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The First Sale Doctrine would require actually shipping the disc to the renter.


"model threatened the development the subscription video-on-demand market"

Where were they when the Netflix model was threatening the Blockbuster model?


Perhaps the lawyers for Zediva didn't explain the technological implementation to Judge Walter - it's a remote site rental of both DVD player and DVD movie. I fail to see a 'public performance' issue. And what a load of grade-A BS is the 'threatened development' argument since the physical scalability is Zediva's configuration is simply limited whereas the digital streaming VOD via IP CDN's has massive exposure. IMHO, Judge Walter was hoodwinked but ultimately he did Zediva a favor by squashing a technology model before too much time & money was wasted on a dead-end road.


Too bad. I had hope that Zediva might win through, but it was only a small hope.

We still need something to mix it up so the media companies aren't left holding all the cards. In the 70's and 80's it was first sale, but first sale isn't up to the challenges of the new century.

And I find the "threat" argument specious. If Zediva had to buy millions of DVDs to satisfy customers' place-shifting demands, that would provide a sizable chunk of revenue. What he's really saying is that revenue from Zediva isn't as big as he thinks it should be, and that is a very slippery slope.


"...whose livelihoods depend on a thriving film and television industry,"

How about making quality films and TV shows instead of the crap that's coming out of Hollywood these days. Although I would never use Zediva and the business model is flawed, there's no way they violated the studios’ exclusive rights to publicly perform their movies.


If you read the decision and/or more info in the slashdot thread, it explains why they think this is a "public performance". It's from an old case which was vaguely similar -- you "rented" a movie in one room that was played from a VCR in another room.


The saying "public performance" is vague and subjective:
Is playing a movie on a laptop in a public park a violation?
Is streaming a movie in your home from another room a violation?
What if I'm watching a movie in my home and I have the doors and windows open so my neighbors can hear it?

MPAA needs to do what the RIAA has done, quit thinking everyone is a pirate. The RIAA gave up on DRM and lawsuits and the record industry is thriving now.


Real life example of remote Place Shifting:

I’m a DISH subscriber and rent (not owned by me) a receiver from DISH that has Sling technology built into it. Right now I’m at work and remote viewing a Live MLB game from the DISH receiver over the Internet to my PC. I have full control of the video feed, PAUSE/FFWD/REWD. I’m not sure in what way what I’m doing right now is any different than what Zediva offers as it pertains to the “different room” theory. In both instances the customer is paying for rental of equipment, video content and using IP delivery transport.


I've never seen a technical explanation of how Zediva works but I don't know of a way they could have streamed to customers without circumventing DVD copy protection, which is a DMCA violation. This was apparently not the reason they were shut down, so I'm curious what they were doing to get around that.

Were they encoding analog DVD player output on the fly?


Legalities aside, if Zediva was actually doing what they claimed and one DVD and DVD player could only be in use by one customer at a time I don't think they could do it on a large enough scale to make a profit.

The court decision says:

Defendants describe their service as allowing customers to “rent” a particular DVD and DVD player for 14 days. However, Defendants’ customers do not have access to or control over a specific DVD or DVD player. Instead, Defendants stream the content of the DVD to a customer for a maximum period of four hours, provided that the customer does not pause it for more than one hour during that time. After four hours of total “rental” time or an hour-long pause, whichever occurs first, Defendants use the DVD player containing he same DVD to transmit the Copyrighted Work to a different customer. When the first customer makes a request to resume viewing, the transmission may be sent from a different DVD or a different DVD player than the one originally used to transmit the Copyrighted Work in the earlier “rental” period. According to their website, if all of the copies of a particular Copyrighted Work are “rented out” when a customer wants to view it, that customer “can request to be notified, via email, when it becomes available.”


Dang. I love Zediva.

Christian Ford

Figures, wonder how much $$ that cost netflix, amazon and hulu.

Zediva was just hitting a point because of netflix's cost hike, they would become a viable alternative, assuming they could increase their library and capacity of course.

I disagree with the inability to scale, I could build an appliance fairly cheaply that could house 8 drive bays and video feeds.

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