Just Launched Zediva Now Saddled with Lawsuit


A couple of weeks ago, we had just found out about the new video rental and streaming upstart, Zediva. If you didn’t catch that article, Zediva’s scheme for side-skirting Hollywood is to rent viewers a physical DVD and DVD player and then stream the output direct to consumers. Today, we learn that the MPAA is none too satisfied with Zediva’s interpretation of the license associated with physical media.

Anyone surprised? Furthermore, anyone willing to gamble on the outcome?

On the same day legislators, unions and others pledged their support for a crackdown on pirated online content, the Motion Picture Association of America filed suit against online VOD video streaming service, Zediva.

“Zediva claims it is like a brick-and-mortar DVD ‘rental’ store and therefore not obligated to pay licensing fees to copyright holders,” said MPAA in filing the suit Monday In a California District Court. “In reality, Zediva is a video-on-demand service that transmits movies over the Internet using streaming technologies in violation of the studios’ copyrights,” the studios said.

They distinguished that from “major cable companies” video-on-demand services, and services like Netflix, Amazon.com, and Vudu, which pay to stream movie content.

Broadcasting and Cable

  • Were they using rental DVD’s

    Were they using rental DVD’s or consumer grade DVD’s?  If it was non-rental DVD’s, I’d assume they’re dead in the water.  If it is with rental DVD’s and the DVD’s are each in their own player that only streams to one person at a time, it could make for an interesting high court ruling on place shifting.

    • There isn’t really a “rental”

      There isn’t really a “rental” DVD (right-of-first sale). 

      • Ah, I always assumed their

        Ah, I always assumed their was a different disc sold for rentals vs home use.  Learn something new everyday.

        • There were “rental” VHS tapes

          There were “rental” VHS tapes (so it’s not crazy to extend the idea to DVDs), but I think that worked because there wasn’t retail availability at the same time back then.


          • But IIRC, there are special

            But IIRC, there are special DVDs that rental outlets get. They are sometimes filled with trailers which may be non-defeatable in some circumstances.

          • That is true (<3 AnyDVD HD),

            That is true (<3 AnyDVD HD), but I believe that works the other way – via discounting.

  • gosh, i didn’t see this

    gosh, i didn’t see this coming 🙂

  • Saw over on Slashdot that

    Saw over on Slashdot that they’re still up and fighting back.  http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/05/13/215216/Zediva-Fights-Back-Against-MPAA