Fox, Universal, WB tapped for initial deals
HBO is relaxing terms on streaming content to services like iCloud, according to a company spokesman. To attract viewers, the cable network regularly buys exclusive rights to movies; these windows usually start six months after a title's disc release, and persist for roughly a year. HBO's terms frequently prevent movies from being sold online or through video-on-demand services during a window.
Wait period doubled to 56 days
Corroborating earlier reports, Warner Brothers is said to be set to extend the delay time for movie availability through streaming providers or DVD rental outlets. Customers will now have to wait 56 days from the start of DVD sales before titles will arrive through streaming channels or disc rentals, essentially doubling the window from the current period of 28 days.
Download now available via Flixster
Warner Brothers is ready to offer copies of its Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2 movie to download or stream on the UltraViolet platform. People who buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo, which goes on sale tomorrow, will be able to download an additional copy via Flixster apps for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices.
Same restrictions on DVDs and streaming
Warner Brothers has reportedly imposed a 28-day delay for DVDs headed to Blockbuster's rental locations. The studio appears to be following the same strategy with Blockbuster rentals as it has maintained with other players such as Redbox and Netflix, which also face the same month-long window between DVD sales and rental availability.
Claims Warner removed 100s of files it didn't own
The battle over software and video piracy took a turn yesterday when a Florida file hosting service sued Warner Brothers for allegedly engaging in copyright fraud and abuse of anti-piracy laws. Hotfile accuses the Warner Bros. of using the hosting company's anti-piracy tools to remove titles the studio doesn't own, including open source software. Hotfile is asking a court to make it whole for the losses they claim Warner Bros. caused.
Social media lets friends rate movies, video
Warner Brothers' social movie portal Flixter Collections entered public beta yesterday. The free service integrates with Amazon, Apple iTunes, Hulu and Netflix accounts and can be used to launch each of those services. Flixter can be configured to share media from a local hard drive. The site also connects users with movies still in theaters, with links to movie reviews, trailers and online ticketing.
Company set to enter closed market
Warner Brothers is reportedly preparing to launch a video-on-demand service in the Chinese market. The move is designed to bring the studio's movie content to a new region, which has proven a difficult country for foreign companies attempting to distribute films through traditional strategies. The studio has teamed with a local VoD company partnered with the state-run broadcaster China Central Television.
Warner Bros HD trade-in
Warner Bros. has launched a new trade-in program that allows owners of high-definition movies on the now-defunct HD DVD format to trade them in for the same title on the surviving Blu-ray format. Known as Red2blu, the promo lets owners trade up to 25 HD DVD titles produced by Warner for the same title on Blu-ray. A $4.95 charge applies to each movie, as well as the associated shipping and handling costs of $6.95 for each Blu-ray title.