As Expected, MPAA Sues Movie Streaming Site That Uses Connected DVD Players

from the who-didn't-see-that-coming dept

When Zediva launched, we already knew it was going to face a legal fight from the MPAA and the movie studios. The company lets people stream movies they want to see, but tries to get around the legal licensing issues by only streaming directly from internet connected DVD players, playing legitimately acquired DVDs. Their argument is that it's really no different than renting a movie and bringing it to your own DVD player. And, perhaps, the Cablevision ruling in the US on remote DVRs gives them some support for their position. But, there was no way the industry was going to just let this go by without any sort of fight. And, so, the MPAA has now sued the company claiming that it's a "sham," and that Zediva is running an illegal video-on-demand service without the proper licenses. In some ways, this case could also impact the attempts by cloud music players to stream legitimate content without a license as well.

All of these situations -- the remote DVR, the remote DVD and cloud music players -- all involve the entertainment industry demanding extra payments for how you use legitimately purchased content. It's really quite amazing what a stunning sense of entitlement the entertainment industry has here. Even if you've legitimately purchased their content, they want to limit what you can actually do with it unless you pay another licensing fee. It's really quite ridiculous and shows the level of desperation these firms are reaching.

Filed Under: copyright, dvd, remote
Companies: mpaa, zediva

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2011 @ 6:23am

    Being sued isn't necessarily a bad thing. Lawsuit = Caselaw = Clarity. I'm rooting for Zediva, but I'm not up to speed on the relevant caselaw to have an educated opinion about their chances. This does remind me of that case from the 80's with the video store that had private viewing rooms where you could watch VHS videos that you had rented. I believe that case hinged on whether or not it was a public performance. Since the video store was open to the public, it was a public performance. But is Zediva? Being in your home is certainly private. I believe there was another case where a hotel rented movies to people's rooms in much the same way, and that was ruled to be OK, since the hotel room was more private. I dunno, and I'd have to do more research, but it seems to me that this is one of those things where it's not really clear either way. The lawsuit will give Zediva some clarity. I hope they pull through. I'm on their waiting list to be a member. :)

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