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Zediva: The world’s longest extension wire

mdbheadshotfinalThe AP reviews {that a} small California (in fact) firm thinks it has an excellent concept, a method to out-Netflix Netflix: Zediva Inc. goes to make out there for viewing on subscribers’ Web units new motion pictures as quickly as they’re out there on DVD. It is a large deal, as a result of Netflix, as an example, doesn’t do that. Netflix will start sending bodily DVDs of a brand new film as quickly because the film comes out on DVD… however the on the spot viewing possibility comes later, largely as a result of film studios need it that method, believing that the flexibility of customers to view movies immediately at dwelling cuts into DVD gross sales.

Zediva’s doing one thing proper. However is it unsuitable?

So simply how will Zediva be capable to transmit, say, “Yogi Bear” on its March 22, 2012, DVD launch date?  Right here’s how: Zediva will purchase a replica of Yogi Bear on DVD, then play it on a DVD participant at its Silicon Valley (in fact) headquarters, and ship the feed to your private home. It’s the equal of operating a really lengthy cable from Zediva’s DVD participant to your tv set. Proper? Film studios and attorneys who care about this stuff say no, it isn’t. Whereas Zediva asserts that what it’s doing (or planning on doing imminently) is the equal of what Netflix does when it mails out DVDs to subscribers (a scheme permitted by the so-called “first-sale doctrine,” which has allowed libraries to lend books to patrons for a whole lot of years), a number of commentators have already countered that it’s extra akin to Netflix’s different service, that of streaming.  And a streaming association requires licensing, as a result of streaming isn’t lending a bodily copy.  (Some commentators are arguing that streaming someway inherently infringes on a copyright holder’s unique public efficiency proper; I don’t agree.)

I’m going to take a doubtlessly unpopular place right here (although I’m in no way required to): I believe Zediva’s concept is authorized, if not significantly sensible. The potential for a system which may nicely be authentic to devolve into one thing fully exterior the regulation, nevertheless, is simply too nice.  That’s, for Zediva to do what it says it’s going to, it should personal a separate bodily copy of a DVD of a given film for every subscriber who desires to look at it (on the identical time). Which means if 100 totally different subscribers wish to watch “Yogi Bear” on the identical time, in several places, then Zediva must put 100 totally different DVDs into 100 totally different DVD gamers.  Zediva merely could not minimize corners and, as an example, rip the content material of a DVD after which ship a subscriber or two or 100 the digital info… simply till it might run out and decide up some further copies of Yogi Bear.  And, in fact, Zediva could not rip the content material of 1 DVD after which burn the content material onto one other hundred DVDs to be in compliance with its personal (arguably authorized) mannequin. Is Zediva smarter than the common start-up? Perhaps. If Zediva retains its nostril clear, it simply might need one thing right here. Eh, Boo Boo?

UPDATE:  Zediva:  The lawsuit.

UPDATE II:  Zediva loses; is misplaced.  However you realize this ain’t over!

Initially posted 2012-04-09 16:28:21. Republished by Weblog Publish Promoter



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