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Zediva Fights Back Against MPAA 112

MoldySpore writes "When Zediva burst onto the streaming scene earlier this year, they managed to do something nobody else was doing. Navigating around the copyright law, they found a way to stream rental movies not currently available on other services, because they were still inside the DVD sales window, and filled a role not currently part of the competitions' services. The service grants a 'rental' of the physical movie to the user, who is then able to stream it over the internet, usually with the option to re-rent after being played. By having it be a rental service, they were able to avoid some of the legalese associated with streaming movies outside of that sales window. Needless to say the MPAA was not pleased. But instead of making nice with the MPAA, Zediva has decided to fight back in the form of expensive legal heavy-hitters from 'elite San Francisco law firm Durie Tangri,' which has forced the MPAA to hire their own team of expensive legal ninjas. Zediva argues what most technologically informed people would when looking at this service: that they are essentially a rental service who are renting physical media, and providing the DVD player and a very long cable to the renter's TV."
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Zediva Fights Back Against MPAA

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  • Define "Streaming"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigiShaman ( 671371 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @06:09PM (#36122726) Homepage

    I'm not taking the MPAA side here. However...

    One could argue that it's streaming if you're transferring data over the wire from a location outside your legal ownership. For example, over a DVI cable would be ok because both the source and destination are usually found in one room. They're found in separate rooms for high-end setups however. Even between two homes that you own might be acceptable (two houses you own on one plot of land). But... the MPAA could argue that if the source is from another building and company rendering services not under your direct ownership, the data is being "Streamed".

    Steamed being defined as receiving sourced material from a non-tangable source not in your direct and immediate possession.

  • Sigh, no. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alexander_686 ( 957440 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @06:47PM (#36122986)

    Netflix and Red Box have blown a hole in DVD sales. It used to be that people would spring ~$15 for a new release to build up their DVD Library. Instead of buying 2 DVD a month they can rent 10 to 30 instead. This is a seachange. Zediva should be able to get away with even fewer DVDs because their turnover is going to be much faster. They won't have to wait for people to mail their CDs back or drop it off. As soon as somebody is done watching they can roll it over to the next.

    Streaming, by the way, is not going to make up for lost DVD sales. The studies gets about 80 cents per steam vs a few dollars on a DVD.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 13, 2011 @06:50PM (#36123010)

    Who'd heard of Zediva before this. So, what's cost saving by getting the word out by being sued by MPAA rather than the traditional advertising approach?

  • Good Team (Score:5, Interesting)

    by speedplane ( 552872 ) on Friday May 13, 2011 @07:19PM (#36123236) Homepage
    Durie Tangri has Mark Lemley on board, probably the most renowned IP scholar currently practicing. He helped put together the google books settlement. This case will definitely be something to watch.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen