Is There Any Innovation That Hollywood Won't Try To Kill?

from the can-you-say-moral-panic? dept

It's well known how the MPAA tried to kill of the VCR (well, Betamax, originally), with Jack Valenti declaring: "The VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston Strangler is to the woman alone." As William Patry's new book details, Valenti and the MPAA have been masters of creating moral panics -- bogus, hyped up threats to make legislative response seem not just palatable, but desired -- that do nothing more than try to protect an old, decaying business model from innovative competition. Given that history, it's worth pointing out that it appears to be happening again with Redbox, the DVD vending machine business, that's taken the video rental market by storm. We've covered this story since last fall, when NBC Universal tried to figure out a way to stop Redbox from renting its movies. It gave Redbox a long list of ridiculous ultimatums, and told distributors not to sell to Redbox. In return, Redbox sued Universal. Since then, 20th Century Fox and then Warner Bros. joined in. Sony and Paramount are the only studios enlightened enough to do deals with Redbox.

But, that hasn't prevented the moral panic lobbying/promotional campaign from gearing up -- though, at least some appear a bit skeptical about it. The NY Times has an article that goes through the details and notes that Hollywood lobbyists have been working over time to convince the press to complain that Redbox rents R-rated movies to children. And they're also trying out some ridiculous claim about how Redbox is going to put studio plumbers out of work. Seriously. But, just you wait and see. It won't be long until articles start appearing claiming that Redbox kiosks are a threat to our children, since they can rent R-rated movies (the fact that these same kids can access whatever websites they want in the privacy of their own homes, with content much more graphic than any R-rated movie probably won't be mentioned).

But, of course, that's purely a moral panic -- and one that Patry even predicted in his book. What Hollywood and its lawyers are really worried about is that they don't get the same monopoly rents on pricing of DVDs. Once Hollywood got over its totally bogus fear of the VCR, it eventually embraced the idea of "windows." It's basically an attempt to do what economists call differential pricing -- where different people pay different amounts for the same basic product (or perhaps in slightly different forms). Classic differential pricing is a good thing in economics, if done right, because you can actually better optimize the market -- selling expensive (high margin) goods to those who will buy them, but making additional money on lower priced/lower margin goods to those further downstream, thus (in theory) maximizing profit.

Hollywood's version is a bit mucked up, of course, because it often will seek to abuse its monopoly position to squeeze excess rents out of the market with the government helping it -- and thus it freaks out when any sort of innovation (the internet, rental kiosks) come along. The real fear is that by introducing $1 rentals as soon as the DVD is released, it will cut into DVD sales (why buy at all when it's so cheap to rent?) and rentals from places like Blockbuster, who have worked out revenue sharing deals with the studios. So, once again, rather than compete in the market, Hollywood's lawyers are trying to convince the press and politicians that Redbox DVDs are "a threat to your children." But this is the exact same sort of "folk devil" that Patry describes Hollywood trumping up with every kind of technological innovation. Hopefully, we're smart enough not to fall for it this time.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    johnjac (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    Bluebox

    I've seen a big blue self serve DVD rental box from Blockbuster at a gas station. Has anyone else seen this? I wonder if they are under the same pressure from the studios.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    There is no hope.

    Corporations = government.

    Corporations have the money,
    money = power,
    power = laws,
    laws = government.

    Therefore, Corporations = Government.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    rw (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 9:57am

    Smart Enough?

    "Hopefully, we're smart enough not to fall for it this time."

    We are, but I doubt any politician is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 10:04am

    Re: Bluebox

    no, blockbuster has been paying their kickbacks like a good little business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Jrosen (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 10:06am

    RE: Smart Enough

    Problem is, that likely the judges, the jurors and lawmakers aren't smart enough. Remember that recent RIAA bit where the jurors got the RIAA nearly 2mil for the songs. No lawyer for the corp-side will want ANY person as a juror who actually has a clue about what the case is based on. They want the dumbest, most tech-idiot people they can get, so they can give them ONLY what the corp lawyers want them to hear.
    The moral panic bit is sensationalism at it's worst. I use RedBox, Netflix and MovieCube (I haven't rented from blockbuster in years, they're horrible), to screen movies, and catch some of them as soon as they're out to watch them again (if I saw them in the movie theater), I've done the same with HBO, Showtime and other chans. And IF I like the movie enough (and I have the money), I buy it. Two weekends ago I bought Dark Knight and Iron Man. I had the money, and both were a lot of fun.
    The corps and their lawyers need to get their collective heads out of their asses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    Next, the MPAA will try and convince the government that they need protection from museums and public parks because they lure people away from theaters, thus taking away potential income.

    And thus, a theater screen will be built at the base of Mount Rushmore.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Max.Elliott, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 10:57am

    You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    Maybe the Redboxen in my area work differently. I certainly don't know everything, but here you MUST have a credit card to rent at Redboxen. Redboxen won't give you an account or _any_ movie without a credit card. I don't see all that many minors running around with credit cards, unless their parents said it was OK and handed them the card. Even then, the Redboxen think they're renting to a card carrying adult.

    The point being that Redboxen around here won't rent to minors AT ALL. Disney, G, whatever, no rental for minors.

    Please reply if you've seen it work differently.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    As Patry's book acknowledges, many of those on the other side of the argument have likewise been engaged in the creation of "moral panics". Patry does not limit this activity to merely one side of the aisle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Sean T Henry, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Re: You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    I was going to say the same thing, but then realized that all they need is a debit card or cash card and they can then rent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Glaze, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Re: Smart Enough?

    you took the words right out of my mouth... however, I don't think that most of us are... there are only a few handful of us "enlightened" in this country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Misterease, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    The devil

    Bu... bu... but the box must be evil incarnate! It is red like the devil, and is in the form of a box like the box in Hellraiser! So yeah! Evil and all that......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Max.Elliott, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:13am

    Re: Re: You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    Same deal, you need to be an adult to have an account for the debit card, and in theory you have to be an adult to buy a cash card. Parents can STILL hand the card to their children,... and I just realized I'm entering the same territory that TV censors have been dealing with for years. Yeah, you can turn the TV off or not have one, just like you can not give a minor that kind of purchasing power.

    But U.S. law says that minors cannot enter into agreements, so they "cannot" have plastic money of any kind. (that's my argument and I'll abandon it as soon as is convenient.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Shawn, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    QUOTE: "It won't be long until articles start appearing claiming that Redbox kiosks are a threat to our children, since they can rent R-rated movies (the fact that these same kids can access whatever websites they want in the privacy of their own homes, with content much more graphic than any R-rated movie probably won't be mentioned). "


    What's R rated? Let me ask anyone...If Goonies came out this summer would it be PG or PG-13?

    Mouth talking about coke and heroin in one sentence is worth an NC rating these days.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Avatar28, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:19am

    Re: You need a credit card

    I will also point out that for most, well, pretty much all, adult sites I have seen all you need to prove that you are 18 is a valid credit card number. I'm pretty certain that any of them are going to be far more graphic than any R-Rated movie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    icon
    David (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Gammar Nazi alert

    Is it "working over time" or "working overtime"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re:

    As Patry's book acknowledges, many of those on the other side of the argument have likewise been engaged in the creation of "moral panics". Patry does not limit this activity to merely one side of the aisle.

    Have you read the book? I've read it twice and I see no such mention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Your Answer, Sir...

    No, there is nothing Hollywood won't do to make obscene profits from a bunch of adults playing "play-pretend" on film. Let to their own devices they would outlaw TV, radio, print and anything else media oriented you can think of. Money breeds greed, period.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    another mike (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    seen a red box near here

    There's one of these things at the grocery store. Squeezed in behind the front door next to the Rug Doctors. It's so popular it can be hard to get in and out of the store sometimes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    Re: Re: Re: You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    My underage daughter has a debit card, as do most of her friends. I think you'll find it's pretty common.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Per Bill:

    "...in the book (page xviii), I point out that those who oppose copyright owners' recent efforts use their own rhetorical devices, "The purported folk devils employ their own rhetorical devices, describing copyright owners as dinosaurs, Luddites, and evil monopolists out to squelch freedom of expression, and out to force corporate culture down the public’s throats.""

    And, no, I have not as yet read his book. However, I am well familiar with his work and views, and well understand the frustration he feels given the direction that copyright has taken, particularly since the 1976 act went into force and the amendments that have followed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    GHynson, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Ex Pirate

    I've stopped pirating DVD's off torrents for the fact that DVD's from red box are a dollar.
    That's one dollar every rental from a pirate,..That's progress!
    If they kill the $1 rental options, I'll go back to pirating and they get nothing out of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Mulielo, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: You need a credit card

    You're not going to the right sites my friend :-) I've seen a number of the good ones which you simply have to click 'Agree, Let me in!' or not even that, to get full aXXXess...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. That's one sentence in the latter half of a paragraph that slams the copyright industry even worse, found in the middle of the introduction.

    Such sentiments do not appear anywhere else in the book -- which is entirely devoted to showing how the copyright industry does this.

    To claim that he paints both sides of the debate with such a brush is false.

    And, no, I have not as yet read his book.

    And yet you have no problem claiming to tell us what it's about?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Stephen, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:51pm

    patry in publishers weekly

    Here's a good interview with Patry in this week's Publishers Weekly:

    http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6694762.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I made no claim what his book is about. I merely noted his agreement that both sides of the issue are engaged in a battle of rhetoric, which does nothing to address current issues.

    All the railing in the world is not going to change the direction of copyright law so long as those favoring its expansion have the ear of Congress and those favoring its contraction tend to limit their arguments to other forums outside of Congress.

    There are means at hand, basic legal doctrines, that can be used to scale back excesses, but they will largely be ignored until such time as someone comes forth and begins presenting the other side of the issue(s) to Congress in an effective manner. Mr. Geist in Canada seems to do this with some measure of success. What is missing is one of equivalent stature and persuasive ability here in the US.

    He and I agree that both sides have engaged in the creation of "moral panics" (rhetoric), and as a consequence intellectually honest debate on substantive issues has largely fallen by the wayside.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Matt, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    And as other people have pointed out, How did she get that debit card? did you have to co-sign on her account (Or another parent / guardian / adult over the age of 18)? Can your Underage daughter walk into any bank and walk out with plastic? I know back when i was 16 and wanted a debit card I had to have one. I don't know how much has changed in 7 years, but I bet you still need one.

    I'm With Avatar28 on this one, if its enough proof for the porn, gambling, anything subscription industry, then it should be enough for a Disney movie.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Shut Up! Don't give them any ideas!! : D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    JAy., Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    Redbox is actually good for the industry (IMHO)

    Personally, I see Redbox as a postive for the industry. Say I hear about a movie, but don't go see it in the theaters (I rarely do between work, childcare, school, etc.). Maybe I hear about the DVD release or see the Pay-per-View add, but don't care to commit the $4 for a regular rental. But if it is in one of the dozen or so Redbox outlets within a mile of my house, I may pick it up if I have a free evening. If it is good, and I think I want to see it again, I will probably buy it. Redbox by its nature is limited in content (like PPV), so I can't re-rent it forever.

    If I don't like it and don't buy it, what has it cost the industry? Nothing. In fact, it is profitable for them if they get the $0.10 or whatever from Redbox. If I do, they get (a percentage of) the purchase price from me.

    Seems like a low risk for a reward scenario to me. (Unless the movie industry is concerned that all there movies are trash and no one will buy them after seeing them. Could that be why I haven't purchased a DVD in, I don't know, a year or two?)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    RecycledBottle, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:12pm

    Fallacy of Logic

    "(the fact that these same kids can access whatever websites they want in the privacy of their own homes, with content much more graphic than any R-rated movie probably won't be mentioned)."

    This is irrelevant and falls under the two wrongs don't make a right fallacy.

    The funny part about "But, of course, that's purely a moral panic" is that you both calling out their fallacy of logic and incurring another on yourself by being dismissive.

    The whole analogy to the VCR is a fallacy too - that was a fair use issue, not a distribution issue.

    I am OK with Redbox. I have no objection to it. I guess the real issue is that industry isn't receiving some amount of profit from it. And yes, that may mean a decrease in labor wages (although not for the stars).

    But on the moral issue, its pretty evident from my personal observation that media influences children, children mimic media, and that children end up harming themselves or other physically or emotionally. That doesn't mean we should censor everything. But we should think twice about how children circumvent parental and guardian supervision.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    And my underage children do not. They are not old enough, nor are they mature enough to handle money. Much less a card. I caught my kid with my card ordering all kinds of stuff on the internet one time. He learned the hard way that theft will land you in jail. Now he knows better than to touch anything that is not his. His friends think he is no longer cool. Awe... poor baby. I will teach my kids the lessons my parents taught me.

    Want to smoke? OK.. how about the entire pack in one sitting. Sorry if it made you puke, but you will never do that again will ya. LOL Want to play with a match... Watch as that match burns up half of your prized possessions in the back yard. Want to Want to steal money? Spend the weekend in jail...

    My kids learn the hard lessons when they should... as children. This way they know better and make better decisions later in life. My oldest just graduated from Special Forces training and is on the road to being an upstanding soldier and citizen. He learned a lot of hard lessons. But I feel it is only fair to teach them early so they do not learn more mortal lessons later in life. remember... dumb decisions can get people killed.

    As for the rental program... I think it is fine as is. Unless you are a pantywaist that cannot properly train your children. Electro-shock therapy is standing by for you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Luci, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Smart Enough?

    I believe you think too highly of yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Tom Black, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

    All of this is moot...

    ...since the DVD/Blu-Ray/physical model is headed down the drain. While the quality can sometimes be lacking, I stream Netflix movies through my Xbox360 and can browse their offerings from the comfort of my home. It's only a matter of time until the quality and quantity of movies offered on demand go up. Then all of us "rent" movies this way. DVDs will soon seem as quaint (and limited) as CDs do now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

    Re: Redbox is actually good for the industry (IMHO)

    Unfortunately for "the industry", the only cut they get from a Redbox rental is the purchase price of a DVD. That's why they're throwing a fit.

    I still agree with everything else you said about why Redbox is good for consumers and bad for movies that suck like a Hoover.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:09pm

    Re: Fallacy of Logic

    "This is irrelevant and falls under the two wrongs don't make a right fallacy."

    No, it's not. The point is that it's pointless to plug a tiny hole in the dam if the whole thing is falling down. Besides, this ignores three things:
    1. The MPAA system is VOLUNTARY. There is nothing illegal about renting R-rated movies to minors. I could stop here, but here are two more issues you have ignored.
    2. As mentioned several times above, Redbox requires a credit card, which means that, at some point, an adult consented to access to those funds by a potential minor.
    3. Blockbuster allowed parents to approve a child on their account to rent R-rated movies. I was (still am, actually) a horror buff when I was in junior high/high school, and my name was approved for R-rated rentals everywhere my parents had an account. So, Blockbuster also rented R-rated content to children. If you give your kid a credit card in today's world, you ought to know that you are opening up a whole world of access for them.

    "The whole analogy to the VCR is a fallacy too - that was a fair use issue, not a distribution issue."

    Wrong again. This is a fair use issue. Namely, the "right of first sale" doctrine.

    "I am OK with Redbox. I have no objection to it. I guess the real issue is that industry isn't receiving some amount of profit from it."

    Last I checked, Redbox PURCHASED the movies they rent. Which means, hmm, oh yes, that the studio IS profiting from it.

    "But on the moral issue, its pretty evident from my personal observation that media influences children, children mimic media, and that children end up harming themselves or other physically or emotionally."

    Well, good thing that your opinion does not equal law, since study after study has shown the opposite. Just search the many examples on Techdirt alone. As an example, I watched horror movies all through my childhood and up through today. I have never harmed another human being (or animal, except for hooking fish and hunting occasionally). I have a healthy marriage, three well-behaved children, a steady job, and by most people's standards, a pretty "boring," squeaky-clean lifestyle. So, no, I would not say that violent media has caused me to follow its influence and harm myself or others.

    "That doesn't mean we should censor everything. But we should think twice about how children circumvent parental and guardian supervision."

    Yeah, because kids NEVER circumvented their parents' wishes until Redbox came along. How about this? If you don't want your kids to have access to adult material, start by not giving them a damned credit card. Then, don't put a TV or computer in their room. Put them in the public rooms of your house, where you can keep tabs on what they're watching. Sure they'll get around it, but by not allowing it in the house, at least you are taking a stand a making a statement about what is acceptable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Dan, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 2:44pm

    Fools...

    Hollywood film producers should be happy that there is yet another source of good revenue for them if they just pull their heads out of the sand for a wee while.

    Choice a) 10% of profits from rentals on-line

    Choice b) Watch and cry as we pirate the hell out of their kit because we can't afford to spend $200 a pop for a family to go and see it in the cinemas.

    And don't give me that BS about it being due to lack of profits from VCR/DVD/BLAH. No company can net 200million from a flick and say that their not getting their fair share of profits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Adam, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 3:01pm

    Re: There is no hope.

    Who do you work for? Just wondering if it is corporation

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You need a credit card to rent movies from Redbox in Kansas City, MO.

    Yes, of course I had to cosign, but now that she has it, I'm not consulted for approval on what she does with it, so that's a bit beside the point.

    Don't get me wrong, though, I think using the "kids will get R-rated movies" argument is insanely bogus. Just pointing out that having a debit card is not proof of age.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 8th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Fallacy of Logic

    "The whole analogy to the VCR is a fallacy too - that was a fair use issue, not a distribution issue."

    It was a distribution issue, just like the "piracy problem" the industry blusters about now is really a distribution issue. Piracy is always what they scream about but their real problem is they are afraid of losing their tight control over distribution. That's why they, without exception, fear and fight new technologies until they can figure out some way to lock them down so only they can use them to distribute.

    "I guess the real issue is that industry isn't receiving some amount of profit from it."

    Which is a BS issue. Why is the industry entitled to an ongoing cut past the sale?

    "its pretty evident from my personal observation that media influences children, children mimic media, and that children end up harming themselves or other physically or emotionally."

    Well, it's evident from my personal observation that such influence is vastly overstated. Now, let's deal with as close as we can get to facts and truth rather than each of our own highly inaccurate observations (inaccurate since neither of us have even observed a random sampling of behavior, let alone all of it, so both of us are suffering from selection bias.)

    And the closest we can get to truth and facts are that numerous credible studies show that there is little, if any, causal link between dysfunction and exposure to certain kinds of media.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    dorp, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Fallacy of Logic

    But on the moral issue, its pretty evident from my personal observation that media influences children, children mimic media, and that children end up harming themselves or other physically or emotionally. That doesn't mean we should censor everything. But we should think twice about how children circumvent parental and guardian supervision.

    Anyone tried parenting yet?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Brit, Sep 8th, 2009 @ 5:02pm

    lessons kids learn

    Really? I had no idea the US was so restrictive with the ways minors could access or use money. British child accounts come with a Cash Card (like a debit card but with no cheque guarantee capabilities and usually they can only withdraw cash from an ATM but not always) as standard. I think it teaches a child to budget and take responsibility for their own money early on and potentially won't need to resort to stealing from another.

    This RedBox idea sounds great, I'm assuming even if a minor could use a card (as they would be able to here) the principles used for cigarette machines would be adopted, clear signs with the consequences printed and supervision. If they're in Supermarkets there is security based on the door generally and they would have the authority to ID someone they feel is underage. Simples!

    Obviously the loss in 'kickbacks' (contracts) from larger video stores and higher priced outlets may be damaging to profits but is it likely it would hit them so hard that they wouldn't be able to function? It all seems a little daft and most probably blown out of proportion.

    These arguments and debates must be had though, in re to the 'moral' elements, if no-one discussed it at all there would be an outcry from grassroots and then a scandal because it hadn't been considered in the first place.

    There doesn't seem to be a lot to this argument and therefore I predict it will be short lived.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Unknown, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 12:04am

    I coudn't agree more...

    That's all I can say.

    Here at my place there's no such thing as redbox, but with the rental of $1? that's a great idea, as it could help prevent piracy, since pirated movies at my place is around $2-4 (converted currency).

    And why the heck do they panic about these trivial stuff? Its not like everyone buys a DVD, right? I know I don't, I only watch on cable, so it won't hurt them a bit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 4:39am

    I like the Redbox concept. I've paid a buck to rent a DVD a few times from the one down at Wal Mart. The problem is that most of the time the people there stare at it like the oracle from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and have no clue how to work the damn thing. I've stood and watched a person try about six or seven times to return a DVD by sticking it in the slot and have it kicked back. Since there are only FOUR ways to put the DVD in the case and the case in the box, this is pretty much why I don't use it more often. Standing for fifteen minutes while the neanderthals grunt at it like they just discovered fire before they finally rent Adam Sandler's latest movie is just too much to deal with to rent a movie. Even for a buck.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 9th, 2009 @ 6:24am

    Re:

    I find it vastly preferable to standing in line at Blockbuster, where there are always three people behind the counter, but only one operating register. Oh, and listening to the "candy pitch" over and over again while I wait. I'm watching the movie at HOME, so I don't need to pay movie-theater prices for candy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    ervserver (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    I didn't know Jack Valenti said that...interesting

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    corberlaw (profile), Sep 9th, 2009 @ 5:15pm

    No.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    still a no name, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re:

    There _is_ a movie screen at the base of Mt. Rushmore. Its been there for more than 20 years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This