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"but could Blockbuster's 'no late fees" program be stealing customers"

Now that's a twist, considering Netflix has been stealing customers from GreenCine and Blockbuster through the use of spyware. Netflix utilizes at least 2 spyware companies (Claira, eXact Advertising) to infect users PC's and reroute traffic meant for their competitors to their own web site, according to Benjamin Edelman, Doctoral student at Harvard.



Just a hunch, but I think if it were discovered that BB Online was employing such tactics, the wailing and gnashing of teeth would be deafening. "Another sign of the evil lurking within the corporate monster that is Blockbuster!!". But our friendly, innovative, hip and cool little NetFlix would never do something like that (nor would they throttle paying customers, would they?).

No surprise that the NetFlix Kool-Aid drinkers are silent on the spyware/adware issue...

I'm not a Netflix Kool-Aid drinker, but I'll break the silence anyway:

I run the following on my PC:

Micrisoft Anti-Spyware (always running)
AdAware (run once per week)
SpyBot Search and Destroy (run once per week)

I use Netflix...and have never had spyware infect my machine. Not from Claria. Not from eXact Advertising.

So, who's drinking the Kool-Aid...or should I say, wearing the tinfoil hats...

Steve A

I think Manuel just likes to fire everyone up becuase he enjoys the hype.

I, too, have SpyBot & AdAware ... no spyware from NF.

Use Firefox and there's little or no chance for spyware infecting your computer. Plus, it's 10 times better than Internet Explorer. Infinitely customizeable with extensions so you can do things IE users only dream of.

John Doe

Wow, another completely off topic thread.


I had been pretty faithful to my local Movie Gallery until they made it impossible for me to continue to rent there. They always get the unrated versions of stupid teen movies, but actual 'adult' fare like "The Dreamers" and "Bad Education" could not be found in their original NC-17 forms...only edited versions.

Plus, they started getting full screen versions in of all family titles, so the day I couldn't rent a widescreen copy of "The Incredibles", I lost it.

For me, I'm back to Netflix and will probably never rent a dvd from Movie Gallery again. Aside from popping in when they have a Buy 2, Get 2 free used dvd sale...there's no reason for me to go there.


I feel you on the not being able to rent widescreen copies of movies at your local video store. I work in a Family Video in Illinois and more and more we get mostly full screen copies of movies now since customers often complain that they "don't have a widescreen tv". I always try to explain to them what the difference in widesreen and fullscreen is but it is like talking to a wall. My manager doesn't like the fact that I use netflix to rent my movies, but he said he understands since we pretty much only get fullscreen movies now.

Rob Emmerich

Not meant as a personal attack Shiv, but if a store doesn't have anything for you to rent, how can they have 4 movies you'ld pay to own?

Ben Edelman

What Manuel describes is absolutely truthful. Netflix purchaes ads from so-called spyware firms, and these ads display in a variety of circumstances, including when users visit competing sites.

As to the 2:22pm post above: Blockbuster Online purchases some similar ads, but they're far less prevalent.

As to the 4:43 post: No one is saying that Netflix customers are at special risk of getting infected. The fact that you are a Netflix customer and have never been infected is no great surprise; infection occurs by browsing dubious web sites, installing tricky programs, or otherwise getting your PC compromised, all of which is no more likely to happen to Netflix users than to others. But what is at issue is the concern that Netflix is helping to **FUND** these bad actors -- that Netflix's advertising expenditures are fudning purveyors ofs pyware. This is definitely occurring; there's no serious doubt about it, and I've recorded it in plenty of screen-capture videos as well as automated analyses.

In short: Netlix may be a great company. (I wouldn't know; I'm not a customer, and I don't follow this business closely.) But Netflix's advertising is helping to fund some very unsavory businesses.


We only rent movies at the local Movie Gallery when we get the free rental coupons in the mail. I can't really stomach the $4 fee for a one night rental and the time wasted browsing the store for movies only to find the ones I'm looking for out of stock. =\

Matt Mazenauer

"if I still rented from stores I'd prefer the BB policy" Maybe their ripoff of Netflix in-stroe thing, but I'm really sick of this "No More Late Fees" thing. It's hilarious how each of their new commercials is basically an incredibly stupid person telling you that Blockbuster Stores were wholly unusable before this year, but now that there are 'no more late fees, just some other fees not called late fees' everyhting is perfect.


Can you say FUD?


We do not have a Movie Gallery outlet near
me, so the off-topic thread was much more
interesting ;0)

Howard Deaniac

Amazing that when the netflix shill is told about the spyware that netflix helps to put on your computer, the only thing he can do is attack the messanger? Whatever. Netflix is a crap company.

"My manager doesn't like the fact that I use netflix to rent my movies, but he said he understands since we pretty much only get fullscreen movies now."

Why's it any of your manager's business? It sounds a lot like you are a shill, because ordinary people wouldn't tell their manager where they rent movies. Or if... Sorry, but your statement sets off my BS detector.

I have never seen stores carry full-screen DVDs to the exclusion of wide-screen. Never at Blockbuster or Hollywood. There are some DVDs that are hard to find in wide-screen, like "Mummy Returns", even Netflix only has the full screen version of it... BB Online has the 16x9 version with 2.35:1 ratio.

If you live in a crappy place where people demand full-screen DVDs, you need to move. You are surrounded by morons. I avoided pan scan movies before DVDs were even invented. All my old VHS movies are letterboxed.

Netflix Throttling Victim

It's ridiculous to criticize Blockbuster for having late fees. Netflix has late fees too. They have a SUBSCRIPTION fee. Every day you keep a movie costs you a percentage of your subscription fee. Most stores now have flat rate subscription services, and Blockbuster Movie Pass has no due dates. But, there are ALWAYS late fees in the form of opportunity costs and monthly fees. Stores have movies that Netflix doesn't, and vice versa. Stop comparing apples and oranges.

"Amazing that when the netflix shill is told about the spyware that netflix helps to put on your computer, the only thing he can do is attack the messanger? Whatever. Netflix is a crap company."

Yeah, they refuse to believe anything bad of their company - even with evidence that NFLX is engaging in unscrupulous deals with known spammers and spyware creators. Take off your blinders, NFLX shills. They are just another corrupt corporation, like Enron, World Com, Martha Stewart, Kathy Lee Gifford, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Calvin Klein, and The Gap.

And until sheeple like you stop buying these companies' products, the world will continue to degenerate into a rotting cess pool with digital restrictions management, treacherous computing, and Palladium/NGSCB.


Boycott Every Corporation. Go independent.

John Doe

I've worked at a Hollywood Video store for 3 years 5 months now. As for movies you want that's unrated/nc17 etc.. that depends on the store location.

My store I work in we received Dirty Shame NC17 and R versions, and a ton of them, yet another store in the district, about 45 minutes away, did not receive any NC17 versions and only a couple copies for the movie at all AND they're a higher revenue store.

If your store gets a lot of rentals of indi films and perverted movies on a constant basis, then they'll see that and give you those certain movies. My store is a within a couple miles of 3 large universities (1 of them is considered to be one of the top head injury hospitals), and University kids tend to rent a lot of Foreign/Indi movies. We also get a lot of Old Perverted men who come and rent all of the VHS Mystery movies with half nekkid women on the cover.

BTW, Movie Gallery now owns Hollywood Video.

And about the widescreen/fullscreen, Hollywood Video pretty much only rents out Widescreen, very rarely do we get a fullscreen movie if there are 2 diff versions of it.

My Store is in a walmart shopping center and when The Incredibles came out, walmart ONLY stocked Fullscreen, and had it for $13 so I was pissed so I had to buy the Widescreen at our store for $2.00 more :)

And yes, we always get idiots who complain about widescreen, we all try to explain to them in the easiest most understandable way, but they're just ignorant. Hell we've even printed widescreen/fullscreen comparisons from widescreen.org and they just refuse to accept the fact that widescreen is better :)


As to my previous comments, there are a bunch of morons in my town, and yes, I am moving to the chicagoland area next week to work at another family video, so I am interested to see if the people up in that area are a bit more receptive to the whole widescreen vs. fullscreen issue.

Movie Lover

Panned and scanned movies shouldn't exist. They are disrespectful to the director, the cinematographer, the editor, all the actors, and everyone else involved in making movies. Why should someone get cut off at the edges, so a bunch of idiots can "fill their screen" or avoid seeing "black bars"? Another thing that shouldn't exist is dubbed movies. That also shows disrespect for the original work. Watch American crap if you can't read.

The best way to see movies is the original language, intended aspect ratio, and length. Any cuts forced on the director just ruin a movie. Avoid movies that are cut, like MGM's "Dream Lover" (cut by 4 minutes), "Eyes Wide Shut" (digitally censored orgy), "American Psycho" (all except the new Special Edition are cut and/or censored for profanity - the line "bend over so she can see you asshole" becomes "bend over so she can see your ass", changing the tone of the scene), "Basic Instinct" (Netflix rents the American rated version that is cut by 5 minutes over Europe and International versions).

Americans put up with having their movies mangled more than any other country on the planet. Even KOREA puts out unrated movies that aren't allowed in America, like "The Lover" and "Malena". How's that for freedom and respecting the artistic process?

I am sick and tired of being unable to see movies in their original form. I've wanted to see "Dream Lover" for a long time, only seen snippets on TV, but I REFUSE to see it until the unrated version is on DVD. They have the unrated version on VHS, but some bozo decided to only release the rated on DVD. GET A CLUE, MGM, WARNER BROS, NEW LINE, MIRAMAX, PARAMOUNT, FOX, ETC. We want only uncut, unrated, uncensored, director's cut movies. If the director resents any changes they were forced to make by the studio or ratings board, then I resent that too.

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