Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MPAA Sues Zevida For Copyright Infringement

From the AP: The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is suing Zediva, that company which has started releasing new films early via the Internet. According to its press release, the MPAA is suing for copyright infringement, because Zediva "illegally streams movies to its customers without obtaining required licenses from the movie studios, in violation of the studios’ right to “publicly perform” their works."

Zediva claims it is like a brick-and-mortar DVD “rental” store and therefore not obligated to pay licensing fees to copyright holders. But the DVD “rental” label is a sham. In reality, Zediva is a video-on-demand service that transmits movies over the Internet using streaming technologies in violation of the studios’ copyrights.

“Zediva’s mischaracterization of itself is a gimmick it hopes will enable it to evade the law and stream movies in violation of the studios’ exclusive rights,” said Dan Robbins, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the MPAA. “Courts have repeatedly seen through the façade of this type of copyright-avoidance scheme, and we are confident they will in this case too.”

The studios and law-abiding streaming services are making significant investments in new
technologies to offer consumers a variety of authorized online distribution services. Zediva’s model undermines these and future investments, as well as the interests of legitimate distribution businesses.

Here's a link to the complaint.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/media_law_prof_blog/2011/04/mpaa-sues-zevida-for-copyright-infringement.html

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