Warner Bros., MGM, Universal Collectively Pull Nearly 2,000 Films From Netflix To Further Fragment The Online Movie Market

from the this-isn't-helping dept

Michael Carusi points us to the news that Warner Bros., MGM and Universal Studios have agreed to pull nearly 2,000 films from Netflix’s library, in order to put them in the Warner Bros. Instant Archive. You may recall that Warner recently launched this archive, which is an incredibly overpriced and ridiculously limited offering. Apparently, they’re trying to bolster the offering in part by hurting Netflix. As we’ve warned, this sort of fragmentation does little to help anyone. Consumers don’t want to have multiple accounts for multiple services. They don’t want to have to worry about whether or not a particular title is available in one place or another. And they certainly don’t want movies to suddenly disappear from the service they had been already paying to get.

Everything about this move seems designed to piss people off, not provide them a better overall experience. Sure, Warner wants films for its own archive, but removing them from other services doesn’t suddenly make people run gleefully to join their service. It just makes people annoyed and resentful of Warner Bros., which is exactly not the way to encourage people to sign up for their new service. In the article linked above, it noted that some people were having “marathon” viewings of some of the films about to disappear from Netflix. Note that they weren’t planning to sign up for Warner’s lame archive, but rather watch while they could on the service they chose. One of the key lessons from the past decade or so of internet content is that you need to make accessing your content as convenient as possible. And Hollywood’s response is to do the opposite. Incredible.

Companies: mgm, netflix, universal, warner bros.

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Comments on “Warner Bros., MGM, Universal Collectively Pull Nearly 2,000 Films From Netflix To Further Fragment The Online Movie Market”

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Davey says:

Re: Re: Re: And when they fail...

They’ve just demolished the last possible argument against so-called piracy. I sympathize with their wanting to get paid, but this is all about controlling the market. Their idiot business plans deserve no protection at all.

What we need are regulations that force them to distribute what they’re selling to anyone who wants to buy, same price for everybody. All it would take is to quit letting the government enforce their non-existent “right” to control their product once they sell it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And when they fail...

to be completely fair, if it disappears from netflix (and
happens to be something i want to watch) my next step would
be to pull it from the bay. so you’re both right.

So by that logic Warner’s is actually encouraging Piracy by removing films from Neflix. Seems right. How long until they halve their prices or return their films to Netflix so they would actually make something from them.

anonymouse says:

Re: And when they fail...

I think they realised a lot of people were turning away from piracy and using the services available, this is a problem for the copyright cartel. If Piracy goes down too much they cannot use it as an excuse to keep the system as it is and rape the content creators of as much money as they can.

So sad that governments around the world don’t stand up against them and demand they make their content available on all possible websites, encouraging more people to buy.

Oh and in their control on their own website they can skim money off the top and nobody would be the wiser, with the likes of Hulu and Netflix eventually content creators would realise they are being stolen from, in a big way.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And when they fail...

Which would give them leverage against politicians saying that there is less need for strenghtening copyright? Sometimes a loss of profit in the short term, is a huge bonus in the long term…
It reminds me of fishers in Denmark mixing fish with paint to keep the prices artificially high because demand in the market hasn’t been even close to met!

Oh, good old times in the 00’s. Artificial scarcity is a bitch to maintain, it appears.

anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

I w0onder if they realise that the likes of Amazon , netflix, hulu and others are starting to creat their own content using the profits from selling access to the content they have licensed , this is the real threat to them, that some group of businesses start creating better content than them, then there whole pack of cards fall down and they go bankrupt. and everyone celebrates.

Aerilus says:

Re: Re: Re:

I am personally waiting for the day netflix sits down at a table with big content, where big content wants 200milllion for access to a series and netflix tells them they can make their own for 1/4 of that. maybe play on all the out of work artist and actors that are supposedly harmed by piracy to drive their production cost estimates down.

Zos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

that’s reasonably similar to what happened with starz (and the reason i love netflix) starz wanted tiered pricing for netflix customers, netflix offered them an amount that was something like ten times higher than what they’d contracted for last time, but refused to play their game, then walked away from the table when starz held out for special pricing status.

Ed C. says:

Re: Re: Re:

And this is why they keep raising licensing fees. They know by now that their internet-based competitors can distribute content far more efficiently with far lower cost. However, they can’t compete directly with them because the profits are not high enough to buoy their legacy legacy business models and the bloated profit margins they’d become accustomed to. They simply cannot compete. So, they partner with a few internet companies, but continue raising the fees to keep them as sustainably unprofitable as possible and prevent them from gaining enough capital to compete with them directly by producing their own original content.

In spite this, they still failed. Also, there is nothing stopping other companies from skipping the studios entirely and taking their content directly to competing internet services. This eventuality is what keeps the studio bosses awake at night. Or at least should. This current move is likely to not only keep a competitor like netflix back, but to keep their own creators beholden to them.

It’s only a matter of time before the studios lose the net–it’s inevitable–and physical media is slowly going the way of the dodo. The last real refuge for the studios is legacy theater distribution, because it’s the one market they can manage to squeeze smaller producers out. Sure, the market might be shrinking, mostly do to raising ticket prices, but I think the service of big screen exhibition will continue to be around in some incarnation or another and the media still glamorizes box office numbers over all other revenue.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Great move Warner Bros. Now your plans are for the internet to be treated by the customer exactly like cable. The average customer hates having to pay over the nose for a package just for that one or two shows he likes to watch: the same goes for streamers: we don’t like having to pay for multiple accounts just to get those shows we like to watch. Back when I paid for Megaupload accounts, I knew that I had access to everything, as long as somebody bothered uploading it.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Problem with their intentions here though is that unlike with television broadcasting, anyone can put up a website and put up what content they want. There’s nothing physically stopping them from doing so, unlike with TV, where one must have, well, cable lines, broadcast towers and so on, before transmitting your own content. So of course, their legal monopoly means nothing to the average netizen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

According to Netflix, the move was voluntary on their part or at least that was the inference from the Verge article.
Netflix is a dynamic service, we constantly update the TV shows and movies that are available to our members. We will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I honestly believe that PR line was written by someone at Warner and provided to Netflix.

Unfortunately for Netflix, they don’t produce enough content themselves to form a stand alone offering so they can’t really come out and call Warner a bunch of assholes otherwise they risk losing more content.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Unfortunately for Netflix, they don’t produce enough
content themselves to form a stand alone offering . . .

Yes, but things do tend to change over time. It’s always gradual. You can’t point to a single day and say that is when the web became a household word. There isn’t one single day when micro computers became dominant over mainframes. There isn’t one single day when Apple became evil, or when Microsoft no longer dictated to everyone, but I digress.

These things happen gradually.

At some point, new internet companies will produce enough content that they won’t be beholden to dinosaurs who are stuck in the tarpit.

Lily says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Do you see how many titles that is? I’m bored already searching through box art of a few pages of that, even screening only titles with 3/5 N-stars and up. My husband uses instantwatcher, but I find it to be more or less worthless as it doesn’t have enough search options or allow you to search with IMDb ratings. I just have the add on for chrome that tells you the IMDb rating on Netflix. The more Netflix can better itself or people can better the Netflix site with addons, the better. Instantwatcher is just not that great. Too many repeats to show multiple season of shows. And it lets me search year but not genre? How often do people think, “I would love to watch a(n expiring) movie made between ’95-’97. That’s what I am in the mood for.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Silly rabbit, facts aren’t relevant on Techdirt.

I guess Mike wasn’t “doing journalism” on this one. That’s OK though because the commentators can just correct his mistakes. That means there no duty on his part to put forth any effort in getting things right. But, whatever you do, be sure to give him all the deference you would a real journalist, though he can’t be bothered to earn it. Makes sense to me. Hey, he was just stating an opinion, man.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Of course it was, Warner asked for all the riches of the world and when Netflix said we don’t have it Warner just told them they couldn’t have it.

And so politely Netflix dropped the issue since they could not pay that amount.

In the process they are not burning the bridge so in the future who knows maybe Warner starts to get more reasonable (not likely LoL)

Meanwhile, piracy starts to look very very sexy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I wouldn’t necessarily say it sounds like a voluntary move.

To me it sounds more like them wanting to keep a good tone when negotiating future rights with these companies.
The reason to not burn bridges is likely an expectance of the new service tanking fast or them having other content from the respective companies…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It sounds both normal and unfortunate; after all, it makes sense that a license to have content on Netflix would have a time duration – so if the contract isn’t renewed by either party, content would go away.

With that said, I don’t read that quote as voluntary on Netflix’s part. It sounds like “this is happening, so we are putting the best face possible on it, whether or not we wanted it to happen”. If anything, it sounds like they are trying to not burn any bridges over something they didn’t desire, but can’t change.

Anonymous Coward says:

as politicians and governments cant wait to do something else to assist the entertainment industries in remaining in the ‘dark ages’ rather than trying to get them to move their ancient arses into the digital age, what are they going to do now? if these same politicians cant see that the industries are not doing anything to help anyone other than themselves, in fact, are doing as much as possible to hinder other services, the bribes they are getting must have turned them blind as well as stupid! this is a disgraceful move designed to do nothing other than screw over other businesses and, as stated, really piss off as many customers as possible. i wouldn’t join a service that is prepared to pull the plug on a service as quickly as this. you would never know whether you had a tech problem so couldn’t get the service or whether it had been turned off!

Zakida Paul (profile) says:

Until licensing laws are updated, this will continue to be an issue. The entire content distribution industry is set up to protect monopolies and increase profits (for distributors, NOT creators). This is wrong.

True artists do not create their work for money. They create work for the love of the creative process and the sense of satisfaction they receive when they create something people enjoy.

Culture is NOT a product to be bought and sold or locked away in a vault, people. It is something to be shared and enjoyed by as many people as possible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

True artists are not full-time artists in his speculation.

The issue of compensation to cover food and rent are entirely irrelevant unless you have presumption that you need professional artists.

Not saying that his vision couldn’t involve professional artists either. It is just not with the current revenue streams…

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

True artists also have to buy food and pay rent.

Absolutely true, and I hope more artists end up figuring out how to buy food and pay rent from their art alone. Everyone wants to see the artists that they like succeed, and I’m no different (not least because I personally know a few of those artists).

But whatever they figure out, it will not involve idiotic moves like this one. How sad it is that the “true artists” have no say in this decision whatsoever.

Arsik Vek (profile) says:

You’re partially right. This is to piss people off. But they’re not going to get pissed at Warner. They’re going to get pissed at Netflix. The average person is terrible at following causal chains. Nor are they likely to realize it’s Warner pulling it’s movies without going looking for it. They’ll just see “Netflix used to give me this movie, now it doesn’t. Netflix sucks.”

Warner wants to drive people out of VOD entirely by ruining their trust that it will continue to provide value.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

I am pretty sure that most governments are far too timid to go through an anti-trust lawsuit on something they don’t understand. If you want to change this, you need to reduce the copyright-holders control of content which would create another world of whining from content industries.

Even worse: If you look at TV-rights it is basically the same game. Exclusive rights to series and films exist in that environment, so it would be a complete non-sequitor to demand a change just because it is happening online and in the eyes of the public!

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

They don’t necessarily have to produce it. They just have to offer a way for the Indies to get in. Now it’s a question of ‘Do the Indies have the quality content that Netflix customers might want?”‘ and how brave…err omniscient…err non-judgmental…err open, yes that’s it. open to testing new contributors.

To some degree, Netflix has little to lose if they create some kind of pay for view starter promotion for creators. Then watch demand for future funding opportunities.

Next, if someone, Netflix maybe, can take such a business model to the tipping point, where consumers feel there might be a fifty-fifty choice between one or the other, the other(s) being MPAA types.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There are new producers already coming out from the machinima makers to places like Blip TV.

If Netflix wanted to reach out to the indies, they have a LOT of options and could indeed do well in their financing of new content.

Personally, telling the studios to take a hike while promoting up and comers would really make Netflix more valuable and leave the studios looking lost in their efforts to fight piracy AND create a better alternative than Netflix.

Atkray (profile) says:

Re: Re:

And Netflix can blame only Netflix. When they started they walked into Walmart and bought DVDs to rent. If they had continued to purchase their product and then rent it they would own all their movies. Instead the decided to make a deal with the studios to lower costs(completely understandable) and now are at the mercy of the studios.

I realize this doesn’t address the streaming but I believe that had Netflix not gotten into agreements with the studios they would have better alternatives than they now face. I wish them luck with their original content, it is all that can save them.

You can’t negotiate with terrorists.


You can’t argue with a sick mind.

Pick one, either applies to the studios.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I realize this doesn’t address the streaming but I believe that had Netflix not gotten into agreements with the studios they would have better alternatives than they now face.

You think they would be better off if they had not done any streaming until now? Because they can’t stream without licensing.

Robert says:

Re: Re:

This is all about limiting offerings to see if people can be forced to consume what is left available at inflated prices.
All content competes, if you have 10,000 movies to choose from the reduces the price that can be charged, if you have only 10 to choose from they think they can charge 10 times as much.
So they will rotate which movies are available at any particular time and only make them available at inflate prices.
Of course this fails because there is the internet which allows global choice in content.

anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

Maybe this is the time that the likes of Amazon and Netflix and Huu and all the other smaller content distributors took this to the highest court and demanded that the monopoly be removed as it is destroying the entertainment industry, fragmenting it and causing an unfair advantage to the few organizations that buy content from the creators and refuse to allow it to be distributed to everyone at a reasonable price. With the size of Google and Amazon alone they could probably resolve the monopoly problem, but with hundreds of sites coming forward and showing how the industry as it is destroyed them on purpose i am sure a judge and jury would find the studios in the wrong and force them to distribute for 1 tenth the cost that they are charging now.

Not beign funny but there could be a much bigger investment into the entertainement industry if the monopoly was destroyed once and for all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

There is no monopoly. Nothing is stopping you from making a movie and licensing it to any or all of the streaming services.

Oh, but you say these companies have all the content you want? That’s because they have knowledge and experience in such creations, and ventured capital up front as an investment in that content, believing it was desirable and would return its investment.

Is so funny when you people pretend to not know the obvious.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“There is no monopoly.”

The monopoly is called copyright which lasts Death + 70 years, is held mostly by corporations, doesn’t allow derivative works, doesn’t allow the public to remix and create relevant content, doesn’t want anything but more money and screws the artists, actors, and physical labor union types out of their jobs by giving them a paltry sum while the pipeline revenue is given to the director and main actors in most cases.

“Nothing is stopping you from making a movie and licensing it to any or all of the streaming services.”

Except access to film techniques, writers of quality story lines, lack of focus in public education on business arrangements, more money given to the studio heads than writers to create independent works, and less minimal income projects that could free people up to pursue better interests than a minimum wage job that barely pays the bills.

“That’s because they have knowledge and experience in such creations, and ventured capital up front as an investment in that content, believing it was desirable and would return its investment.”

Wrong. The “knowledge” of the studio heads is in how to manipulate artists to sign rights away and give them everything for nothing in return. You get $5 million from Iron Man as an extra? Well, Robert Downey got $50 million as one of the main draws. Yet he also gets royalties and added stipulations while as an extra you have to find your next movie meal ticket.

The experience learned is in how to exploit your fellow man instead of creating movies for added benefit of society.

And the ventured capital? Not a good investment long term for most people. Even then, the Hollywood Accounting done gives a larger return on investment than the initial loan in hurting the public while giving them no copyrights, no way to remix or any options in how they want to see a movie.

So please, spare the disingenuous arguments.

Lowestofthekeys (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“That’s because they have knowledge and experience in such creations, and ventured capital up front as an investment in that content, believing it was desirable and would return its investment.”

So that’s why they made 6 Fast and Furious movies.

You also left out the part about them throwing money at politicians, that makes keeping their investments in tact consistent despite undermining the system of law.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re:

” This move is designed to obliterate the competition, not by being better, but by abusing the monopoly position.”

But a monopoly position is extremely fragile. Sure, these studios have a lot of money from various projects and act like financial bankers. But they can’t control the public, which is why they’re doomed to fail. Publishers are eventually uprooted by their own greed, which even Adam Smith recognized in his discussions in “Wealth of Nations”.

The government’s job is to protect the public and unfortunately, it’s too corrupted to do so. The public is too weak to fight against the threats of a mergeance of corporations and state powers but it can mobilize to fight these issues and push back.

Eventually, I’m sure that copyright will be defeated, but getting to that process and slogging through it will be very difficult until people understand what it actually is they’re fighting against (their civil liberties and freedom of choice).

Lily says:

Re: Re: Re:

Oh I agree. I am cool with 20 bucks a month to watch movies and tv shows, but I will not go above that. Either they shut up and take my money, or I will keep my money and keep doing what I’m doing. Right now Netflix has my 8 bucks a month and I feel it’s worth it, but I’m not going to spend 8 bucks per site for 5 sites. 8 bucks is 1 hour of work for me and many Americans, and life necessities have to come first. If I suddenly could make 60k a year, yes, I would have money to spend more on entertainment… heck, I could travel every year and have kids. Ya know, live a decent life. They don’t want me to have that though, they just want to sue people like me so I have nothing.

Brandon Rinebold (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Unfortunately, the terms of service for most of these services explicitly prevents other people from doing something like throwing up netflix content in an iframe. Each of these services wants their website, whole and unfiltered, to be the sole source for their content.

They do have legitimate concerns here with people providing poor service wrapped around netflix causing people to feel like netflix is to blame for that other service not working well or companies trying to rebrand netflix but I think they could be a bit more flexible.

Paul Reinheimer (profile) says:

Blame Netflix too!

You seem to put a lot of blame on Warner Bros, and not on Netflix. In various interviews the netflix people have talked about how they want exclusive deals on content[1]. If Warner Bros was looking to increase the availability of their content (rather than giving netflix a monopoly) they’d have to drop them, thanks to netflix’s desire for exclusivity.

[1] http://mashable.com/2013/04/30/netflix-streamageddon-2013/

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Blame Netflix too!

Netflix is just trying to give an excuse without calling out Warner Bros. behavior. The problem with monopolies is that once someone has complete control over something they can make outrageous demands. The problem with Hollywood is that all the studios are not only monopolies but they are also an illegal trust that collaborates to control the entire industry.

If Netflix called out Warner Bros. behavior they would find the cold shoulder at all future negotiations with the major studios.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If the archive is streaming, then it probably will be. As is Netflix’s streaming.

DRM is odious, but its presence on streaming services is a minor problem. DRM is bad largely because it is usually present on purchased material. It’s there on legally purchased content trying to control how you use it. With streaming, however, you’re only ever renting the content, so I don’t personally have an issue with its presence there apart from the fact that it restricts which platforms you can use to view it.

Judging by the fact that Hollywood seems obsessed with retreading every move (and every mistake) the music industry made, I’d say we’ll see DRM-free purchased video by the end of the decade. But don’t hold me to that…

Anonymous Coward says:

I subscribe to HBO, and simply cannot begin to express my level of despair that it does not host Showtime, Starz, etc. programs. I want a simple and single place to watch everything.

BTW, I own a Mazda, and it ticks me off to no end that I cannot go to non-Mazda dealerships to get if repaired with OEM parts. This is so inconvenient…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It is basically what is called “program packages”. If you pay 40$ for one package and 30$ for the other, you can see both.

HBO cannot force you not to buy another program package, but they sure as beep wont offer you the other companys program you W.

Same for the online market: If you want the “program package” from HBO, you pay 15-20$ for an HBO subscription to watch everything they have license to. If you want the

In Netflix’s package you pay 8$ for their current back-catalogue.

If you want the oldschoolers “program package”, you go to their site and pay about 10$ + pray that the content you want is up this rotation…

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

But we’re in the world of the infinite.

You’re applying a cable TV mentality to the internet and it doesn’t work.

Program packages are fine for scheduled television when there are only 24 hours in a day to fill with programming. You have to pick and choose what programming you’re going to license and schedule – you pick what you think a customer will pay for.

But in the world of the infinite, there are no schedules to fill, no screens in theatres, no limited video store shelf space. There are no limitations on how many movies your service can offer except maybe hard drive space – but that’s almost a non-issue.

We know HBO has to churn through content to keeps its offerings fresh. Nobody complains when they stop showing something to show something else, because that’s how their business operates. The internet doesn’t work that way at all.

Which is why this whole game of licensing content and then removing it from streaming services is a joke, and why customers are understandably furious. It’s not cable TV. It’s the internet. We know the content is there and available, but we aren’t able to see it because of company politics and licensing negotiations – nothing to do with satisfying the desires of the customers or the limitations that other delivery systems face.

I’ll say it again. It’s not cable TV. It’s the internet.

Not to mention the only thing keeping pirates at bay are great services like Netflix. They’re just shooting themselves in the foot.

Lily says:

Re: Re: Re:

what do you mean the cable company provides all content? Since when? Even if I bought the most expensive cable package from my local monopoly cable provider for like 500 bucks a month, I still wouldn’t be able to watch all shows or movies that I want. It would be what they and the channels chose to give me as always. And much of that would be things I never watch, like Sports. Right now I pay for the smallest cable package because internet and tv is cheaper than just internet, for some stupid reason, so I have cable that I don’t even watch, and if I tried, they dont even have the channels I thought were basic. I seriously only watch a little bit of local tv in the morning ( if any) and then go online for everything else. And I don’t care if I have to wait a week to watch something If I can watch it for free.

The might as well take my 20 bucks a month, I would offer them, if they just let me watch anything I want. Stop trying to choose for me. I don’t want to watch American Idol and The Doctors, I want to watch full seasons of my choice tv shows over a couple days. I want to be able to watch the Seinfeld episode I want to watch, not the 2 you aired today. They think they should have control over what we see and hear, and that’s not right. I have control over my life. I DO.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I know, right?

Can you imagine how confusing those new fangled supermarkets are to me? I mean, I can buy like a hundred different brands of beer in there.

Not to mention that I can buy my cheese in the same place where I buy my beer.

It’s madness! Complete and utter madness!

/end nutcase rant

Anonymouse says:

Re: Re:


Ok i can understand that you dont want to have to register with Amazon Prime and Hulu and Netflix and Nokia Movies and Google movies and Hbo and Sky movies and all the others distributing their own little bit of the pie, it is just crazy to think anyone would register and pay a few hundred dollars a month just to get the shows they really enjoy watching once a week.

But what is this about Mazda and oem parts etc, don’t understand where this comes in. With physical products normally the original manufacturer has better quality manufacturing, but you can get poorly made parts for your car from other manufacturers, but even pointing this out to you i actually don’t know why i am.

Lily says:

Re: Re: Re:

maybe he means his warranty doesn’t allow this. I know my friend has a car that stopsw working on the freeway because the computer inside is glitchy, but the car company wont fix it because they can’t see the problem with their diagnostic software. She can’t really do anything but get a new car or void the warranty. They are supposed to pay for the repair but they wont repair it. So many companies suck. I’m glad my car doesn’t have a computer in it.

akp (profile) says:


I can’t abide paying for Hulu. If I’m paying, I shouldn’t have to watch ads.

Also, I really hate how nearly every show on Hulu has some different “window” of watching. If I’m paying, don’t ever show me “clips,” only full episodes. If I’m paying, always show me back seasons as well as all the episodes from this season.

The one month I tried it, I got extremely annoyed with “you can only watch the revolving last x episodes of show y, but you can watch ALL of show z.”

Instead, we have the non-pay Hulu streaming through XBMC with the ads stripped out. Best Daily Show/Colbert experience ever.

If it became “Hulu for TV, Netflix for movies, no ads on either” each at ~$10/mo with no blackout of TV content (old episodes, all current season) I’d subscribe to both and never look back.

anonymouse says:

Re: Re: Re: OOH ARRR.

Seriously i would make a list of all the tv shows i have but i dont think spending an hour doing so would be a valuable use of my time. I have 4 seasons of Dexter ready to watch in 720p and i have 2 seasons of all the csi shows to watch 1 season of NCIS LA and a few seasons of other shows. All together i have probably got around 150 season of good quality tv shows to watch, plus the shows that i have been watching i have a buffer of at least 5 shows to watch.

Then i have a 2 tb hard drive full of SD movies ripped from either DVD or Bluray perfect quality for my 42″ tv.

I have enough content that i don’t need to ever switch a tv on again, or at least for a good few years.

The thing is that i like to watch stuff and chat about it online i like to discuss with people what is going on and the possibilities and how exciting some parts were, like the game of thrones. some parts of that show are so phenomenally good, some of the best parts of entertainment i have ever watched in a long time.

I would suggest that the tv stations quickly resolve this mess they have caused and get content available for everyone at free pricing. Cos if they don’t it will not be long before the movie and Tv arena will go the same way as music went, where people have so much stuff available to them to watch that they just stop downloading totally, i don’t know how long ago it was that i last downloaded music i have so much i could listen to a new track every minute of every day for the rest of my life. If people get to this point with movies and tv the whole system as it is could collapse virtually overnight.

Lily says:

Re: Re: Re:3 OOH ARRR.

oh I would if my internet/tv package wasn’t cheaper than my former internet package. I always encourage friends and family not to pay for cable, unless the intro package is better than one’s existing internet price.

Cable needs to die or change. If they charged $ 1 a channel per month, and let me choose my channels and change from from month to month based on whether I am enjoying the content, I, and many people would be fine with that. If I was rich, I could pay more, but like most Americans, I am poor, and I for one refuse to throw the money I have for food/shelter over to the cable companies so they will stop threatening to sue my fellow poor people. Maybe they can take away the little bit of entertainment I can scrounge for online, but they can’t force me to pay them 100 bucks a month for crap I don’t even want.

Josh Gree (profile) says:

This is borderline sick

Just thought i’d through my 2 cents in and say this is really a tragedy what a company will do to hurt another one. The company I support is great and they actually HELP other companies and add to their instead of taking away. We?re at about a year of ?DEPENDING? on DNS Services. After using lower-end services that claimed to have higher traffic caps than they did, I made the switch to DNS and have been really impressed. Check them out dnssvc.com

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Ok, I just tested this by flinging a DVD into my co-worker’s head. His loud complaints and threatening fist motions suggest with nearly 100% certainty that DVDs are, in fact, physical, not digital.

It was single layer, though. Once I regain the element of surprise I will try it with a double-layer and see if the result holds.

Rich says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Sigh. I don’t know this notion that digital means ephemeral came from. The different between digital and analog have NOTHING to do with whether or not something is a physical object. The Recording on the DVD is a digital one, as are CDs. They are no less digital than a downloaded file. By contrast, cassettes and laser discs are analog.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The different between digital and analog have NOTHING to do with whether or not something is a physical object. The Recording on the DVD is a digital one, as are CDs.

If you want to get really pedantic, the DVD is neither digital nor analog, it’s a physical thing that holds a digital recording. But that kind of pedantry makes one unpopular at parties I hear. 😉

Greggore says:

Back to ......

I used to love the idea of having digital movies. Avi or Divx,Xvid codec files could be easily played on any computer and connected to your TV. Keep a library small in size but big in content. DVD’s were also fine as I could buy the DVD, then rip it to be an AVI file on my PC too for other formats.

Now portable media is Digitally locked, so ripping a Blue Ray or DVD is not possible for most average joesjanes.

Along comes services like iTunes where you can buy movies, but are completely restricted to using Apple products (which by the way suck when run on PC’s). Can not burn to DVD or port to anything else. “Monopoly” and really against Copyright laws (until recently). There are a slew of other companies (Rovi etc) that do the exact same thing but more and more restrictive.

Services like Netflix was a great idea, but again the movie companies make it horrible as you don’t know when a movie will be available or not. This happens in other services too like Amazons, where you can purchase a movie, but if you lose it you might not be able to buy it again….

which leads up to this supposed “licensing” from the Movie companies under the belief that people are “buying” a movie. Again, you are limited to what you can do and how long you can watch it…that sounds like renting to me, but hey, Corporate America likes to change the meaning of words all the time.

What’s next? who Fucking know! I don’t watch movies on phones, totally ridiculous and I certainly wouldn’t PAY for it… then we’ll have them on watches too.

Really for me it’s back to the best alternative. Downloading or purchasing the DVD when the prices are right.

out_of_the_blue says:




“* Correction, May 1, 1:07 p.m.: This post previously stated that these titles would become exclusively available on Warner Archive Instant. A spokesperson for Warner Bros. tells Slate that the films being removed from Netflix?s streaming service do not belong to Warner Bros.”

HA! And Mike blames Warner Brothers! THIS is the kind of reporting you get here at Techdirt!

Rikuo (profile) says:


At this point, OOTB could come up with a scientific formula for clean energy that is 100% guaranteed to work and it would still end up hidden out of hand by the Techdirt community: not out of malice, but because OOTB has done everything he can to earn a reputation as a liar and a madman. So what if Mike didn’t read something important: OOTB has admitted in the past to doing the same, therefore he can’t call someone else out on it.

anonymouse says:


Actually because of the mess of who is who it is right to say they removed titles, mgm is mgm i am not interested if it is their international arm or local arm or they have created a new business to avoided taxes or paying royalties or whatever, they are all linked together and so Mike was relatively correct in his assessment of the issue. Trying to mix it all up by selling your licensing to various business you have created to make it difficult to track copyright is something that has been going on for a long time, nobody really cares other than those that lose their royalty payments

anonymouse says:

Re: Re:

Because the studios sell their licenses to subsidiaries they own then sort of get away with it, but there time is coming i believe. There are some really big players out there with a hell of a lot of money, It just takes some of them organizing and getting together and resolving this monopoly mess to stop this nonsense.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Piss off the Dubya-Bee

Which is a damn shame, because with HDCP, it’s the copyright industry dictating to the tech industry and its customers what hardware we’re allowed buy. I wouldn’t be surprised that if someone were to design a HDMI cable that didn’t include support for HDCP (or bypassed it while allowing picture/sound through), they would be sued out of existence. So we have no choice but to buy cables that won’t allow us to record game footage at 1080p.

PVR says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Piss off the Dubya-Bee

Tell me about it… my cable company cough Time Warner Cable cough used to support set top boxes that allowed for component output… unfortunately I’m stuck with their “service”, and the box I’m currently saddled with only works theough HDMI with no component out… Fortunately, gaming consoles support component cables, plus current gen consoles can use the component cables from the prior generation… PS2 component cables (not RCA) work on the PS3…

Anonymous Coward says:

If Netflix only had 1 movie that I could stream, and that movie was already in the public domain and I could watch it elsewhere for free, I’d still subscribe to Netflix because of what they’re trying to do, and the awesomeness at which they do it.

All this means to me is I won’t be watching movies from Warner Bros., MGM & Universal.

Can’t watch *Insert Movie Name Part 1* via Netflix well guess what, when the sequel comes out in the theatre, I won’t be going to see that either, because you pulled part 1 from Netflix.

Simple Mind (profile) says:

open letter to movie studios

No video is must-have. If it isn’t on netflix chances are pretty good I am not watching it. So if you want me to watch your stuff, put it on nflx. My Q is already long, so it will need to get in-line. You should be working to get me to eyeball your junk, not making it harder for me. You are doing a great job of making yourself irrelevant.

Anonymous Coward says:

Compulsory Licensing

Would be nice if they started Compulsory Licensing (like they do music for Radio) on all movies for streaming services. They could make it so CL kicks in when the movie is 1 or 2 years old. This would give the Studios time to sell all of the Blu-Rays they can. Usually after a year or two those Blu-Rays are in the 7.99 or 5.99 Bins anyways. So they have already ran that horse into the ground. If this was started then there could be REAL competition in streaming services. Yes that could be bad for Netflix, but could be awesome for consumers.

Don Martin says:

Warner Streaming Content Sucks By Itself

Frankly Warner as a stand alone service just plain sucks at $9.99 per month. Netflix was no award winner with a collection consisting of way too many old and lousy movi8es, but for the kids at Warner to think the4y can cut out the middle men and serve up their old junk alone? Oh Please. The service is a joke.

gm says:



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