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MPAA Wins Preliminary Injunction Against Zediva

Posted by: , 19:52 AEST, Tue August 2, 2011

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Zediva is ordered to shut down as, in the judge's opinion, it violated copyright and is a threat to traditional video-on-demand services

The MPAA has had another major victory in court, this time against Zediva, a company that offers an unique DVD rental service. The MPAA first sued Zediva back in April, but the judge handling the case ruled on Monday that Zediva had indeed violated copyright, and has ordered the service to be shut down immediately.

Zediva's service worked by allowing users to rent physical DVDs, but instead of sending them the disc, they simply withdraw the disc from distribution, and then allow the user to watch a streamed version of the movie on the disc.

Zediva argues that, this is in fact no different to traditional disc rental, except that Zediva offers to play the disc for the renter on a DVD player with a "really long cable attached". Zediva then has the advantage of not having to license content for streaming purposes, something that eventually worked against the company in the lawsuit.

One main reason U.S. District Judge John Walter cited in his ruling against Zediva was that, as there are many video-on-demand alternatives, and all are paying licensing fees, Zediva's business model could "threatens the development of a successful and lawful video-on-demand market".

The MPAA welcomed the decision. "Judge Walter's decision is a great victory for the more than 2 million American men and women whose livelihoods depend on a thriving film and television industry," a statement from the MPAA read.

Zediva on the other hand has vowed to fight on, calling the ruling a "setback for the hundreds of thousands of consumers looking for an alternative to Hollywood-controlled online movie services", and vowing to appeal the decision.

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