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Comments

leonardodicrapio

These studio executives are the biggest bunch of boneheads. Do they really think that people are willing to pay $20 for Premium Video On Demand so that they can see a movie a few movies before the disc is released? Why would I pay for a one off viewing at home a few weeks early when I could've gone to theaters months earlier for $10-$15?

Blades

Greed knows no bounds......unfortunately.

Brian

Charging what something is worth is business, not greed. Why all the fear of free enterprise?

Crow550

Eh. I'm sure Netflix will deal with Warner. All will be fine.

I wouldn't worry about it.

*Yawns*

Gir

Um, yeah. They negotiated a 28-day-delay deal that NetFlix would accept and now he wants to change the deal. Where I come from that's called bait and switch. Fortunately I'm sure there are contracts involved so he can't renege so easily.

Anigav

make content affordable and people will pay for it. over price it and people will pirate it.

alan

just as i thought the greed is kicking in
time to drop netflix and toss my 2 roku boxes

William

This is rediculous. At what point does the governement step in for us and say enough is enough we get screwed each time if they can get away with this then they can rasie rates as much as they want. Some one needs to step in and put an end to this.

Sandra Bellezza

@William: At what point? No point should they. There is no need for the government to step in and regulate the movie rental industry. They have a hard enough time regulating themselves, do you think they're capable or have the time to watch two independent companies make deals about media, and movies? That's not as a voter what I would want them to do. It's up to as as consumers in a free market to help change things. We vote with our dollar. If we don't want something, or don't like they way something is being sold, or we don't feel the value that they're selling us a product is actually worth what they claim, we don't purchase it. Once it starts affecting their bottom line, they'll change their ways. A business can't survive without money, and if it's not making money, well I guess you can assume what happens next. (Maybe in the case of William you would expect a government bailout,) but most rational people would assume they'd be smart enough to lower prices to more affordable terms. We're adults here, we can't look to the government to hold out hands in life and fix everything we feel is unfair. It's a free market like it or not. Someone once commented many months ago during an earnings release that people become "Communist" during earnings time. It appears it happens more often than I thought. It's ridiculous to think we always need the government to regulate. Vote with your dollar, believe me, its effective,

Dennis

"time to drop netflix and toss my 2 roku boxes"

Because a CEO said he would "pursue increasing content license fees"? People are getting a bit Chicken Little over this.

hypocrisy rules

I knew the studios only made the deals for discounted content to get the 28-day delay window established. Now that it is firmly in place (regardless of how effective it turned out to be) they are ready to start jacking prices back up again. They are just doing it sooner because the delay didn't give them the boost in purchases they thought it would.

They can only raise prices for physical discs so far before Netflix and Redbox just go back to buying them directly from retailers.

As for streaming content, Netflix really wants to keep pushing the streaming stuff hard, so they will probably cave and pay the increased rates. That means our prices will be going up again.

But, as many have said, the public will only pay so much before they start turning to other available means.

"The more you tighten your grip...the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

nijaju

“The current [license] terms are not commensurate to the value of our films”

Apparently he like his films more than I do.

Racket

@Sandra Bellezza
I agree with you, but US Copyright Laws need to be reduced from forever, to some time less.
Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, I am really sick of this guy. He is why we all pay so much for entertainment. Based on Redboxes 4th quarter, there is no way they will agree to delay films more than 28 days, I even doubt they will accept 28 days anymore. It cost them a lot of business. I don’t know if Netflix will agree to a longer delay AND paying more per disc AND paying more for streaming. Netflix could just take their 20+ million subscribers and say no, pay full retail for DVD, and spend streaming money with all the other studios. They could also bid up the price HBO has to pay to renew movie contracts and maybe single out one, like Twentieth Century Fox, to actually steal from HBO.
Considering the subscriber base, Netflix really doesn’t make that much money. They use most of their available cash to get new content, which attracts new subscribers, which fund new content. This is why Apple and Google et al have stayed out of the business, it’s just not that lucrative. Bewkes wants Netflix to charge more, it has nothing to do with the cost of delivery, it has everything to do with creating a high artificial cost for entertainment.

rjejr

I read this site regularly and haven't seen much mention of Netflix IW tiers. For years - since it's beginning? - Netflix has had DVD rental tiers based on number of discs out at a time. It also had a set number of IW hours based on those disc rentals for awhile. Natural progression would be a costlier Netflix tier for recent and popular films (as opposed to hours watched). Prime, Plus, Studio, Blockbuster (ok, maybe not BB). I'ld prefer something catchy like Netflix Superstars (no z please) but it will probably be boring Netflix Premium. It almost certainly has to happen.

Precedent - music studios push higher prices on Apple iTunes store.

TardisCaptain

I feel that Netflix is a value for the money. If it is priced beyond that value, I will not use it. A recent report on Redbox financial reports showed that even at $1/night, consumers still would not rent bad movies.

Right now a lot of the studios and cable companies have over-priced their product. If you want us to purchase it, make the quality better. Reality TV shows, copy cat crime shows, dull comedies and bad drama movies are not the way to go.

We have a new movie rating system now. See it in the theater, buy the dvd, get the netflix/redbox dvd, get the netflix streaming or just not interested.

ts

This is just another step in the ongoing tug of war between the industry and NF. If you follow it, you knew this was coming. During the next round of contracts they will be going after NF for more money because they didn't realize how popular the service would become. Everyone wants as big a piece of the pie as they can get. I'm not surprised by this and fully expect at some point my NF subscription price will increase. If the content is good enough and the waiting periods disappear and the fees are within reason then I'll pay. If I don't feel I'm getting good value for my dollar then I won't. Same with everybody else I suspect. As for tiered pricing I did mention this a few weeks ago. It's a possibility I could see in the future, but we're not there yet. NF wants to be on more sure ground before they roll that out. If NF became popular enough I could even see them producing their own content at some point in the future. As always it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Rocketboy_X

@ Racket "I agree with you, but US Copyright Laws need to be reduced from forever, to some time less."

Yes, but it's the government who keeps changing terms... you can't expect someone to work for and against us at the same time...

@nijaju "Apparently he like his films more than I do."

This.

Big Dave

Studios used to be run by powerful, greedy men who tried to wring every dime out of everybody to fatten their own wallets. Now studios are run by greedy conglomerates, who try to wring every dime out of everybody to fatten their own wallets. They all wear blinders. The only business model they can see is the one that they started with. They have not evolved with the technology, or the public's consumption habits.
Also, they simply are not good business people. Why would any sane person pay an actor $20-$30 Million to make a picture? Sorry, nobody's that good. Personally, I'm sick and tired of paying for various stars' visits to rehab.
I say let NF tell Warner's CEO to go to hell. We already know their disc sales are dropping. If they lose their rental income, what's left? Foreign sales? Yeah, that'll support a studio.Then, just before they go belly up, when they come crawling back, NF can hammer a deal where they pay a fraction of what they used to.

scJohn

A bit of context. DVD sales are are still declining. BD sale are increasing but not fast enough to offset the decline in DVD. Digital sales are going nowhere because you can buy the disc cheaper at Wal Mart on Amazon.

This is about slowing the decline in sales of DVDs. Not sure if this trend can be reversed. Do not be suprised to see the studios to go to a 42-day delay in sales to NF and RB. Just look at BB. Their new in store pricing plan for new releases are $4.99 for the 1st 6 weeks.

"I agree with you, but US Copyright Laws need to be reduced from forever, to some time less."

U.S. copyright laws do not extend anywhere near forever. They have, in fact, been extended to catch up with the rest of the world. Trademarks, on the other hand, can go on forever under very specific conditions.

Copyright protection works both ways though. Those that see it as some sort of unfair big business tactic are seeing just one side of the issue. Copyright protection also protects the little guy from having his work appropriated by big corporations with much better resources to take advantage of an intellectual property. If a copyright only lasted five years, why extend any artist any sort of pay when you can force them to self publish, and successful or not, can take advantage and use the work as your own once it goes public domain.

Rocketboy

Anon 2:51... In a perfect word, yes, that would work that way. In the real world, the laws get extended every time that works produced under the current copyright law expires, so essentially, it is forever. Also, the 'little guy' loses almost every time it a copyright case goes to the courts, because the 'little guy' doesn't have the same money to defend themselves as a large corporation would.

Racket

Copyright Laws are currently "life + 70 years". If a company owns the rights, then they are owned in perpetuity because companies don't "die" if they go bankrupt then the "rights" are sold as assets...forever. Protecting the little guy is a red herring, 5 years is a bit short but forever is a bit long.

InstaFlicka

I really don't understand why Jeff Bewkes has to tweak Netflix so much. I hope Netflix does to Warner Bros what it did to Blockbuster. Crush'em.

FearNo1

@ InstaFlicka
You are comparing apples (WB) to oranges (BB). No way NF can "crush" WB...

"Copyright Laws are currently "life + 70 years". If a company owns the rights, then they are owned in perpetuity because companies don't "die" if they go bankrupt then the "rights" are sold as assets...forever. Protecting the little guy is a red herring, 5 years is a bit short but forever is a bit long."

Does not work that way. Copyright is only meant to last a limited time. At some time it will go public domain.

Life of the creator + 70 applies to a copyright holder that's an actual person. Different standard applies to companies / corporations: 95 years from date of publication or 120 years from date of creation, whichever is shortest. And I do believe that's the extended version that the U.S. passed in the late 90s to catch up to the standard the rest of the world uses.

Disney's "Steamboat Willie" is about due to have its copyright lapse. By the letter of the law, it should become public domain. Disney simply cannot extend the copyright on the property, whether it's owned by Walt Disney or the Disney corporation.

Disney has been trying some things in hoping to make it impossible for anyone to make use of the cartoon. But technically, the work's copyright is due to lapse and go into the public domain.

If copyrights only held protection for the biggest corporations, they would not have been so keen on the passage of the Preservation of Orphan Works Act from '04.

The doomsday situation artists feared from that being that copyright protection and compensatory damages would not apply in cases where a corporation gets caught using a copyrighted piece of work they found somewhere such as the internet, but claim they could not find the work's author.

Mike

Racket is correct about US Copyright law, the way it is now a company can hold on to the rights forever. IP rights(eg Michael Jackson) can be owned by famly members for generations after the celebrity has passed on.

The comments from the Time Warner CEO doesn't surprise me because they want to squeeze NF for as much as they can, I hope NF doesn't get suckered into another bad deal like Epix($1 billion over five years).

Mike

BTW:
Pre-1964 films are exempt from the current laws so they will all go public domain,the copyright expired after 25 years or if the copyright holder failed to renew. Films released after 1964 are covered under the "life+70 years" clause, they are automatically renewed.

http://www.copylaw.com/new_articles/PublicDomain.html

fuzzydice

the studios are just trying to react to the fact that customers aren't buying home video at the clip they used to. And, that they lacked foresight when they started pricing streaming rights.

All you can do is wait and see. If the price is too high, then people won't pay. The same way people haven't bought into bluray, and the way they're not buy DVDs in volume now.


vio

Maybe if these studios stopped blowing 200 million dollars to make terrible "blockbuster" movies(*cough* transformers 2), they wouldn't need to overcharge for DVDs and internet delivery.

@Mike

If you'd read that article you quoted, then you would have read plainly that they asserted copyrights do not last forever.

So no, you aren't right nor is that other guy right that copyrights can be passed on indefinitely. Read the thing again, it defines breaks it down for both individuals owning a copyright and corporations. Finite terms in both cases.

All the 1998 Bono Act did was extend the life of copyrights to catch up to the rest of the world and make it so people didn't have to renew in 28 year increments.

Unclear how you are arguing Michael Jackson as intellectual property.

Do you mean his songs? His songs should be limited in protection, just like all copyrighted material. Same would go of any footage he created and owned, whether audio recordings, sheet music, lyrics, video. So long as he didn't sign away his copyrights to said material to another party.

If you're talking about Michael Jackson himself as intellectual property as a character, much like Batman or Superman, that's not a copyright issue. That's a trademark.

Trademarks can be extended indefinitely, but they are not the same as copyrights, and they do have other criteria one must meet to keep extending it.

Rocketboy_X

Anon February 05, 2011 at 04:24 AM... And it's amazing when a large group of work is about to become public domain, congress just so happens to extend protection... Sure, Steamboat Willie is due to become public domain.. just like the numerous times it was about to before, and the laws magically got changed.

I wonder how/why that happened?

RJM

The free market will sort it all out.

Bewkes might end up with nothing if he holds out for too much.

Im afraid the 28 days will become 56 and then 77 with many titles going straight to streaming for NF and disc for RB.

alan

go ahead and raise the price you have my blessing..but you won't have my buisness..

John

If Bewkes wants to screw Netflix he should lower the price of DVDs to $5.00.

Danny DeMichele Entrepreneur

They can only raise prices for physical discs so far before Netflix and Redbox just go back to buying them directly from retailers.

NewForeclosureOnline.com

The funny thing is, if they raise their prices to Redbox, ... What will you do when Warner says they want a 28 day delay for all video ...

InternetSlander.com

This value should be considerably higher than what we are getting now..Thanks

Gaston Cantens

It's hard to remember that Warner Home Video was once a technological and market leader, the first major video distributor to support DVD sell through to consumers rather than rental.

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