Company Can't Stream Video Previews Online

from the seems-odd dept

Maybe I don’t fully understand what’s going on here, but Disney’s distributors have won a case against a company that was streaming previews from their movies over the internet. Originally, the company was streaming the official previews, and when they got in trouble for that, they started making their own previews which they made themselves from the movie. I can understand why the studios might not like it when the company made their own previews (because what if the previews were terrible?), but I’m not sure I understand what the problem was with the original previews. Don’t the movie studios want more people to see the previews, so they’ll go out and see the movie? Update: has a much clearer version of the story. It seems the company, Video Pipeline, had a contract with the studios to sell these previews to video stores. However, the argument is that by streaming the same previews online, they went beyond what was allowed by the contract. So, the real answer to my original question is (of course) the most obvious one: while it’s clear that the movie industry wants more people to see the previews – they’re so greedy that they first want to make as much money as possible by selling those same previews.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Company Can't Stream Video Previews Online”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
bob bechtel says:

Distributor greed is better than studio greed?

Based on the news article cited, I think it’s wrong to interpret this as very relevant to studio-vs-consumer issues. Video Pipeline had a contract with Disney — Disney provided clips to Video Pipeline, and Video Pipeline in turn SOLD those clips (probably with some packaging or other added value) to video rental places. Video Pipeline then also made available those clips for download over the net — though it’s not stated very clearly in the article, it implies that these downloads were also SOLD — that is, that Video Pipeline was trying to make money in that venue as well. Pretty clearly to me, that was outside their contract with Disney, and it would seem that the court agreed. So what?
Not in the court ruling (at least, as reported) was any restriction that would prevent Video Pipeline from negotiating a modification or new contract that would cover downloads (nor, in fairness, is there anything in the ruling to suggest that Disney would have to offer a modification or new contract).
So, by my lights, the “greater greed” in this instance was with Video Pipeline — if they were apartment rental agents and rented the same place to two different parties, the landlord might well take ’em to court for violation of the agency agreement.
Now, if Disney had turned over the clips for free, and Video Pipeline did not charge for their distribution either to video stores or online, maybe this case would be more relevant to the ongoing debate over the limitations of copyright and other intellectual property issues. However, it looks more like a simple contract dispute, in which the good in question happens to be a media property, rather than a physical widget.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Distributor greed is better than studio greed?

That’s a good point and in some ways I agree with you. However, the way I see it, is that Video Pipeline signed a contract with Disney to distribute these videos to rental stores. As a business they came up with a better, more efficient distribution system – which is what a business should do. So, I definitely see their side of it.

If I sign a contract to be a distributor for Compaq, and I’m distributing Compaq machines to Wal-marts around the world, and I find out that Airborne Express is a cheaper shipping agent than FedEx, I would probably switch, right? In my mind, that’s kind of the same thing that Video Pipeline was doing. They found a cheaper, more efficient way to distribute the same good that Disney had already sold them to resell.

So, I realize it’s slightly different than that, and perhaps they should have renegotiated the contract… but I don’t see Video Pipeline as being the especially greedy party here. They were just delivering the same product they had already agreed to distribute in a more efficient way.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...