Remember Zediva, the NetFlix wannabe that thought that by streaming from DVDs, they could bypass all those pesky licensing deals and delay windows? Well, sadly for them, either their lawyers didn’t read a lot of pertinent, easy-to-understand sections of contractual and copyright law, or the bosses decided to ignore their advice:
You may have heard by now that we’re having to lay off our DVD-changing monkeys…
A couple of years ago we came up with an idea for the next generation of DVD rentals. It seemed to us logical and evolutionary that if a customer was able to rent and play a DVD in his home, there should be no reason why he or she could not do that from the Internet cloud. After all, you can do that with a DVR, so why not with a DVD player?
Well, it turns out to have been a little more complicated than that …
We are suspending Zediva’s operations to comply with an order by the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
While we hope to be back online soon, we don’t know when (or whether) that will happen. We are disappointed by this turn of events, and that we are not permitted to serve you.
We are quite aware that some of you have unused credits with us and appreciate your patience as we figure out our next steps. Stay tuned for more information via email.
Thank you again for your great support. It has been a blast serving you.
If they had been physically renting these discs, then they were perfectly right. Unfortunately the second you start showing them to large groups of people, or in this case, broadcasting them around the world, you exit the realm of the personal DVD rental, and enter a new one. There are very specific contracts that are signed between music owners, talent, and studios that also dictate that things have to be done a certain way, and that’s not even getting into the contracts that have been signed for Netflix, RedBox and others. Not enforcing those contracts would put the studios in breach, and so showing the DVD-changing monkeys the door was certainly the lesser… or at least the least expensive of many evils. Competition is a good thing, and having another player in the streaming game is good for everyone, but if they want to innovate, Zediva is going to have to find another, more legal way to do it.