Sunday, June 7, 2020

NEW ONLINE RENTAL SERVICE HIT BY MPAA LAWSUIT

April 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The motion picture industry has acted quickly to shut down a new movie rental service called Zediva, which was launched last month. Here’s how it works: A customer pays a fee to rent a DVD player and a movie, and Zediva then plays the movie for the customer. While playing it to one customer, the disc is not available to any other. Zediva says it operates much the same way that a traditional video store does — except that it operates remotely. However, in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said: “Defendants’ comparison of the Zediva service to a rental store is disingenuous, and Defendants are attempting to rely on technical gimmicks in an effort to avoid complying with U.S. Copyright Law. Defendants operate an online VOD [Video on Demand] service, not a neighborhood rental store.” But the website ArsTechnica.com quoted UC Berkeley law professor Jason Schultz as saying that the court may view Zediva’s case sympathetically because the company is “trying to respect one-copy limitations. … If the company is buying legitimate copies they could rent out in a physical world, why not let them rent it out digitally with each rental tied to a physical copy with only one person using it at a given time? The economics are quite similar.”