updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue August 2, 2011
Zediva ordered to stop remote DVD streaming
Online DVD movie rental service Zediva has been temporarily banned from running its service by a federal judge. The step follows an MPAA lawsuit filed in April and is a preliminary injunction until the case concludes. Hollywood studios and the MPAA saw its service as trying to exploit a loophole in copyright law, one which Judge John Walter said didn't exist.
"Defendants are violating Plaintiffs' exclusive right to publicly perform their Copyrighted Works," he wrote in the judgement.
In its defense, Zediva said it buys thousands of physical DVDs and players that are hooked up to the Internet. Users therefore 'rent' use of the DVD player and the DVD inside it. The movie on the DVD is streamed across the Internet to the user's browser, achieving the remote effect but supposedly honoring the private use rights.
DVDs of movies are available earlier than subscription digital copies mostly due to artificially imposed delays trying to protect the older format's sales. Companies like Netflix have often been asked to wait 28 days or more in return for getting content.
Zediva promised to appeal the ruling. [via Ars Technica]