by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 21st 2009 8:11am
You see it all the time with companies in trouble, where they are able to renegotiate certain contracts for the sake of saving the overall business. So, I have a lot of trouble with Hollywood studios claiming that they simply can't figure out a way to offer movies online, because the contracts they signed won't let them. In the link above, Slate's Farhad Manjoo tries to figure out why the movie studios aren't offering up a decent, easy to use online movie service, and unfortunately falls for the studios' claims that they know they need to get online, but they just can't because of "a byzantine set of contractual relationships between many different kinds of companies studios, distributors, cable channels, telecom companies, and others." That sounds good, and it's no surprise to see Hollywood lawyers jump all over this as a defense -- but it's laughable. If the studios, distributors, cable channels, telecom companies and others actually realized how quickly the market is changing, they'd rush to change those contracts. No, it wouldn't be easy, but it is doable. Not doing so is a cop out from a group of folks who don't want to change and are hoping that things "just work out."
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