muppet fan community and they are now very easy to find.
* All seasons and episodes of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'' have been recovered on Netflix. However, there have still been no DVD releases of the show except for Season 1.
* ''Series/MamasFamily'' initially had only a Season One box set with edited, syndicated versions of its episodes to its name, but it received a full-series, uncut DVD release in Fall 2013 via [=StarVista=] Entertainment. However, music rights issues still resulted in some scenes being edited or cut completely--most notably, Vicki Lawrence and Imogene Coca's duet of "Ain't Misbehavin'" in the episode "Gert Rides Again" and Vicki's performance of "Harper Days" (to the tune of "Happy Days are Here Again") in "Mama For Mayor."
* ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' was released on DVD, albeit with FrankSinatra's ''Love and Marriage'' song replaced with more generic music due to rights issues.
* ''TheMaryTylerMooreShow'' had Season 1 put on DVD in 2002. Thanks to disappointing sales of that set, it took three years for Season 2 to be released, and it ultimately took eight years to get all seven seasons on DVD.
* ''MaxHeadroom'' suffered this in part. Although the original TV movie was released on DVD, the subsequent two-season series had not been, and was only partially available in edited form on VHS and Japanese Laserdisc releases. Despite the existence of a substantial online market in bootleg compilations, a DVD release was not available until Shout! Factory released the full series in 2010.
** The Shout [=DVD=]s include the American TV series, but not the original TV movie. Granted, the pilot is a condensed version of that film, but....
* Music rights are also the reason it took forever for ''MiamiVice'' to get a video release (the [=DVD=]s were first — it '''never''' got analog video releases), and why there were lengthy delays between each season's box set. Still, the episodes were completely unabridged...well, save for a sequence cut from the Season 4 episode "By Hooker, By Crook" because it was deemed to be excessively disturbing. It showed a prostitute being tied up and murdered while Crockett has sex with another woman.
** In an interesting case, however, while you can now find most episodes online (completely legally, through Hulu and Netflix), there are one or two episodes that are withheld from the internet for apparent rights issues.
* The short-lived Nickelodeon sitcom ''MyBrotherAndMe''. After years of circulating the tapes, at least three episodes aired on The 90s Are All That in early 2014...and then the complete series became available as an Amazon MOD title that June.
* A slightly different issue arose for ''MySoCalledLife'': It wasn't that there ''wasn't'' a DVD released for it; it was that it was so rare that the cost to buy it was prohibitive (there were sets for $200 on eBay). Luckily, a new DVD release came out, which dropped the price from prohibitive to merely expensive.
* ''The Name of the Game''. Season 1 of the late 60's anthology series with Gene Barry, Tony Franciosa, and Robert Stack has an August 2014 release date.
* Under Creator/{{Disney}}, ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' got screwed over with only some episodes (usually from the start of the season) ever getting DVD releases and just about every season, bar the {{recut}} of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', pulled out of airing. After Saban reclaimed the franchise from the Mouse House, ''MMPR'' was streamed in its original form one episode a day on the official website in early 2011 as a lead-up to ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' and the entire franchise [[https://twitter.com/#!/anbmedia/status/80498732512198656 is available on Netflix]] starting June 15, 2011, alongside related Saban shows ''Series/{{Beetleborgs}}'' and ''Series/VRTroopers''.
** And now, in March of 2012, Saban inked a deal with Creator/ShoutFactory to release all 700 episodes from ''Mighty Morphin'' all the way to ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' on DVD.
*** They also made sure to release current series on DVD via Lionsgate ensuring that this doesn't happen again for the time being, however this is almost played straight with Super Samurai's Halloween episode, ''Trickster Treat'' which is only available on Shout factories expensive Limited edition [[note]] This was limited to 2000 sets sold for $650 and only open to Orders in the US and Canada. However as of this writing (July 2014) there are still sets available and for international shipping as well, and reduced to the price of $500.[[/note]]. Legacy set.
* Before Anchor Bay released the eight episodes of ''Series/{{Profit}}'' onto DVD--four of which hadn't even seen broadcast in the USA--the show's ''creator'' circulated the tapes/[=DVD=]s himself!
** And the Anchor Bay set is now out of print so fans are still having to circulate the tapes.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' took so long to appear on DVD that ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' made jokes about it (although a two-series-a-year blast from 2002 resolved that one eventually).
** ''Buffy'' itself was out in Region 2 ''long'' before Region 1 got a release.
* It took until 2010 for ''Series/TheRedGreenShow'' to get a DVD release. Before then, the only consolation was a 48-episode ''Stuffed & Mounted'' set with scattered episodes from the first ten seasons (except 2). Keep in mind the show ran from 1991 to 2006.
* The full run of ''Series/RemingtonSteele'' has been released, albeit with many edits to the soundtrack, most noticeably in the episodes "Steele Trying" (in which the entire soundtrack of Tony Bennett songs has been replaced) and "Steele on the Air" (in which Laura Holt is seen driving and singing along to the radio; Laura is singing "Girls Just Want to Have Fun", but the radio is playing something else).
* ''Series/SheWolfOfLondon'' ... finally released after many years in February 2010 (Region 1), according to [[http://www.amazon.com/She-Wolf-London-Complete-4pc-Mcsh/dp/B002QU1Z1K Amazon.]]
* ''SmallWonder'': Shout! Factory released Season 1 to retail stores on Region 1 DVD in February 2010. Season 2 was released directly to fans in June 2010.
* Reruns of ''Series/SoulTrain'' started in November 2009 on BET's rebranded Centric network, with DVD sets available from Time-Life. Selected segments are also available through Comcast On-Demand.
* ''TheState'' had been released on iTunes, but all of the music had to be pulled for rights issues. Most of it was replaced with ''just close enough'' soundalikes, but on at least one sketch ''all'' of the audio had to be completely redone due to the lack of original masters, using looped actors' dialogue, fake Marvin Gaye music, and canned laughter.
** (Eventually) averted. Viacom finally got all the rights to every episode settled (mostly by replacing the original music)... and then decided not to release it on DVD anyway. Thankfully, campaigning by the show's stars managed to convince them otherwise, and a complete series box set is now available. Only one short segment had to be cut because characters were singing a Pearl Jam song that could not be cleared. Still, at least it got here before ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}''.
* ''Series/TheStarlost'' (1973), based on a story by Creator/HarlanEllison (and later ScrewedByTheNetwork), finally got a full-series Region 1 DVD release in 2008.
* ''Series/TBag'' seasons 1-3 are available on DVD, but seasons 4-9 are unavailable.
* ''Series/{{Thirtysomething}}'' was this for about two decades.
* After years of being forgotten in its (small) fanbase's memory, ''Series/VanPires'' of all series actually got a DVD release in 2007.
* The first season of the 80's ''Series/WarOfTheWorlds'' TV series was only released on DVD after 15 years of waiting and pleading by its small fanbase. It took another five years to get the second (and final season) on the format as well. Talk about a long wait!
* ''Series/{{Witchblade}}'', released but with music rights problems.
* ''Series/MyMotherTheCar'' has no DVD release but is legally available on Youtube and Hulu.
* ''The Very Best of Wrestling/WCWMondayNitro'' has saved some of Wrestling/{{WCW}}. WWE Network now hosts every WCW pay-per-view from the earliest Jim Crockett Promotions ''Starrcade''s up to ''Greed'' in 2001, and is uploading complete episodes of ''Nitro''.
* In February 2011, The Paley Center for Media in New York, NY announced that [[http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704709304576124373773290508.html it had received a verified copy]] of the CBS broadcast of UsefulNotes/SuperBowl I, donated to the Center in exchange for having it restored and archived. It was thought that there were no existing copies of either the CBS or NBC broadcast[[note]]At the time, CBS had the NFL broadcast rights and NBC had the AFL rights.[[/note]]. The owner reportedly offered the tape directly to the NFL: they first tried to assert its exclusive copyright to claim the tape, then offered $30,000 for the tape (most experts say the tape is worth at least $1 million). It's assumed it is only a matter of time before the tape (which is missing a chunk of the third quarter and the entire halftime) is broadcast publicly.
* Until the end of 2007, ''Series/TheManFromUNCLE'' was a perfect example of this trope. About 40 episodes had been released during the 1990's on VHS, but promised DVD release kept getting put off for various reasons (one of the most cogent being that it was difficult to nearly impossible to find high-quality master tapes for the first season, and another being the long-running legal ruckus surrounding the Creator/HarlanEllison-penned third-season episode "The Pieces of Fate Affair"). Anchor Bay announced plans to release the series on DVD, which fell through, and it was finally left to Time-Life, under license from Creator/WarnerBros (which, convolutedly, had acquired the license from Creator/{{MGM}}) to release the series in an acclaimed box-set version in late 2007.
* ''Series/BarneyMiller'': After the Season 1 DVD set came out, it took four years for Season 2 to be released, then another year for Season 3. Finally, Creator/ShoutFactory issued a deluxe complete-series box set for the show in October 2011.
* The ''Series/AlienNation'' TV series aired from 1989 to 1990, and ended on a heart-wrenching cliffhanger. It was quickly released on VHS. The cliffhanger, and numerous unresolved sub-plots, were eventually resolved in made-for-tv movies that aired from 1994-1997. Only the first two were ever released on VHS; leaving more hanging plot threads with no resolution for fans who hadn't managed to see the movies when they originally aired. The series was given a full DVD box-set release in 2006; but it took another two years for the movies to be released, finally giving fans the entire story. However, the parody advertisements that were part of the original series airing have yet to be released in any format.
* ''ParkerLewisCantLose'' took its sweet time to move onto DVD, mostly due to music licensing issues,but it's out now.
* In Britain companies like Network DVD are a godsend for people looking for rare archive shows, sometimes even going so far as to track down missing videotapes. A couple of examples:
** ''The Arthur Haynes Show'': Haynes was a huge star in the 50s and 60s, with a popular sketch show written by [[TillDeathUsDoPart Johnny Speight]], yet after his untimely death in 1966 he was almost forgotten about until surviving episodes from his shows began to be released in 2011.
** ''The Strange World of Gurney Slade'' was a surreal 1960 series starring singer/actor Anthony Newley. It seems to have been too surreal for mass appeal, and it wasn't until 2011 that modern audiences got a chance to view it on DVD and judge for themselves.
* ''Tutti Frutti'', a 1987 six-part comedy-drama about an ageing Scottish rock band starring RobbieColtraine, Creator/EmmaThompson and RichardWilson, was unavailable to purchase for more than twenty years, allegedly due to copyright issues over a slightly reworded version of the title song (Coltraine sings "here's the rub, she makes me sleep in a tub"). These were finally settled and the DVD was released in 2009.
* ''Intensity'', a two-part miniseries from 1997 based on the DeanKoontz book of the same name, starring John C. [=McGinley=] from ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' was released as a DVD-R title in 2012.
* ''Series/TheWonderYears'' was another popular TV series whose DVD release was held up by music licensing issues. Time-Life finally cleared most of the music rights issues and released the complete series on DVD in late 2014.
* For decades, the 1957 version of Creator/RodgersAndHammerstein's ''Film/{{Cinderella}}'' (starring a young JulieAndrews) was thought lost since it was only broadcast live (except in the West Coast). Until the black and white kinescope of the West Coast broadcast (the live version was in color) was found and given a DVD release in 2004. The same version has also aired on Creator/{{PBS}}.
** If you were interested, you could also find the 1997 ''Wonderful World of Disney'' remake. What about the first remake, which starred Lesley Ann Warren and became the most popular version after numerous re-runs and VHS releases? Sony pulled the DVD out of print after a few years. Fortunately, Shout! Factory has announced that they would release a new DVD of the special in September 2014.
* After a while TNT stopped airing reruns of ''Series/{{ER}}'', replacing it with ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. It's not particularly easy to come across episodes online but thankfully complete season sets have been released.
* For a long time, Saludos, an 80's PBS series like Sesame Street that taught children Spanish, was very hard to find. You can now find it in high quality [[http://www.ket.org/itvvideos/offering/foreign/saludos.htm on this website.]]
* For years, the only episodes of the US ''Series/WhoseLineIsItAnyway'' released on DVD were the first season and a "Best Of" compilation; with ABC Family's reruns tapering off, there was no legal way to watch the other 100+ episodes. After Creator/TheCW [[{{Revival}} revived]] the show in 2013, they put up the new episodes for streaming on their website, as expected...and then, in 2015, put up ''every single episode of the first American run'' on [[http://cwseed.com/shows/whose-line-is-it-anyway/ their CW Seed website]], with the ABC episodes labeled as "Whose Line Classic."
* The UsefulNotes/WorldWar2 documentaries by ''Maurice De Wilde'' were very well archived for research purposes, but the BRT still refused to let them air publicly. It turns out that this man had such a loyal fanbase that [[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBZe0HUDEM3I_1pCU7nP8hQ/playlists one of them decided to archive all Belgian documentaries that had been made about the war.]]

* Music/{{Negativland}}'s single ''U2'', where both tracks were essentially {{Voice Clip Song}}s featuring Casey Kasem having obscene temper tantrums between takes of an episode of ''American Top 40'' set to instrumental covers of Music/{{U2}}'s "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". It was quickly pulled from record stores due to a lawsuit by Island Records (both for unlicensed samples and the fact that the cover misleadingly had "U2" in much bigger letters than the band name). It then continued to stay out-of-print due to Casey Kasem, who understandably was embarrassed by his ranting. Averted in that the band themselves put both sides of the single up for free download on their website, and later [[RefugeInAudacity started distributing a bootleg album containing 11 different versions of the song]], which is surprisingly still available.
* Music/BobDylan once performed a rather...famous concert at the Royal Albert Hall in the UK. For many years, a near-perfect recording of that concert circulated in one form or another, until it was officially released as part of the "bootleg" series of [=CDs=].
* Cult band The Enid's first two albums ''In the Region of the Summer Stars'' and ''Aerie Faerie Nonsense'' (1976-7) had to be be remixed and partly re-recorded in 1984 when the original record company wouldn't return the 2-track masters to the band. Because of this the original mixes were only available on vinyl until 2010 (and only given an official release because somebody had bootlegged the vinyl versions).
* For years, Music/GarthBrooks' TV concert specials were either hard or impossible to find. "This Is Garth Brooks" (1992) and "Garth Live From Central Park" (1997) were released on VHS in 1992 & 1998 respectively, but both went out-of-print relatively quick, while "This Is Garth Brooks II" (1994) saw its planned VHS release canceled, and "Garth Brooks Ireland & Back" (1998) was long forgotten after its initial Creator/{{NBC}} airing (save for a rare CMT rerun in 2002). All four specials were finally released on DVD in a box set in 2006, albeit with several edits made to all of them (and "Ireland & Back" being retitled "Garth Brooks Live From Dublin")
* In December 1987, Music/{{Prince}} asked Creator/WarnerBrosRecords, his label at the time, to scrap the release of ''The Black Album'' a week before its release date. However, by this time over 500k were pressed on vinyl and preview copies had gone out. Most copies were destroyed, with the few remaining being the source for "'''the most bootlegged album of all time'''". In 1991, Warner planned a greatest hits package which would have included the album as a bonus disc. However, it was scrapped when Prince delivered ''Diamonds and Pearls'' to the company. Finally in 1994, during [[TheTropeFormerlyKnownAsX Prince's]] feud with the same label, the album was legitimately released. Prince was paid around $1 million for its release. Ironically, it's now out of print.
* For the longest time, a Music/JeffBuckley documentary titled ''Amazing Grace'' was completely unavailable to fans. The documentary had won numerous awards and was one of the most accurate documentaries about Buckley's life. Due to copyrights issues rumors of it being released on a DVD spiked up and then soon fizzled out. Then, in 2009, it was officially released on a special edition of ''Grace Around The World''. However, these special editions are quickly running out and odds are the documentary will fade back into this trope.
* Music/DavidBowie examples:
** His much-bootlegged Oct. 20, 1972 show in Los Angeles, California was given an official release in 2008 as ''Live Santa Monica '72'' after a grey market disc circulated in record shops for over a decade.
** A 1976 concert that was recorded and broadcast on radio's ''The King Biscuit Flower Hour'' was another popular bootleg. Two tracks were officially released on the 1991 Rykodisc reissue of ''Station to Station'', but it wasn't until 2010 that an [=EMI=] special edition of the album included the whole show (''Live Nassau Coliseum '76''), save for a chunk of the lengthy instrumental jam on "Panic in Detroit"...but the complete version of that was made available as a digital download bonus track.
** At the TurnOfTheMillennium bootleg, region-free [=DVD=]s editing together material from the two [=VHS=] tapes covering two of the Sydney, Australia shows from 1987's Glass Spider Tour could be found at even legitimate retailers. Virgin/[=EMI=] finally released an official version of this in 2007, and the special edition release even added 2 [=CDs=] of a concert from earlier in the tour.
* Music/JeanMichelJarre's pre-''Oxygène'' works were once only available as rare first-edition singles and albums from times before he became famous. These have been selling for outrageous prices for decades now. Some of them became part of the ''Rarities'' bootleg LP series, but these are sought-after rarities themselves today. However, the ''Les Granges Brûlées'' soundtrack was remastered and re-released as a whole on CD in 2003, and the 2011 GreatestHitsAlbum ''Essentials & Rarities'' contains one CD with super-rare stuff like "La Cage", "Erosmachine", several ''Deserted Palace'' tracks, and even Jarre's very first recording, "Happiness Is A Sad Song".
* For a while, Music/TheSmashingPumpkins fans were surprised to hear that ''Siamese Dream'' actually had a lyric sheet. The lyrics were hand-written on a series of family photo-style pictures which comprised the insert artwork. The first pressing gave each song/picture its own page in a thick booklet, however this was changed to a small foldout which the pictures were scattered all over, rendering the lyrics almost entirely illegible and forcing the listener to go to this new-fangled Internet thingy to know what they were. It wasn't until 1999 that Virgin finally re-issued the album with its original booklet insert, readable lyrics and all.
* For years, Music/PaulMcCartney released the ''Thrillington'' album under the pseudonym Percy "Thrills" Thrillington only on vinyl. It's an orchestral version of his ''Ram'' album. It hasn't gotten an official CD release until 2012 as part of an deluxe edition box set reissue of the ''Ram'' album.
* Music/{{Microdisney}}'s B Sides "Harmony Time" and "Money for the Trams" finally appeared on CD in 2013, after 28 years being only available on vinyl and cassette (and rips). The master tapes were said to be lost, hence why they weren't on the 90s CD issues, which were rare and long out of print anyway. For the 2013 reissues, the technology had improved so that they were able to use very clean vinyl rips which they fixed up digitally.
* Music/TheDeadMilkmen albums ''Soul Rotation'' and ''Not Richard, But Dick'' both were out of print for years - these were the only two albums the band themselves didn't own the rights to, and Hollywood Records let them fall out of print, presumably because they weren't among the label's higher selling acts. In 2013, Hollywood Records re-released the two albums as digital downloads on itunes and amazon.com. As far as physical copies go, your options are used copies on cd or cassette, which are pretty reasonably priced, or unopened "new" ones, which are decidedly less so.
* CountryMusic singer T. Graham Brown's debut single "Drowning in Memories" was never put onto an album for many years, and was thus extremely hard to find. However, in 2007, he reacquired the rights to ''all'' of his material for Capitol Records (1985-1991) and put every one of his singles for the label on the album ''Deja Vu All Over Again: The Best of T. Graham Brown'' — including "Drowning in Memories".
* Before they founded Big & Rich, both Big Kenny and John Rich had recorded solo albums in 1999 that were never released: ''Live a Little'' from the former, and ''Underneath the Same Moon'' from the latter. After Big & Rich became popular in the mid-2000s, both solo albums were released from the vaults. [[ZigZaggedTrope However]], John Rich still has another pre-Big & Rich release, the single "Forever Loving You", which does not appear to circulate anywhere.
* A subversion of this occurred with an LP when it was later reissued on CD. System, a {{Yes}} / {{Emerson Lake And Palmer}} soundalike band released ''Realm Time Tales'' as a very limited-issue LP in 1983. In 1988, when it was first pressed on CD, the ''band'' name had been changed to Vail (after the trio's keyboardist/composer Steve Vail) and the title was shortened to ''Time Tales,'' with the original name living on as [[ArtifactTitle System Records.]] The new-name album (CD and download) are available, but the original band name/title LP remains a collector's item.
* After decades of the Beatles' music videos being out of print, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-h9qvPrTeE Apple Corps. is releasing a compilation of Beatles music videos remastered in HD.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{TORG}}'' was out of print for several years, with only about a quarter of the line available in PDF - and of those books, only one had been added since 2005. In 2014, the game's current owners, Ulisses Spiele, made most of TORG's back catalog available online through [=DriveThruRPG=], aside from the original boxed set.

* Fans of juggling and acrobatics loved The Goodman Theater's production of Shakespeare's ''Theatre/TheComedyOfErrors'' with the Flying Karamazov Brothers and Avner the Eccentric. It aired once live from Lincoln Center on PBS in 1987 but was never made available for purchase to the public - even the parties involved say not even they have a copy. Thankfully fans kept circulating the tapes and now it's up on YouTube.
** Here's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwYyrbX9LUY act one]], and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQCjhuHcAiA act two]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* "Greatest Hits"-type releases are made to combat this phenomenon. However; these were actually based off how well the game ''sold'' initially, regardless of critical and/or fan reception. There are exceptions; such as ''FinalFantasyTactics'' which was re-released due to fan demand.
** [[Franchise/FinalFantasy The first two words of the game's title]] are all you need to know about why they made an exception and listened to fans in this case.
* Bethseda has ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' for download on their site to combat this. However; you have to download a DOS emulator to use and they [[GuideDangIt assume you know this already]].
* Some people decide to watch a LetsPlay for this reason.
* ''StarControl 2'' is long out of print, and was unlikely to ever see rerelease as the sequel (which did not involve the series creators) proved to be a FranchiseKiller. Fortunately, SC's creators were nice enough to make the game Open Source in 2002, and a lovingly made fan version called ''The Ur-Quan Masters'' (the title "Star Control" is still under trademark) is freely downloadable.
** And then Atari re-released it on [[http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/star_control_1_2 GOG.com]] along with the original.
* The Wii compilation ''Data East Arcade Classics'' was a bit of a surprise, since Creator/DataEast had been defunct for almost a decade by the time of its release. (Most of Data East's assets are handled by a company called G-Mode, who pretty much solely exist to archive their old game library. However, the rights to a few Data East games, including ''Karnov'', are held by a different company.)
* ''TacticsOgre: Let Us Cling Together'': The SNES version of this classic game never made it to the West due to it being released around the same time the Playstation came into existence, and the PS1 re-release (which did get localized) was super-rare even at launch, not to mention being a notoriously shoddy port (and for English-speaking gamers, a notoriously even-worse translation). Sixteen years later, SquareEnix released an enhanced remake of the game, overjoying fans and enraging speculators the world over.
* The remake of the [[FireEmblemAkaneia first]] game in the FireEmblem series has been released overseas, [[MarthDebutedinSmashBros which means Marth finally gets a proper debut.]]
* Sierra released VanillaEdition {{Compilation Rerelease}}s of ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'', ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'', ''VideoGame/PoliceQuest'', and ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' in 2006. The ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series, on the other hand, wouldn't see daylight until it was [[http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/quest_for_glory finally]] released on [=GoG=]. The compilations themselves are lacking, though. Besides lacking the original versions of their first games (using just their remakes):
** ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'': ''[[VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity Mask of Eternity]]'' (which did eventually get on [=GoG=]) wasn't in the compilation, perhaps owing to the game's [[FanonDiscontinuity dubious standing]] among the series fans, making it a case of CanonDiscontinuity.
** ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'': Since the collection shipped on just one CD, they had to use the floppy version of ''Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out'' instead of the talkie CD version, and ''Leisure Suit Larry: Love for Sail'' is missing entirely, so as far as Al Lowe is concerned, the definitive ''Leisure Suit Larry'' compilation is still the Ultimate Pleasure Pack, which includes the talkie version of ''Larry 6'', as well as ''Love for Sail'' and ''Larry's Casino''.
*** GOG.com's version of the collection eventually included talkie version of ''Larry 6'' (after initially claiming that they couldn't make it run well enough on modern computers), and at the same time as that, they released ''Larry 7'' as a separate purchase (after a claim from Codemasters that they didn't own the rights to it).
* UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole (for the {{Wii}}, Nintendo3DS, and {{WiiU}}), XboxLiveArcade, and PlaystationNetwork have sections for games from previous systems; the {{NES}}, {{SNES}}, {{Nintendo 64}}, SegaGenesis (Mega Drive), and TurboGrafx16 in the case of the Wii and Wii U; [[GameBoy Game]] [[GameBoyColor Boy]] [[GameBoyAdvance systems]], the GameGear, TurboGrafx16, and NES for the Nintendo 3DS; games for the original {{Xbox}} in the case of the {{Xbox 360}}; and games for the original PlayStation in the case of the {{PSP}} and PS3, and additionally PlayStation2 in the case of the PS3. Games that sell for ridiculously high prices on eBay and Amazon are available for far less on these services, such as ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', and games that are very hard to find in retail (like ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'') can easily be found here.
** The UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole availability of ''VideoGame/AlienSoldier'', ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe III'' and ''VideoGame/{{Pulseman}}'' is particularly valuable for U.S. players, since these games were previously available in America only on the short-lived Sega Channel service.
** For PC gaming, {{Steam}} offers some old games that are either {{abandonware}} or will have compatibility issues if people try to run from the original.
* For the longest time, late-entering fans of the ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' series had an extremely tough time getting a hold of it. The UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube version went out of print, and the game is so well-loved used copies would almost '''never''' pop up anywhere. If you were lucky to find the sequel at a local Gamestop, the cost was $40. Amazon had a minimum asking price for $60 used. A Wii version was released in 2009 to the European and Japanese markets, but not in the U.S. Finally, in 2012, Nintendo finally re-released the Wii version under Nintendo selects with enhanced controls for a much more reasonable $20. The fandom rejoiced.
* ''VideoGame/{{ICO}}'' and ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' sold poorly on the PS2, and are some of the rarest games on the console. But then in Fall 2011, Sony released a compilation pack for the PS3 containing both games on one disc, with loads of bonus features, and the UK release of ''ICO'' instead of the American release (which had easier and altered puzzles than the UK/JPN versions). This pleased both those who had played the games before, and those who never got to play them due to their rarity.
* Remember the old {{Bionicle}} games on the LEGO website? Remember how cool they were? Now remember how sad you were when they were taken down? Cry no more, Bionicle fans, the ''Bionicle Online Game Archive'' has full working versions of every Bionicle game released online by LEGO, ever. The Bionicle creators and LEGO have turned a blind eye to the website, so no links to it here, but rest assured Google is a very helpful friend.
** LEGO has a reputation to take games off their web pages, but leave the SWF files buried in the FTP. As such, once they're removed, they still have a chance of being recovered. In most cases the Wayback Machine will do the trick, but an interesting case was the ''LEGOIsland Comic Adventures''. While they were somewhat functional on the Wayback Machine, they usually froze on some minigames. They were thought to be lost forever, until a fan from [=BZPower=] finally found the sources and put them up for download.
* The ''VideoGame/LivingBooks'' series was thought to have gone past its prime, gradually disappearing from store shelves when they weren't agreeing with modern operating systems well. Also, somewhere along the way, a few of the licenses expired during the shelf lives, such as TheBerenstainBears and ''Sheila Rae, the Brave'', and their prices soon shot way up. Enter 2012, when Wanderful Storybooks was formed to rescue all the games to put them on modern tablets and computers, as well as finally breaking NoExportForYou and making all the foreign translations purchasable ''worldwide''. They have also rescued the ''Berenstain Bears'', ''Little Monster'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'' games, though there is still yet to be a word on the other expired licenses.
* ''SystemShock2'' was for the longest time almost impossible to find on any modern PC digital distribution method. However, finally the game has seen a full rerelease through GOG.com, which along with being configured to work effortlessly on modern machines, includes tons of extra stuff to boot.
* In a strange -though brief- case of circulating the tapes, Rare's original ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry'' trilogy were mysteriously delisted from the Wii Virtual Console in November 2012, with Nintendo giving no reason as to why. Nintendo owns all the rights to the games (in contrast to the majority of Nintendo games developed by Rare, which are unavailable through legal means), new ''Donkey Kong (Country)'' games continue to be produced for their consoles, and Rare's ''Donkey Kong Land'' trilogy was re-released on the 3DS Virtual Console, so the removal of the games was certainly not because of licensing issues. Thankfully [[NetworkToTheRescue Nintendo re-released the DKC trilogy on the Wii U Virtual Console]] throughout late 2014/early 2015, but it's still odd that one of Nintendo's biggest franchises could see their games fall under such a situation (despite the time period of their lack of legal availability being nowhere near as severe as other entries in this list).
* ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong64'' was absent from the UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole for years, for [[http://web.archive.org/web/20100210103051/http://www.rareware.com/extras/scribes/18sep09/index.html whatever]] [[https://twitter.com/RareLtd/status/25013528136 reason]]. The most popular theory due to its absence were the inclusions of ''VideoGame/{{Jetpac}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Donkey Kong}}'' as playable mandatory mini-games within the game (you have to play them if you want to fight the final boss and complete the game, so removing them isn't an option unless they were to heavily alter the game's code)-''Jetpac'' as it's owned by Rare themselves, and ''Donkey Kong'' as the version Rare ported to ''[=DK64=]'' is the original arcade version, of which Nintendo doesn't own the rights. An alternative theory was Rareware's N64 games need a certain code to run on Virtual Console that Rareware may have access to, but Nintendo may not-which was evident when people have tried to inject Wii Virtual Console files with [=ROMs=] of Rareware's N64 games to no or very little success. Fortunately, the situation was eventually remedied when ''Donkey Kong 64'' was released on the Wii U's Virtual Console in April 2015.
* Ironically enough, ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'''s debut games ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'' used to suffer from this in the 3DS era due to the Game Boy Advance and DS/DS Lite being discontinued, ruling out the remakes, and the original games not being released on 3DS UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole (likely because trading, which is a major, nearly mandatory part of the game, can't be done without a Link Cable, a peripheral exclusive to the Game Boy [Color]). With the Johto and Hoenn gap being closed on remakes playable on the Nintendo 3DS, they were the only Pokémon games not playable on it in either original or remade form. However, they were announced to be released on 3DS Virtual Console (with trading intact) for their 20th anniversary on February 27, 2015. ''Yellow'' also suffered from this problem even worse, as almost none of its differences were implemented into the remakes, but it too was announced to be re-released.
* After its unfortunate initial performance in 1995, ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' saw no re-release in America for nearly two decades, not even on the UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole. Its Masterpiece demo in the Japanese version of ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'', and its appearance in a Nintendo Direct press release regarding the WiiU Virtual Console (losing its position to - of all games - ''VideoGame/PunchOut Featuring Mr. Dream''), were even explicitly removed from international versions! Rumors abound as to why this was this was the case, the most common ones involving legal issues over [[{{Sampling}} its music]], but nothing was ever confirmed by Nintendo and plenty of arguments against those theories surfaced too. [[note]]The real reason for it being kept from a Western re-release for so long was actually due to concerns involving its frequent use of flashing and flickering effects, which had to be blurred in the Virtual Console release[[/note]] At any rate, it became very rare to find someone who actually played the game on a console rather than just emulating it. Being a very famous game, during the years where it was difficult to find, it was selling for anywhere between $80 and ''[[CrackIsCheaper $200]]'', making it a true standout. Finally, after plenty of patience and plenty of waiting, Nintendo at last announced its release for the Wii U Virtual Console, later making good on their promise in July 2013. There is still no word on its sequel, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
** Finally averting NoExportForYou after its initial release in the late 80's--decades of waiting--the first ''MOTHER'' game joins ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' on the Wii U Virtual Console under the title ''VideoGame/EarthboundBeginnings'' outside Japan in 2015.
* ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}}'', a very-late-release (2001!) GameBoyColor game by WayForwardTechnologies. It sold less than 100k copies during its release (only about 77k, if numbers are to be believed), [[AcclaimedFlop but word of mouth (and reviews) spread stories of the game's excellent quality]]. Copies routinely go for ''over $100'' on eBay, and people who attempted to play the game through [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil slightly cheaper methods]] were out of luck, as the most common Game Boy emulator did not even ''run'' it correctly. It's rarity was even lampshaded by WFT themselves on [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STfLWs6XGkM official Risky's Revenge soundtrack release video]]. Come 2013, when WFT announced that they were working on a port of the game for the Nintendo 3DS's Virtual Console, and eventually released said port in July that year.
* ''VideoGame/TheRedStar'' had been this for the longest time, until a recent PSN re-release.
* ''VideoGame/RadiantSilvergun'' was notorious for running for at least 150 USD after the game went out of print. It was finally rereleased on Xbox Live Arcade for the low low price of 800 Microsoft Points (10 USD in the United States).
* ''VideoGame/{{Recca}}'' was not only Japan-only, it wasn't even a consumer title--it was only available at special events, hence the full title of '''''Summer Carnival '92''' Recca''. However, it was finally officially released for the consumer market in the form of a Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console title in December 2012 for Japan and September 2013 for North America.
* ''VideoGame/SpaceHarrier'' received a Master System port, and its sequel received a Genesis port, and that was it. As years passed, the series got many references in other video games, such as ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' (which has a whole segment that plays like ''Space Harrier'', complete with a pop remix of the main theme) and ''[[VideoGame/SegaSuperstars Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed]]'' (which has a remix of the main theme in the final race track), but no sign of a port or remake. Because of these references and homages, fans constantly demanded some kind of re-release of the series, and so Sega finally listened and released a 3DS port of the first game in late 2013.
* ''[[VideoGame/EasternMindTheLostSoulsOfTongNou Chu-Teng]]'', a sequel to the similarly obscure ''Eastern Mind'' from the same creator as ''LSD'', was for a long time considered the most obscure game ever and a lost video game. A massive investigation began in 2013 to find it, but Osamu Sato himself told them he didn't own a copy and the only collector known to have it refused to upload the content. Eventually someone revealed that they had a copy in their attic and uploaded the game.
* Creator/LucasArts, DoubleFine, Creator/{{Sony}}, and Website/GOGDotCom have recently embarked on a quest to rescue largely popular games in the former's library that have been stuck in circulation limbo. To wit:
** Up until 2015, ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' was known for being notoriously hard to obtain, as there had been exactly zero re-releases up until that point, and the game suffered from extremely low sales (it was released during the same time as the more anticipated titles of '98). Thankfully Double Fine released a remastered version of the game was released in February 2015 for Sony systems ([[UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 PS4]] and [[UsefulNotes/PlayStationVita PS Vita]]) and personal computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux).
** ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'' goes for notoriously high prices, hardly ever going below $50 in the US. There was a DVD re-release in Europe, but it too has gone out of print, though it's somewhat cheaper ($30 onward). Frustratingly, this almost wasn't the case -- [[https://twitter.com/TimOfLegend/status/385237807230230528 some sources report that an HD remake was 80% done before it was shelved, never to be greenlit.]] Like ''Grim Fandango'', a remaster for the [=PS4=], PS Vita, and PC was announced by Double Fine to be in the works at Sony's PlayStation Experience keynote held in December 2014.
** ''[[VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice Sam and Max Hit the Road]]''. Outside of its CD-ROM re-release in 1995, the game did not receive another re-release (except in Europe). Not even on Steam or Good Old Games (GOG chose to put the Telltale series on their service instead). The only way to play it was to buy a used copy, or to [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil illegally download it]]... Until October 2014, when GOG made it available again.
** ''[[VideoGame/ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders]]'' was, for the longest time, only ever released on floppy - with the exception of a super-rare [[NoExportForYou Japan-only]] FM-TOWNS VGA port. This was until March 2015, when it was finally released on GOG - and the best part is, it includes not only the DOS version, ''but the FM-TOWNS port as well!''
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}} Chronicles'' for the Wii originally went out of print in record time thanks to its really good word-of-mouth advertising. It eventually received a port to the 3DS's hardware revision due to its popularity, opening it up to the audience that couldn't get it in time.
* ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime Trilogy'': When Nintendo and Creator/RetroStudios hawked this compilation of all three ''Prime'' games as a "[[LimitedSpecialCollectorsUltimateEdition Limited Edition release]]", for once, ''they weren't kidding''. It's cheap enough (and easy, due to the {{Wii}}'s backwards compatibility, but... not for those with a WiiU, as ''Trilogy'' is the only way to play the first two ''Prime'' games on that system, or play them in [[AspectRatio widescreen]] on either) to get all three games by themselves, but those looking for this triple-pack including all three games on one disk with Wii Remote controls and bonus features were left searching for pre-owned copies that could run up to $100 for ''the disk alone.'' Fortunately, in January 2015, Nintendo announced that ''Trilogy'' would become available to download from the Wii U eShop by the end of the month for $20 (though it was initially available for $10 during the first week of its release).
* Before [[ArtifactTitle branching out into indie games and movies]], Creator/GOGDotCom originally existed for this purpose, as if the original "Good Old Games" wasn't obvious enough.
* After a while, ''VideoGame/KirbysReturnToDreamLand'' became surprisingly expensive to acquire, with copies running up to $80/£50. However, it eventually got re-released on the Wii U eShop in Europe on the 19th of February.
* The original version of ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay''. Given its mature rating in a cutesy setting and ''barely'' any promotion (it was released the same year the [=GameCube=] would debut), it was hard to get then, and it sure as hell is even harder to get now. Rare did indeed fully remake the game for Xbox under the title ''Conker: Life and Reloaded'' but this remake received a massive backlash from fans of the original due to the fact that it censored a great deal of content from the original. However, at E3 2015, Microsoft announced ''Rare Replay'' a massive CompilationRerelease for Xbox One that includes not only the original, uncensored version of Conker, but 29 other classic Rare games, many of which will also be rescued from limbo.
* After years of being insanely hard to attain out of Japan, the VideoGame/TouhouProject finally broke through in May of 2015 with Playism's digital release of Double Dealing Character, plus a couple of fangames. Whether other games in the series will follow suit remains to be seen.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ThatDudeInTheSuede's [[FanVid AMV]] '''The Advent Children Picture Show''' (''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'' And ''[[RockyHorrorPictureShow Don't Dream It, Be It]]'') was originally uploaded to Website/YouTube, and was taken down by SquareEnix, with no file to download out of its [[http://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/members_videoinfo.php?v=143105 Anime Music Videos page]]. Suede showed a clip as an inbetweener on his Top 11 Anime Villains list. It was finally rereleased, used as {{Padding}} on his review of ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'' to make the video reach a full half hour. It's the only way of watching this AMV.
* The ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' shorts "Marshmallow's Last Stand" and "A Jumping Jack Contest" were removed from the site for unknown reasons, but they have been recovered on numerous other websites, and on the Homestar Runner: Everything Else Vol. 2 DVD.