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Movie Studios Win Lawsuit Against Zediva

The nation’s biggest movie studios have won a copyright infringement lawsuit against video-streaming startup Zediva Inc.

Zediva’s founders thought they had discovered a legal loophole for online viewing of movies by having customers rent DVDs physically located in the Silicon Valley. That way, Zediva wouldn’t have to wait for licensing deals with studios, which often withhold newer movies.

U.S. District Judge John Walter in Los Angeles disagreed.

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darklordzor3248d ago

I knew it! I remember when they first started and the news of this company came on here to Filmwatch. Most of us were pretty divided about it's legality, but just about all of us agreed that they wouldn't be doing it for very long.

The thing that sucks most for them, is that they spent 2 years developing the tech to make it possible...and now they can't use it.

I don't feel too sorry for them though, as I always felt what they were doing wasn't right.

JL3247d ago (Edited 3247d ago )

Forget the community, I'm still split on this myself internally lol.

On the one hand, I'm not really sure I see anything illegal with what they were doing. However, I know their intentions were "malicious" in a sense. For the studios, not really sure why they have a problem with this so much. However, I can understand them wanting to stamp this out before it ends up leading to something worse.

Essentially, I see this as being no different than Blockbuster. The only difference is that this Zediva has a quicker turnaround time for renting out copies they own. I'm not buying the "public viewing" excuse either. This is a personal rental, the same as Blockbuster.

Now, I don't pirate movies. I own more DVDs than most ever will. I have an active Netflix account. I have cable where I'll even use On-Demand at times. And I've given Redbox a fair share of my money. So, I like to think I'm pretty close to the ideal consumer for studios and definitely don't side with the opposite side of the fence that would seek to scam the big studios. Still, though, I can't say I'm entirely bothered by what Zediva was doing or even say that it was illegal.

Again, if what they were doing is illegal, then you have to say that what Blockbuster does is illegal. The only difference I see is the turnaround time. Where Blockbuster can only rent out a copy once a day (or every couple of days), this company could net up to 10 rentals per day off of one copy. Not only that, but Zediva made their malicious intents known. They advertised this as a "workaround" to streaming, rather than just playing it coy as a "DVD Rental service".

This is where I think the problems lie. First, they were essentially taunting Hollywood (don't do that, you won't win). And secondly, they obviously didn't have to buy near as many copies of a movie as someone like Blockbuster in order to keep up with demand (due to the short turnaround time). Hollywood obviously didn't like this. They obviously prefer selling 100 copies to each Blockbuster store.

Again, I can understand Hollywood seeking to stamp this out (especially with the company essentially taunting them), because if this activity goes unchecked, then it opens up avenues for people to take advantage and cross the line of legality with similar services. However, I'm not sure this really did cross that line.

P.S. Maybe I just need to stop commenting on here. Turn all my comments into articles on my blog instead. I mean my comments always turn into an article length reply anyways lol

DarkBlood3247d ago

but your the one you can do it all? lol :P (a movie awards show reference)

darklordzor3247d ago

Well, the reason they ended up winning is because copyright laws on the internet are so different from what they are when it comes to physical copies. That's why Blockbuster is fine (even though now studios are making them wait the 28 days now too).

When you go to stream content on the internet, the laws change a little and the protection is different.

And I think what you said was probably my biggest problem with Zediva...their attitude. Their intent definitely wasn't 'pure' and they made that completely clear to the studios. They thought they were 'beating the system' and were stupid enough to not only flaunt that...but use it as a marketing tool.

hazelamy3247d ago

can't say i'm surprised.
technically they are broadcasting the movies so they would be violating the copyright.

JL3247d ago

"Broadcasting". That actually puts it in better terms and makes it make more sense.

pomoluese3247d ago

I had never even heard of this company before. I really don't see how they thought that would be considered legal if they're still streaming.

I wonder why Netflix pushes for just streaming so much now if they have to pay the companies rights for that and not the DVDs. It seems like companies would be more for streaming their stuff in that case. Especially if people are just going to rent the dvd instead and they still won't get any profit that way.

JL3247d ago

Well it's not like DVDs are free. I'm sure places like Netflix spend more money on buying tons of copies of a movie on DVD than they would for getting a streaming license for that same movie. Plus the studios are reluctant to give out the streaming license because people wouldn't go out and get the DVD then if they could just stream it for free. And again, DVDs cost money to buy, so the studios want that money.

Sahil3247d ago

you can't fight the movie studios :)

tplarkin73247d ago

If the creators are not getting paid, then it's wrong. Common sense.