MPAA Kills More Innovation; Zediva Shut Down Permanently

from the what-you-have-to-look-forward-to-under-e-parasite dept

Keith alerts us to the unfortunate and premature death of Zediva, an innovative startup that sought to make it easier for people to rent movies and make money for Hollywood. But in true Hollywood fashion, they killed it -- just like they wanted to kill the VCR a couple decades ago. Zediva, if you don't recall, let people rent movies remotely. It would load them up in a DVD player that you could log into. It legitimately bought the DVDs and used them just as you would at home if you rented a DVD and brought it home. The only real difference here was that the DVD player was at a central location, rather than your home. In a very weird ruling, a court determined that the length of the cord determines if something is infringing.

Such a totally nonsensical ruling should be ripe for appeal... but appeals cost money, and who's going to invest in a company shut down by a court? So, Zediva has capitulated and "settled." MPAA gets to hang another destroyed innovation on its mantle.

If you want to get a sense of the future under E-PARASITE/SOPA: this is it. Except it's even worse. Chris Dodd and the MPAA won't even need to go to court, they can just send a single notice to the payment processor for Zediva, and the plug would be pulled. Dead. Basically, the law would let the luddites at the MPAA simply kill off any new service they don't like or don't understand. And unless those companies have a dozen lawyers at their disposal, they're going to stay dead. Just like Zediva. Another bit of innovation killed by the MPAA. What a legacy the MPAA is leaving behind.

Filed Under: e-parasite, innovation
Companies: mpaa, zediva


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2011 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: An innovative Startup?

    "Reasonable court"? Yes. This was not a case about the "length of the cord" as this site would have its readership believe. While one may not like the outcome of the case, the judge did not arrive at his opinion in a vacuum.

    That's right. The judge applied the law as it currently exists, not some fairy tale version of the law that Mike and his gang envision but doesn't actually exist. When you work backwards, as Mike does, it looks like the judge got it wrong. But the judge's reasoning and application of the law was sound, and it's dishonest for Mike to pretend otherwise. He may disagree about the outcome for policy reasons, but to pretend like the judge's ruling is in any way wrong is just petulant whining on Mike's part. This isn't innovative. It's a DVD player hooked up to the internet. That's moving backwards. And it is a public performance. Good grief.

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