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George

She has no legal case.

IF however, she sued the movie studios citing unfair practice/competition and collusion, by allowing some stores to sell/rent their merchandise 30 days prior - (Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or any retail outlet)and preventing others from obtaining copies from wholesalers - That would be something she could possibly win. (or at least have heard)

name

"What's to prevent someone from suing the movie studios for not making DVDs available at the same time a movie is released in theaters?"

that is nothing like what she's claiming and therefore is not really a valid comparison.

Prozac


If she was so upset...just cancel your subscription. BOO HOO lady.

Davis Freeberg

I think she has a case. Netflix is being sued over their agreement with Walmart for very similar reasons. It absolutely is a case of collusion, especially now that Redbox is on board and because we know that Netflix received a discount to harm consumers. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Gran

@Davis - working discounted deals from wholesale suppliers is called capitalism, not collusion.

things

I cant imagine going through life getting so mad at such small things.

Moss Berg

A contract entered into between companies who previously competed in a product that suppresses competition through controls of that product is in 'unreasonable' restraint of trade. It doesn't have to be a total restraint for it to be considered illegal in many states (including NY) so she may have a pretty good case here. This will be interesting to watch.

Septic Tank

I wouldn't be upset if more blu-rays were available and waits were shorter as promised but they are not and i hope this woman brings down the whole corrupt system.

Tino

She sounds like a wonderful person. I'll bet she's fun on a date.

Sock Puppet

I think we should file a class action lawsuit with the Federal Courts against the US Bar Association for granting licenses to practice law to all these ambulance chasing buffoons!

Whose With Me?!?!?

vio

I think she has a case.

You don't know what you're talking about here Davis. A movie studio could produce a movie and only create 10 DVD copies of it, which they distribute to 10 selected people around the world, if they so desired. Warner Bros.(and every other movie studio out there) MORE than have the right to do whatever they want with their product. They created it. Neither I, you or this lady have any right what-so-ever to tell Warner what they can and can't do with their product.

If this woman so desperately needs to have a new Warner movie the day it's released, then she needs to stop being a cheap ass and either go buy it or pony up $5 to rent it from a Blockbuster store. End of discussion.

Billy

@Davis Freeberg

Even if what you say is true, that's not the premise of her lawsuit.

tsrblke

If she's hanging any of this case on the devauled subscriptions she's also screwed. Since NF is month-month rather than contracted, they're going to tell her that the subscription is never fundamentally devalused past one month, since she has the option to change/cancel it. Furthermore, NF has said in multiple arenas that the value of the subscription is not new releases, or quick turn around (for the love of pete it's a mail service!). So the subscription hasn't even truely been devalued at all (she still has access to the the rest of the catalog during the waiting period, plus NF never said they'd have EVERY movie available, just that they had a "expanding catalog."

However, NF may have to defend this, hurting their bottom line, thus hurting consumers. So I'd like to file a complaint against her for baselessly devaluing my NF stock. (I don't actually own NF stock, but still.)

Matt

Let's forget about suing NF and start thinking about a class-action lawsuit against Congress for not getting their job done.

Tim S.

@things: Exactly! I'd really like to see some Warner titles in my queue, but somehow I'm managing to get up and out of bed every morning. Sheesh lady. Buy a goofy bobblehead and have fun documenting your Netflix rentals.

Racket

Ok so let’s say she has a case for 1 month. Her subscription has been devalued x amount during the month when the change went into effect. After that, she agrees to the new contract by simply paying her next monthly bill. This is a class action lawsuit so she should not stand to make any money off of this. The class action will probably name all 12 million Netflix customers. Let’s say Netflix decides to settle for $1 per customer to be taken off all customers monthly bill for 1 month. The lawyer fees are 33% of that dollar, so all of us subscribers get 66 cents off of one month bill. The lawyers get the other 33 cents. .33*12,000,000= $3.96 million dollars for the lawyers, plus they usually get some other fees.
I do actually have questions about fair trade practices. Since both Netflix AND Redbox signed this deal and received something in return; more cheaper copies after 28 days, more streaming, ect I don’t see how this can be seen as unfair. It does raise some minor questions about collusion. I thought Redbox had a case against the studios, the studios don’t have to sell directly to Redbox, but once the product is released to the market, the studios should not be able to prevent anyone including redbox from buying it from a normal public channel.

deadzone

You can't sue somebody for being stupid and annoying. Imagine all of the lawsuits we would have then if that were the case!

This lawsuit will be thrown out in much less time than that stupid 28 day release window.

Tino

"Susan Uman of Manhattan argues a deal worked out between Coca-Cola and Sam's Club (owned by Wal-Mart) is an old-fashioned "scheme to restrain trade" that has to stop, according to a class action lawsuit filed in Manhattan Federal Court.

The two companies agreed in January that Sam's Club customers would not be able to buy individual cans of soda, but would be required to purchase them in 30-packs. The move was seen as adding to Wal-Mart's bottom line because it forces thirsty people who want to drink soda to buy a month's supply or buy individual cans from costlier companies, like 7-11."

She could file suits like this all day long!

Frosted Flakes

If it is possible that this woman wins how will this affect subscribers? Will the agreement signed between Warner Bros. and Netflix be voided? Will the banishment of the 28 day rule mean we won't have to wait as long for new releases? Did Netflix hope the deal they were forced to make with the studio would lead to an independent lawsuit and perhaps a resolution in their favor in the long run? And lastly, who shot JR?

Scott

Racket, I"m not sure, but I think the way class action suits work is, you're right, the lawyers get the most, and the members of the class may get 66 cents each as you say, but the specific members of the class who work with the lawyers in establishing the suit get something substantial as well. Say it's even as little as 1%. Then subscribers get 66 cents, and of the lawyers' 4 million, maybe susan gets 40 grand or something like that. There would be the motivation for doing it.

BoB

All these "Perry Masons" and "TV lawyers" are coming out and posting.

(It must be true, I saw it on a crime show!)
(It must be true, I read it in the Enquirer!)
(It must be true, I read it online!)

I'm glad there are tests/standards to be in law enforcement/legal fields!

Seth

A lot of comments here ignorant about the concept of restraint of trade.

The deal made by Warner Bros. with both Netflix and Redbox could be construed as restraint of trade that harms consumers. I imagine this seems hard to digest because of the indoctrination we all receive here in the U.S. that we live in a free market capitalist economy (we don't). Also, eliminating restraint of trade ensures a free economy, not the other way around.

I think the lady has a case. Believe me, you may think it's a joke but the lawyers at Warner Bros. and Netflix/Redbox most definitely do not. This is a new paradigm for the rental industry and while the companies want it to work, they are going to have to argue that this does not hurt the consumer. Read carefully the announcements by Netflix and Redbox and you'll see they carefully tried to make the case that this is a benefit to consumers (IMHO they failed to do so but a court may entirely disagree). Note that Netflix and Redbox having used almost identical language in their press announcements about the agreement with Warner cannot be helpful to a case implying restraint of trade.

From the interwebs for your reading pleasure:

"As used in the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (15 U.S.C.A. § 1 et seq.), unreasonable restraints of trade are illegal per se and interfere with free competition in business and commercial transactions. Such restraint tends to restrict production, affect prices, or otherwise control the market to the detriment of purchasers or consumers of goods and services. A restraint of trade that is ordinarily reasonable can be rendered unreasonable if it is accompanied by a Specific Intent to achieve the equivalent of a forbidden restraint."

George

Again

I think the woman has a case. Just not against Netflix or Redbox. The problem with Netflix/Redbox being the defendants, is that they weren't looking for a 30 day release window. They were forced into it when Warner Bros played Hardball and in one case(Netflix) threatened to limit their DvD's availability, and in the other (Redbox) actually strongarmed their distributors both wholesale AND retail and actually did limit their products availability.

Holding the rental companies liable isn't going to hold much water legally. Warner Brothers, it's distributors, and the retail outlets with business interests(Wal-Mart, etc..) that all colluded together to prevent Redbox/Netflix from obtaining product? That's a different story.

lovejoy

Even though warner is the real bad guy, i would think Netflix had to be sued as a party to the deal - it is a good case and i hope she wins - it is annoying not having new releases in redbox or netflix and having to wait - i understand warner may be not making as much money but maybe netflix and redbox should charge a little more for a warner title if it is to costly to work around warner not selling to them -maybe a $1 more for the warner title- but to cut out completely is unreasonable and if all studios start doing this, this is not fair

Larry Dallas

@lovejoy, the people on here would have an f'n heart attack if you asked them to pay 1 cent extra

Anyway...

What the suit doesn't point out is that this deal gives more online warner titles to netflix and more copies of new titles come 28 days later to be passed around at a better price to netflix (and thus the customer)

Remember just because Netflix isn't lowering YOUR cost doesn't mean they are not KEEPING IT DOWN!

A Movie A Day (AMAD)

Wait a minute, my thought processes are acting...

Is this the same woman that filed a lawsuit against Netflix because the anon. info wasn't that anon. because said info used for the Netflix prize allowed her to be un-closeted due to something to do with Brokeback Mountain, or some noise to that effect?

Just wondering if you got the same feeling I did from this story...

bill

@name - it's a perfectly valid comparison. She's calling the release window a "scheme to restrain trade". Why couldn't someone say the same thing about the DVD not being released at the same time as the theatrical release? It's the exact same base claim: "the movie is out in one form, but only via select means". Mike makes a very good point in making his comparison there.

humboldt

@Larry Dallas

That is their stated case, that by Netflix allowing this 28day window there will be more Instant Watch titles for Warner being posted.

Oh ya? Pull out your list of Warner titles posted since the 28 day rule went into effect. Big list huh? Lots of AWESOME movies coming to Instant Watch, huh? It's mostly foreign, gay&lesbian titles that are being posted, and old junky 80s and early 90s movies that are awful. Nobody wants to watch 90% of the junk that is posted for Instant Watch.

We are not getting the good titles from Warner that we were promised we would get if this new rule was used.

Someone prove that we are. I challenge you.

leonardodicrapio

What do you have against French dykes? I'd like to see some of that tongue action.

Sock Puppet

@ A Movie A Day (AMAD)

It would be funny if she did, but she didnt use her name in the lawsuit...

Though I have to admit that her name sounds awful familiar.

JohnnyBob

I don't care if she has a case but hope she wins! Netflix is copping out re new DVD movie releases, in general...

All the new movies in my queue are on wait, mostly long or very long wait. Obviously they don't stock enough new movies.

Also they're providing fewer and fewer new movies on DVD, less than half of what they did a year ago. But that's why I subscribe, to get the new movies. I've already seen all the oldies.

They want their cake and eat it too, and they're getting borderline with me. I'll be putting my account on hold more often...

lovejoy

it is not comparable to dvd not being released at same time in theater

the theater and dvd market are two different markets

what is happening here is warner (and other studios) is trying to exclude low cost dvd rental companys from buying movies to rent but not higher priced rental companies

it would be comparable if there was a low cost movie theater that was being excluded in favor of higher priced movie theaters

bill

"it is not comparable to dvd not being released at same time in theater

the theater and dvd market are two different markets"

But only because of the time difference. Especially with today's home theaters, it's naive to think that ticket sales would plummet if the movie could be bought on Blu-ray the same day that it hit the theater. $10 a person to go watch it in a room full of strangers, or $20 to own it and be able to watch it at home with a good beer or a glass of wine. Hmmmm...wonder which would win.

What's been happening from the start is that studios want to make their theater profits first, then let it go into home video. This woman is arguing the same thing, just on a different scale - that the studios are trying to force you to buy it their way if you want to see it sooner, or wait out in the cold to get it the way you prefer. Just like if a lackluster movie hits the theaters, but you have to wait months for it to hit the lower cost rental market.

I. Royal

maybe movies SHOULD be released both at retail and the theaters at the same time. i'm sorry, but as the quality of home cinema reaches that of the theater, the time should shrink, eventually to the point that they are one in the same. of course, their window of profit is going to get ever smaller. that is a natural part of technological advances. it's like the false scarcity debate. when something can be reproduced for nearly nothing, its value drops accordingly. that, or everything should be licensed for use/modification/resale. if you put up with it for some things, you should not have a problem with everything. what will they do when you can reproduce anything? the times are changing; get with it already.

RJ55

George wrote: "She has no legal case."

Because you know more than the legal blogs that say she does?

jimbonopay

and as for who shot J.R.,,,
the answer in 28 days

Joe

This woman might have a case if she was a Netflix stockholder claiming that the value of her stock has been damaged by this deal. But what is she really arguing? How many Warner releases did she want to get on her queue anyway? If you don't nab a title on opening day, it'll sit on your queue for months.

If she doesn't like the deal - she can quit. How does this deal "Devalue" her rental price? She's getting a serious bargain compared to what it would cost to rent these films at Blockbuster. And that doesn't include an extra OnDemand channel that Watch Now gives her.

There are reasons to sue a company as a consumer. This is not one of them.

Frosted Flakes

jimbonopay wrote, "and as for who shot J.R.,,, the answer in 28 days."

LOL Thank you for the answer and the laugh, jimbonopay. :)

Chaz

What I dont get is why are Redbox/Netflix are not allowed to purchase bulk DVDs however they want to? What does it matter what they do or charge after the fact? If I bought a movie at a retail store and then turned around and rented it to someone for $2, thats my decision to do so, I OWN the product now, wouldnt the same thing apply here? That is the whole point of the rental business isnt it? Netflix is buying their movies in bulk just the same as Blockbuster or anyone else, so why exactly is Warner Bros. having an issue?

This is almost like the NFL siding with Madden instead of 2K Sports because 2K wasnt charging enough for their game, Warner pretty much forcing Netflix into this or lose the ability to really even get movies from Warner Bros. is definitely some shady dealings, I'm surprised they didnt take so far as to do it to ALL rental places saying if you really want to watch it NOW you have to just outright buy it.

I can see that coming.......

nyinjurylawyer

Hmmm what will be her legal argument. People don't we have bigger worries in life right now?

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