Failures

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
e-parasite, innovation

Companies:
mpaa, zediva



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.

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  1. icon
    Rikuo (profile), 31 Oct 2011 @ 1:47pm

    The only thing Hollywood got out of this court case is a TON of bad press and a damaged reputation. Zediva would never have survived as a profitable business in the marketplace, not when you have Youtube and Netflix stacked against it. So the smart move by Hollywood would have been to ignore it. Hollywood would have gotten its wish: Zediva would have died, and all for the low low price of free (no money spent on lawyers and no damage to its reputation).

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