Print 98 comment(s) - last by MrPoletski.. on Jan 14 at 6:15 AM

Arrgghhh this will show those pesky pirates -- we'll cut one of our hottest items!

Netflix revolutionized the movie rental industry when it began offering unlimited movie rentals for a monthly flat rate.  Since 2007, a $16.99 (plus tax) monthly membership fee has granted you access to up to three movies at a time, with unlimited exchanges.  While Blockbuster rushed similarly priced plans to market, it was arguably too little, too late -- Netflix was already a major player and owned many key patents.

Despite that resounding success, all is not rosy for Netflix.  Netflix has been under fire from movie industry, which claims its unlimited deliveries of new rentals is fueling rampant piracy of films.

Under pressure, Netflix just announced that it has incredibly consented to enter a deal with Warner Bros. that will essentially begin to kill its new release program under the premise of fighting piracy.  Under the agreement, Netflix agrees to not offer new releases until 28 days after the DVD/Blu-Ray release goes on sale in stores.

Netflix COO Ted Sarandos appears to have wholeheartedly embraced the idea, which he originally suggested to studios in 2007.  Netflix likely gets a major kick back from the deal, though; if the terms of Mr. Sarandos's original pitch hold true, Warner Bros. will cut its inventory costs with Netflix (the amount it charges the company for its movie stockpile) by 50 percent.

Describes Mr. Sarandos enthusiastically, "Creating a rental window is not a punitive action. It’s a decision that the retailers and studios can make together. If the studios can entice a rentailer to create a rental window, I believe that rentailers, studios and consumers can all benefit from it."

With that attitude and the mutually positive reaction from Warner Bros., it seems likely that other movie studios will follow in suit, signing agreements to cut inventory cost in exchange for no more new rentals.  Netflix is reportedly in advanced talks with Fox and Universal as well.  Other unnamed studios are also discussing similar plans with the rentailer.

For both Netflix and the movie studios the plan is a risky gamble.  Without new rentals, Netflix risks being undercut by Blockbuster.  While the inventory cost cuts ultimately result in a greater monetary gain on paper (as 70 percent of Netflix rentals are from older catalog titles, with approximately 30 percent coming from new releases), whether customers will stomach the change is questionable.

Likewise for movie studios, if customers do accept the deal, but it does not significantly affect buying rates/piracy, the studios stand to lose a great deal of money offering movies to Netflix at greatly reduced rates.  In all likelihood, the biggest loser, though, will be Netflix customers who may soon lose access to the hottest new rentals, which Blockbuster will continue to provide.

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So, to clarify
By monitorjbl on 1/6/2010 7:05:52 PM , Rating: 5
Netflix is not serving new releases to combat forcing those that do the pirating to drive to Blockbuster? That's like penalizing sexual predators by only taking away their cars.

RE: So, to clarify
By AEvangel on 1/6/2010 7:28:36 PM , Rating: 5
That's like penalizing sexual predators by only taking away their cars.

Really it's more like saying the closed the park down on one side of now all the perverts will just go across town to the other park.

Bottom line is your not stopping or addressing the actual problem your just making it a little more annoying to customers that actually legally pay for a service.

RE: So, to clarify
By inighthawki on 1/6/2010 7:39:40 PM , Rating: 5
Bottom line is your not stopping or addressing the actual problem your just making it a little more annoying to customers that actually legally pay for a service.

How does this differ from any other anti-piracy system, which was cracked in a day leaving legit users with some form of annoyance to deal with...

RE: So, to clarify
By Alexstarfire on 1/6/2010 7:45:04 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing needs to even be cracked. It's not even a roadblock.... more like a pothole. You just kinda swerve to avoid it, but if not it's all right anyway.

RE: So, to clarify
By DarkElfa on 1/6/2010 11:18:41 PM , Rating: 5
Pirates don't get their crap from Netfilx?!! Hell, almost every new release the pirates do is out 1-3 months before Netfilx even gets them.

RE: So, to clarify
By Samus on 1/7/2010 2:01:05 AM , Rating: 5
That's what I'm saying! Seriously, in the torrent community, almost everything is sourced from retail. Do they actually think pirates are going to wait 3 days for the DVD in the mail?

And if you're going to argue the pirates they're after are just the home users that rip for their own collection, go ahead and argue. Because as stated above, if they don't want to buy it, they'll just get it from Blockbuster.

This is amazingly stupid of Netflix. Who's going to wait a month for a DVD release when the video stores have it? Basically, we're going backwards. As in, we're going back to the video store domination.

RE: So, to clarify
By frobizzle on 1/7/2010 8:38:11 AM , Rating: 2
If this wasn't so pathetic, it might actually be funny!

Almost any movie (worth seeing) is usually available to download weeks or months before the DVD/Blue Ray comes out. Another impotent action by the movie studios!

And as the OP pointed out, pirates do not bother getting their movies from Netflix!

RE: So, to clarify
By Cypherdude1 on 1/8/2010 7:17:01 AM , Rating: 2
When I first read this about the 28 day delay, I thought it was a joke. Apparently not:

There is no way customers who rely on rental DVD's will standby and take this delay. I have been a Netflix customer for 1.5 years and have always wanted to see new rentals ASAP. Since I can no longer do this with Netflix, I will cancel my service. I will either return to BlockBuster online or simply occasionally go to my local independent rental stores. Maybe I'll just use Redbox, especially if they put one nearby.

I can't believe Netflix will leave this policy in place. I just know that thousands of their customers will dump them now and Netflix will back down.

RE: So, to clarify
By akse on 1/7/2010 3:18:03 AM , Rating: 5
Lol yeah.

So now people that would use netfilx get their movies later and start to think "the hell with the waiting I just DL from torrentsite X and get the movie today instead of month later"

Stupid move which only increases piracy.

RE: So, to clarify
By CZroe on 1/7/2010 12:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be surprised how much casual piracy is done off line. Most casual pirates don't consider waiting a hassle while they DO consider finding, downloading, converting, fixing, etc a hassle, especially when it isn't what they wanted (DVD5 rip, shitty cam rip claiming "DVD quality!" even after the freakin' DVD is released, etc).

RE: So, to clarify
By CZroe on 1/7/2010 12:21:37 PM , Rating: 3
For example, my brother prefers to backup his own Blu-Ray discs. Why DL 50GB and have your Internet connection suffer all day when you have the disc RIGHT THERE?

RE: So, to clarify
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/7/2010 9:52:02 PM , Rating: 1
Right, DVDs I could see since they are so easy to burn and return, but BRDs? You can only fit about 25 per terabyte hard drive before you run out of space. That's only about a months supply. ANd they don't fit on burnable Bluray.

RE: So, to clarify
By leexgx on 1/8/2010 4:06:18 AM , Rating: 3
if using H.264/ac3 5.1 MKV container (AC3 5.1 is a lot smaller unless high end setup DTS not needed) your talking about 6-12gb thats more like 100 per 1TB HDD, unless your really wanting ISO copies at 30-50GB each

not that i rent dvd's or BR any way

RE: So, to clarify
By jonmcc33 on 1/7/2010 1:39:10 AM , Rating: 2
That's the funny part. The pirated stuff is usually on the internet weeks before it ever hits retail shelves.

Example, the movie "Whiteout" isn't supposed to be on the retail shelves until Jan 19, 2010 but it was released yesterday on the internet.

Warner is stupid if they think that Netflix has anything to do with piracy.

RE: So, to clarify
By MrPoletski on 1/13/2010 6:51:00 AM , Rating: 2
Warner isn't stupid, warner knows that because people can rent the movie out instead of buying it, they don't buy it.

This isn't to stop piracy, this is to stop rental of brand new releases and encourage people to buy the DVD instead of renting it.

Piracy is the excuse these companies use for everything now, their war on Piracy is like the war on terror, most of their actions just increase the piracy and it's rarely a decent plan to reduce piracy because it is rarely, actually, about piracy.

RE: So, to clarify
By quiksilvr on 1/7/2010 12:52:39 AM , Rating: 3
Come on, people. This obviously isn't about piracy. They want people to buy the DVDs not rent them. So to avoid a cheap way to rent before you buy when its released, they make you wait a month so that those that can't wait frigging 4 weeks (which is quite a number of people) will buy it or rent it at Blockbuster.

IMO, this is a conspiracy that Blockbuster cooked up with Warner Bros. They say "go public about piracy issues" and send some money down Warner's way so that they can rack up some rent points.

So I say to consumers out there. Don't go to Blockbuster or Hollywood to pay insane prices towards rentals. Wait a month. Show them it doesn't make a difference. And give Netflix your business and tell Blockbuster to go f*ck themselves.

RE: So, to clarify
By ChristopherO on 1/7/2010 1:51:52 AM , Rating: 1
And give Netflix your business and tell Blockbuster to go f*ck themselves.

So you totally read the article backwards? Netflix is screwing me because I can no longer get new releases, so I should continue to do business with them? Almost all my rentals are new release Blu Ray. Why? Because I don't need to pay $20 (at the cheapest) from Amazon for a title that might be spotty at best, but I don't want to wait around to see.

Whereas Blockbuster charges the same price for their service (actually less for Blu Ray) and they *will* have new releases? Technically I'd pay the same at Blockbuster, because Total Access costs the same as the "blu ray add-on" with Netflix.

How exactly am I hurting anyone other than myself here by not switching to Blockbuster? And with Total Access -- I can just get films at the local store. Netflix streaming is nice and all, but I don't stream 5 movies per month. But I might have an urge to exchange 5 at Blockbuster, which has a store 2/3rds of a mile from here.

And there is no way this is about piracy. Blu Ray is still pretty darn secure. If they left the Blu Rays as day-and-date, but delayed the DVDs, that might led a tiny bit of credibility to their arguments.

The funny thing, in the 80s, rental windows were in reverse. Video stores could rent movies almost 6 months before you could buy them. How times have changed.

RE: So, to clarify
By TheDoc9 on 1/7/2010 9:53:08 AM , Rating: 3
That's what I was thinking as well, not about blockbuster. Just a way for the studios to increase sales. Get some PR in by blaming it on piracy.

I think Blockbuster is just a lucky bystander in this case, as there's no guarantee many people will move to them. Netflix rarely pushes new releases as it is, I see this being a non issue.

RE: So, to clarify
By therealnickdanger on 1/7/2010 10:20:31 AM , Rating: 2
Come on, people. This obviously isn't about piracy

Exactly. They think they will increase sales with this. The sad part is that they're probably correct. Most people are very impulsive and lack any form of patience. But this will only increase piracy on an equal scale.

Warner is only kicking themselves in the ass on this. Most people aren't willing to fork over the $20+ for new releases, so they rent them on Netflix to watch them before buying. In my case, I'm very picky about buying Blu-Ray discs. The transfer has to be of the utmost quality for me to shell out my money. The only way to know for sure is to rent it or rely on the judgement of respected website reviews. If I or reviewers can't get copies, then I'm just going to wait until I can get it from Netflix. By that time, the movie will be on sale and Warner will have missed a chance for me to spend more on a movie that I potentially would have bought very near to release.

RE: So, to clarify
By mikefarinha on 1/7/2010 11:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
I agree.

When a new move is released to disk it is usually accompanied by some sort of marketing campaign. The studios can't capitalize on the burst of interest from a new release when many people can watch the movie via Netflix.

I think that the movie and music studios realize that the digital revolution is going to eat them alive.

The Studios' MO now is simply to push back the inevitable as long as possible.

RE: So, to clarify
By callmeroy on 1/7/2010 11:35:31 AM , Rating: 3
I don't have to tell block buster go to "eff" off.....they are closing down in droves around me already...

i know of two at least -- the one that used to be my preferred one location wise -- yeah its now a dunkin donuts, then about 2 miles from that one another block buster just closed. Finally, my parents told me that their's is closing this month -- they only live about 10-15 miles from me.

So all in all I think BB is on the way out least around here.

RE: So, to clarify
By Spuke on 1/7/2010 12:25:58 PM , Rating: 2
All of the Blockbusters closed down where I live. There are some mom and pop shops but I use Netflix exclusively. Super convenient. Kind of pissed about the new releases but not going to jump ship just yet. I'll wait and see what Blockbuster does first.

RE: So, to clarify
By elgueroloco on 1/8/2010 4:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
All Blockbuster stores are closing nationwide. Blockbuster is changing their business model to a combination of mail, online, and kiosks, and abandoning storefronts altogether.

At least, this is what I heard when we asked the employees at the soon-to-be-closed local Blockbuster about it. I can't find anything about it in the news.

RE: So, to clarify
By beerhound on 1/7/2010 3:51:29 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly on target, here is a quote from an article on another site:

"Warner Home Video president Ron Sanders made no attempt to hide the reason for the delay. "The 28-day window allows us to continue making our most popular films available to Netflix subscribers while supporting our sell-through product," he said in a statement. Warner emphasized in its announcement that 75 percent of sell-through (that is, DVD sales) occur within the first four weeks of release, and that Netflix would benefit from this deal because it will see reduced costs and better availability of new releases."

This has nothing to do with piracy. It is all about trying to get people who might have rented through Netflix to buy from Warner instead.

RE: So, to clarify
By LANDRY1986 on 1/6/10, Rating: -1
RE: So, to clarify
By mcnabney on 1/6/2010 10:08:12 PM , Rating: 5
Who Spams a Nerd-site with designer clothing adds?

RE: So, to clarify
By quiksilvr on 1/7/2010 12:53:43 AM , Rating: 3
Someone who is DESPERATE to make commission this month.

RE: So, to clarify
By frobizzle on 1/7/2010 8:41:14 AM , Rating: 3
They would have a much more receptive audience if they were selling Fritos and Coca Cola!

RE: So, to clarify
By Kefner on 1/7/2010 9:56:56 AM , Rating: 5
No, Code Red Mountain Dew and Hot Pockets!!!

RE: So, to clarify
By callmeroy on 1/7/2010 11:39:46 AM , Rating: 2
You have to laugh at the irony though....looking at the items listed and the are a dolt if you think those are anything BUT knockoffs....

So a tech site topic surrounding piracy, and some spammer bot posting adds for knockups of higher end brands.....

.....good ol' captialism gotta love it..... lol

RE: So, to clarify
By leexgx on 1/8/2010 4:15:52 AM , Rating: 2
this is one user as far as i know who is doing this he is the same user does the same on anandtech comments on reviews (but they have an useful SPAM button that daily tech is missing)

quite easy to block it thought when that site is Previewed it should auto BAN that IP when preview is press with that site in the post (should not be that hard to code that)

he used to use the click-to sites but me and the site most likely sent emails to them saying its an scam website

RE: So, to clarify
By rburnham on 1/7/2010 9:56:36 AM , Rating: 2
So instead of getting the movies vie Netflix and copying them, they will have to go back to their usual torrent sites and get them there?

RE: So, to clarify
By Hiawa23 on 1/7/2010 12:12:13 PM , Rating: 2
This sucks, I have the 2 out at a time, plus Blu-Ray plan, & honestly putting a 28 day wait on the new releases, will not make me want to drive somewhere & get it from them, I haven't even been into a Blockbuster in atleast 5 years.

That's the whole point of Netflix in the first place. I guess I will just wait & get another movie instead until my movie comes in. I understand where the studios are coming from, but one of the perks of being a Netflix subscriber is you get the new releases when they release, or close after. I go through roughly 6 movies or so a week.

Netflix has been a huge savings for me as I hated to buy movies from stores then watch them once or twice then they went to the shelf never to be watched again. As a result of this many years ago, I now have over 500 dvds many of them I don't want to watch again, which is why Netflix is all the more important.

This will not cut down on piracy, cause If you wanted to why not wait out the 30 days or so, then when your copy comes in, rip the movie then? Just saying, this will not force me to run out & buy the movie & I have to believe many others won't either.

RE: So, to clarify
By Hiawa23 on 1/7/2010 12:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
What this will do is get me to change my Netflix account from 2 out plus blu-ray to 1 out only just so I can have instant streamin & either do what I have been doing which is go to the movies & see the movies I want, as it's only $5 for movies here at AMCTheaters in Florida, on Saturday mornings before noon, & my renting needs, just go online & get them faster instead of wating for the DVD/Blu-ray release. This will increase piracy if you ask me. Someone is looking for more revenue & with the economy the way it is the studios are looking for anything right now. This will hurt Netflix, bank on that....

RE: So, to clarify
By ArcliteHawaii on 1/7/2010 9:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
Professional pirates could just buy a copy and pirate that. WTF? For casual "pirates" (home users who burn and return) I could see limiting DVDs since they are easy to pirate, but Bluray? They're harder to burn and I don't see too many BRD torrents. They're just too big.

Dumbass Movie Industry...
By Mithan on 1/6/2010 7:18:12 PM , Rating: 5
So what the movie industry really wants me to do now is just download the movie to get it faster.

Oh ok, I get it. They WANT piracy.


RE: Dumbass Movie Industry...
By kusala on 1/6/2010 8:59:35 PM , Rating: 3
Can we get a 6 here. This is right on the button. They just created more piracy lol!!! Dumbass move indeed

RE: Dumbass Movie Industry...
By mcnabney on 1/6/2010 10:06:33 PM , Rating: 5
Pretty clever comment.

However, I think the target is regular people who don't download torrents, but who will rent movies and make copies of them illegally.

But I don't see how this is going to change much because someone who intends to rent and copy to save money is 99.99% likely to just wait the extra month. Or worse, start downloading. Than there wouldn't even be a rental income for the studio/Netflix to share.

For my personal renting I have found Redbox to be much better for new releases. If I get too annoyed with Netflix and this new policy I might drop down from 3-at-a-time to 1-at-a-time and start reserving titles at Redbox more proactively instead of waiting patiently on Netflix.

I just came home with Half Blood Prince, Paranormal Activity, and District 9 from Redbox because we are expecting a blizzard tonight. I deleted them from my Netflix queue a few minutes ago. They were all in the 'long wait' category... This new policy might cause a lot of Netflix customers to re-evaluate their plan.

RE: Dumbass Movie Industry...
By Ryanman on 1/6/2010 11:59:13 PM , Rating: 5
How many people know how to download codecs, rip DVD's, and format them correctly, but don't know how to double click a .torrent file and leave their computer?

I really do think this does absolutely NOTHING to discourage piracy. Pirates that saw Netflix as a low-cost solution to stealing are gonna jump right back on the bandwagon. Warner is disgustingly stupid.

RE: Dumbass Movie Industry...
By antimatter3009 on 1/7/2010 9:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is more about trying to get renters to buy than it is about piracy. By having rentals start a month after a movie is available for purchase, they might get some portion of the people who want to watch the movie to just go ahead and buy it instead of wait. However, I don't see how this could ever work unless they can convince every rental operation to agree to it, and I don't see why they would. Netflix has been leading the rental business for awhile now, and they've just dropped an advertising campaign into the laps of every one of their competitors. I can't see this ending well for anyone.

RE: Dumbass Movie Industry...
By Redwin on 1/7/2010 10:17:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is spot on. We all know it only takes *ONE* copy of a movie to be ripped and uploaded to enable piracy. That one copy is almost ALWAYS available well before the movie goes on sale, and in MANY cases well before its even in theaters. Hell you could download a workprint of Xmen origins before it was even finished post production!

I refuse to believe everyone at the movie studios is too dumb to know this, so the only thing that makes sense is they are trying to push NetFlix customers who DON'T pirate, but want to see the film at home, to buy a copy by making it impossible to rent it from NetFlix.

NetFlix is kind of gambling that people won't just leave their service and go elsewhere, but I guess we'll have to see how that shakes out.

RE: Dumbass Movie Industry...
By grampaw on 1/7/2010 3:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
"...the only thing that makes sense is they are trying to push NetFlix customers who DON'T pirate, but want to see the film at home, to buy a copy by making it impossible to rent it from NetFlix."

BINGO! Netflix/Studios know only about 5% of the Netflix customers know how to download a movie and make a DVD out of it. They figure that everyone who's going to pirate, is already pirating... so its a win-win proposition for studios and Netflix. It's actually a win situation for the people who do pirate - more titles will be probably be available to pirate as more titles will be available before the Netflix rental release date.

Sounds to me like Studios, Netflix, Pirates all make out at the expense of the typical Netflix customer...

Good for netflix bad for consumers
By ira176 on 1/6/2010 8:12:18 PM , Rating: 5
There are two reasons that I got netflix.
1. Not having to drive to block buster.
2. Watching new releases.

I like to stream the movies too, but it seems like the new popular releases take longer to make it to streaming.

I may have to re-evaluate the need for netflix.

RE: Good for netflix bad for consumers
By micksh on 1/6/2010 9:11:08 PM , Rating: 3
Netflix has been horrible with new blu-ray releases recently. I could not get Terminator 4 for more than a month. I haven't got Inglorious Basterds and Hangover yet. These have been on top of my queue since release date became known.

I know that Netflix prioritizes customers and since I always return disks next day I'm not the best customer but having to wait for a month for any hot new movie is not fair either.

This will extend the delay even more. I need blu-rays and there is no blu-ray red box nearby. Will switch to Blockbuster total access. I don't have Netflix streaming device, only HTPC and their streaming quality sucks on PC so I will not miss it.

Article here says that even now Blockbuster ships new releases faster.

RE: Good for netflix bad for consumers
By DCstewieG on 1/6/2010 11:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
Now I certainly don't return discs the next day (not any more anyway), but I've gotten the Blu-rays I wanted on release day 100% of the time by mailing a disc in on Monday. Then they get it on Tuesday when they begin sending the new releases out.

By micksh on 1/7/2010 1:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
They ship new releases on Monday so you could get it on Tuesday. The fact that by Tuesday they still have new releases left tells that your local shipping center has very good disk/customer ratio. Here, in San Jose, CA it's pretty bad.

By aapocketz on 1/7/2010 3:27:09 PM , Rating: 2
I already wait over a month for new releases it seems, especially now that I have added blu-ray access. The backlog is long enough that usually I get movies that are in the 'teens in my queue. Sometimes by the time they actually send me some new release I have managed to watch it at a friends house or something, and I have to send it right back.

I noticed that Amazon is starting renting newer movies (like the hangover) streaming online, and I have like $20 of free video on demand credit. I may check that out.

By bupkus on 1/7/2010 1:00:34 AM , Rating: 2
I just decided; now that I get HBO I have enough to watch. Maybe I'll drop to the Instant download only package.

By Hiawa23 on 1/7/2010 3:04:01 PM , Rating: 2
There are two reasons that I got netflix.
1. Not having to drive to block buster.
2. Watching new releases.

I like to stream the movies too, but it seems like the new popular releases take longer to make it to streaming.

I may have to re-evaluate the need for netflix.

yep, I think many of us will re-evaluate our subscription.

By dagamer34 on 1/6/2010 8:57:15 PM , Rating: 1
If the movie were really worth watching, you'd go see it in the theater, not watch it at home. Waiting another month won't matter that much.

RE: Umm..
By DigitalFreak on 1/6/2010 9:31:20 PM , Rating: 4
If the movie were really worth watching, you'd go see it in the theater, not watch it at home. Waiting another month won't matter that much.

Ah.. no. There are those of us who hate going to the theater and having to deal with all the cell phone/talking/etc. douche bags. I have a sweet home theater setup already, so why put up with all the bullshit?

RE: Umm..
By Hakuryu on 1/6/2010 11:23:20 PM , Rating: 3
Ah.. no. There are those of us who hate going to the theater and having to deal with all the cell phone/talking/etc. douche bags. I have a sweet home theater setup already, so why put up with all the bullshit?

Yea, I'm that person. I never, ever, ever, see a movie in the movie theaters. Been at least 5 years and probably longer (10 years or so) since I've gone to a theater.

If you have a nice sound setup and decent sized screen, you aren't missing anything compared to a theater except other people ruining your experience, $10 boxes of popcorn, and people that aren't experienced with personal hygiene.

Guilty until proven innocent. That is the way consumers are treated when it comes to movies and music. If we can see a movie upon release, without buying a physical copy, then we must be copying and selling it. Somthing is fishy about all this... movie execs cannot be that clueless to think Netflix users are a big part of piracy.

RE: Umm..
By aapocketz on 1/7/2010 3:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
I wholeheartedly agree with you, for the most part.

I have a high def projector and sound system in a basement home theater, which generally is amazing. However I went to see Avatar, the Digital 3D Imax experience blows away my theater, and it made that movie. If more big budget action movies are in 3D digital with the kind of quality that Avatar had it will drag me to the theater. The action packed jaw dropping visuals and audio (and $14 ticket price) managed to shut most of the annoying people in the theater up.

RE: Umm..
By afkrotch on 1/6/2010 9:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
Ever pay for a whole family to go? I could buy a 7.1 home theatre setup for that price.

I'd rather buy a blu-ray copy of the movie, watch it on a big screen HDTV with a 7.1 audio setup, all in the comfort of my own home. Not to mention, get to view it multiple times if I felt like it.

I also feel it's of better quality, since I don't have to deal with lint, dust, etc on the film. People throwing popcorn in front of the projector. Also the ability to pause it, if I need to use the bathroom.

No movie is worth watching in a theatre anymore.

RE: Umm..
By Ryanman on 1/7/2010 12:02:25 AM , Rating: 2
There are some places stepping it up with food, alcohol, and stuff like that. It's a classy night out.

But other places seem to have given up. For instance, in Manhattan KS there's only one movie theater. It has no surround sound, and the viewing rooms are almost 75 yards long. If you sit up close, you get neck strain, while the middle nets you an incredibly high volume. The back isn't much better. It's not worth even close to the 8 bucks they charge.

By streak24 on 1/7/2010 7:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
Where the heck did you pull this steaming pile o' crap out of Mick??

It took me all of two seconds to surf over to the Netflix page and find the actual press release detailing this deal with Warner Bros ( Nowhere in the press release does it state that this is a move to combat piracy. Worse yet, you don't even say what Netflix received in return for providing a 28-day sell window to WB.

Let me help you out here by actually quoting part of the press release so Daily Tech readers aren't completely led astray by this shamble of a blog posting...

"New release titles on DVD and Blu-ray will be made available to Netflix members after a 28-day window, giving Warner Bros. the opportunity to maximize the sales potential of those titles and Netflix the benefits of reduced product costs and significantly more units and better in-stock levels four weeks after street date. At the same time, a renewed and expanded license for Warner Bros. streaming content will allow Netflix to offer its members more movies they can watch instantly."

So boiled down, this means Netflix gives WB 28 days to sell its new releases before they are available for rental on Netflix. In return, Netflix will now have more units available to send out after the 28-day window and will also have more streaming content available from the WB catalog for those who like to watch instantly.

Oh...and if you are going to reference an article, please be sure the actual article you are referring to is relevant and timely. The article you referenced about "new rentals is fueling rampant piracy of films" is almost two years old and says nothing about a connection between rentals and piracy. Did you link to the wrong reference or did you just make that up as well??

By kattanna on 1/7/2010 10:02:30 AM , Rating: 2

i read about it here

Newly released DVDs account for about 30 percent of Netflix's shipments

so this delay will only affect 30% of their client base, but..

Warner Bros. already has agreed to contribute hundreds of additional movies to that service — triple the current catalog. They will include many titles that have only been out on DVD for three to eight months

that will be a boon to them all.

but facts dont make for a sexy headline and troll like postings i guess.

By mydogfarted on 1/7/2010 10:18:39 AM , Rating: 3
so this delay will only affect 30% of their client base, but..

I'm pretty sure if I told my boss I was going to do something that could piss off 1/3 of our customers, I'm pretty sure I'd be fired on the spot.

By kattanna on 1/7/2010 11:56:21 AM , Rating: 2
your assuming 100% of those people will be outraged by this, which would be false.

i dont care if its another month later cause i dont usually see any movie on netflix that hasnt been out for some time as my queue is long. also whenever a new release does hit, i have watched the wait times from my queue listing and i could easily have to wait that extra 4 weeks anyways. so them being able to get 50% more DVD's when it does launch for them would actually be a good thing.

in fact, for me, this deal might mean i see those films from warner bros sooner as they might be on the instant watch list.

will there be a few people that this will not be acceptable to, you bet. and they are free to voice their dissatisfaction by canceling the service. but for the majority of netflix's customers, this will most likely be a good thing.

Won't Stop Anything
By gigahertz20 on 1/6/2010 7:10:38 PM , Rating: 3
This will not do anything to fight piracy of newly released movies, someone just needs to buy the movie from a retail store, rip it to their hard drive, then convert the movie to a smaller format using h.264 or divx, upload it to a torrent site and done.

RE: Won't Stop Anything
By SunAngel on 1/6/2010 7:27:05 PM , Rating: 3
That's so last year. The new wave is EACH buy his/her own copy of the movie, rip it, and store the original in the closet.

RE: Won't Stop Anything
By DM0407 on 1/6/2010 8:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
So each film will now make $16.99 more... Brilliant!

By quadraphonic on 1/6/2010 7:10:42 PM , Rating: 3
Of course this won't impact piracy.. when they lose revenue off their rental streams they'll probably look to boost first-run percentages again and we'll see another round of concession increases at the theatres.

Such old hat thinking...

RE: Foolish...
By DM0407 on 1/6/2010 8:11:56 PM , Rating: 2
If there sales don't increase but they lose income from Netflix, naturally they will just blame piracy.

RE: Foolish...
By MrPoletski on 1/14/2010 6:15:26 AM , Rating: 2
I call
By LRonaldHubbs on 1/6/2010 8:14:10 PM , Rating: 5
If the studios can entice a rentailer to create a rental window, I believe that rentailers, studios and consumers can all benefit from it.


RE: I call
By theapparition on 1/7/2010 9:12:03 AM , Rating: 2
and when did " rentailers " ever become a word.

Just another dumb COO trying to justify screwing the customer.

More bull from the movie industy....
By rdawise on 1/6/2010 9:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
Let's face it, Netflix does not care about the consumer on this one. From their point of view, they already have most of Blockbuster's customer so crap deals like this won't hurt them. They have nothing to lose here and everything (money) to gain. The only thing that would make them recant this action is if customers cancel their subscription on a mass scale (which won't likely happened because people are lazy and this isn't widespread news).

Studios like WB know that new rentals have nothing to do with piracy. They just want you to buy the DVD so they can get the money instead of rental companies. It's as simple as that.

How is this supposed to stop piracy anyway? A person can still get the DVD, burn it to hard drive, and upload it to the net. You think cost will be a deterrent? Ever heard of theft?

I call bull on both parties, but can't blame Netflix though...

RE: More bull from the movie industy....
By mcnabney on 1/6/2010 10:29:16 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, they are likely to give Blockbuster a lot of their customers over this.

Blockbuster has the same pricing tiers, but does not have streaming like Netflix.

However Blockbuster does provide BluRays with no added fee and provides a lot of other discounts. In addition, an extra $3/month allows you to have five instant movie swaps at the store. So this will almost guarantee quick access to new releases using the Blockbuster service. Netflix has already stated that 30% of their rentals are new releases, but that is huge when you consider that at any given time there are 100k movies available, but only 50-100 of those would be considered a New Release. Expect Blockbuster to make some hay over this. Now I have thought about it, I think I will switch.

By Fox5 on 1/7/2010 2:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
Blockbuster does have streaming.

Piracy Smoke Screen
By ClassicRocker on 1/6/2010 11:02:45 PM , Rating: 3
This decision has nothing to do with piracy. The movie studios want you to buy not rent. They just don't to say this. The average Netflix user doesn't pirate. Those that do rent and copy wouldn't buy anyway. Netflix would like to get get rid of these latter users anyway since they rent too many movies.

I plan to cancel my Netflix membership and go with Blockbuster. When Blockbuster is preasured into a similar deal I will find alternate sources and everyone will lose money. If enough people follow my example then this BS will end.

RE: Piracy Smoke Screen
By cmdrdredd on 1/6/2010 11:08:52 PM , Rating: 2
Probably right here. Not much more to say.

RE: Piracy Smoke Screen
By Ytsejamer1 on 1/7/2010 10:35:35 AM , Rating: 2
Somewhere, the content delivery companies (comcast, tw, directv, etc) are celebrating for likely increased revenue from on-demand rentals.

Netflix and their users got hosed in this deal. Where it might not effect everyone, it's definitely going to be an annoyance for me. There are good movies I want to see, but do not want to see at the theater. Now I have to wait even longer for them to come out? Blech...but I suppose I'll just get used to the extra 28 day wait.

There is no way pirates are going to be effected at all...I don't think this was about the piracy issue anyway. It was about the delivery and retail companies, masked by the issue of piracy.

By phatboye on 1/6/2010 7:43:31 PM , Rating: 2
The real reason why Warner Bros. is pushing this idea is simple; Warner Bros. wants the general public to buy their movies where Warner Bros receives a profit on each copy sold. Warner bros. loses a lot of money to movie rentals and they are willing to do anything they can do to put a stop to it. By requiring the rental industry to delay the rental of movies Warner bros is hoping that more people will opt to by the movie on DVD/BD instead. Unfortunately anyone with half a brain can see that this plan will ultimately not only cause people to resort to obtaining these movies illegally but it probably will not help boost movie sales.
I’m pretty sure that Netflix will be receiving monetary compensation from Warner Bros. in an amount that will more than make up from the losses that they will receive from this decision.

By oab on 1/6/2010 8:16:17 PM , Rating: 2
The article said that Netflix would get 50% reduced costs for warner movies.

By mcnabney on 1/6/2010 10:13:34 PM , Rating: 2
And what percentage of that savings will Netflix pass-on to their customers?

I am guessing 0%, but they may even raise rates.

Redbox anyone??
By AEvangel on 1/6/2010 7:29:57 PM , Rating: 5
With one dollar rentals from Redbox, I doubt this will deter any piracy.

By xxsk8er101xx on 1/6/2010 7:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
How does delaying the release stop piracy? They're all smoking crack and living in a world that's not earth. Hello, mcfly! Piracy is done by downloading the movies not renting them you moron!

in light of this news I'm going to cancel netflix.

RE: Stupid
By afkrotch on 1/6/2010 9:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
You do know that the downloads come from somewhere right? The easiest way is to just rent it, rip it, then throw it up on a torrent site.

They believe delaying the release, will delay pirates from tossing it up on torrent sites. Thus somehow more income for them.

It's obvious that this method won't work whatsoever, but they can keep dreaming.

the unwinnable piracy fight
By mwadley on 1/6/2010 10:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
This decision Netflix made is like fighting a forest fire with a hose. This will have little effect on anything.

RE: the unwinnable piracy fight
By frobizzle on 1/7/2010 8:50:19 AM , Rating: 2
This decision Netflix made is like fighting a forest fire with a hose. This will have little effect on anything.

More like trying to pee on a forest fire to put it out, I think!

timing is everything
By dust666 on 1/7/2010 9:53:00 AM , Rating: 2
This won't hurt anyone but NetFlix, and even that's debatable. All the "pirate" DVD rips become available just after the dvd's themselves are pressed, not released.
New dvd-rips usually start popping up several weeks before the actual release dates of dvd's, leading me to believe that most "pirates" have better access than Netflix.

RE: timing is everything
By Uncle on 1/7/2010 6:00:18 PM , Rating: 1
I agree somewhat. The last three movies I d/L had the usual disclaimer popping up at the bottom saying "For your consideration bla bla bla" Unless were all voting for the next Academy award through Netflix then I can't see WB using Netflix as an argument for Piracy. All Piracy does for me is to let me view shitty movies so I don't waste my hard earned dollars, so I have enough money to pay and watch a movie that is worth while. Piracy allows me as a consumer to make a good informed decision, and not to be influenced by a canned commercial put out by the studios.

By thepenguin99 on 1/6/2010 7:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
So the choices are:
DL the movie before it even hits theater usually
DL the DVD quality release before it ever hits shelves
Get it from netflix and rip on release if they deem you worthy of receiving the movie on release?
I wonder what most pirates are going with if they really want the movie quickly? This will do nothing to stop piracy.

I guess from Netflix's point of view it makes good financial sense but it seems like they are just giving blockbuster one chance to recover after another. First they charge more for blu-rays and now they do this.

Genius Business Idea
By destrobig on 1/6/2010 7:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
Who knew that giving your customers something they don't want could be a good idea?

By michal1980 on 1/6/2010 8:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
Once again the consumer gets raped.

By kyleb2112 on 1/6/2010 9:26:32 PM , Rating: 2
What idiots. It's a few release groups who do all the ripping and uploading to torrents/usenet--not people in general. The groups notoriously score leaked copies of movies before they even hit the theaters. Slowing down Netflix is hardly going to stop them. If anything it'll make legit new releases rarer and the pirated version more attractive.

By someguy123 on 1/6/2010 10:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
All the stupid anti-piracy measures being pushed nowadays are just so that the anti-piracy divisions can make it seem as though they're worth paying for and keeping around. I find it sad that there are so many people being paid to figure out ways to harass paying customers just so they can keep their jobs.

Dumbass Movie Industry
By xrodney on 1/7/2010 5:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
When movie industry finally learn that restricting actually promoting piracy instead of reducing it. People tend to go with less restrictive path and there is nothing that is going to change that.
For example if i have to chose download movie from internet or wait 6-24 months for DVD/Blueray to be released in my region (usually later then sooner) and cant order it from other region because of all that piece of crap as region protections they basically not giving much choices.
Same goes with movies in cinema, I like to go to cinema with friends but prefer to see then in english instead of translated crap (because quality of new dabbing is going to drain as well) and for example Avatar in my country is in local cinema only dubbed except 1 cinema that is 200 miles away and I would need spent 100$ and whole day to go there and back just to see 10$ movie.

By PAPutzback on 1/7/2010 9:40:48 AM , Rating: 2
If there is a movie coming out on DVD that is so good that I could not wait 28 days then I would have seen it at the theater. The only time I go to Blockbuster is when I eat at the Mexican restaurant next door. But I still kick myself a few days later when I see the boxes sitting on the table waiting to go back. 3 movies as blockbuster is a months bill at Netflix and I go thru 4 discs by mail and few hours of watch now a week. Now if someone has a link to BD quality torrents I'd be interested otherwise watching a compressed movie isn't worth comparing to BD rentals.

Deal also adds more streaming
By nafhan on 1/7/2010 10:15:32 AM , Rating: 2
From what I've read there's more to it than just preventing piracy, Warner Bros. is also offering more of their content for streaming through Netflix. Although I don't like the precedent this sets, the deal is an overall positive for me as I get more streaming content, and Netflix will (hopefully) not increase prices any time soon. Basically, the picture is not as 100% anti-consumer as the article paints it.

By BigRedNole on 1/7/2010 10:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
Now they can go to redbox, get the movie for free, and pirate it for free. At least with NetFlix, there is some money coming in.

I have an even better idea
By BernardP on 1/7/2010 11:32:40 AM , Rating: 2
Why not simply put a stop to that DVD/Bluray nonsense? Stop releasing movies in those formats and force people to go see them at the theatre. If it was good enough in the Fifties, it should still be good now.

ZOMG, off to Redbox!
By NaughtyGeek on 1/7/2010 5:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Man, this is really going to cut into my piracy empire's profits. Now I'm going to have to pay someone to go get the new releases out of the Redbox machine down the street.

Bottom line here is the movie industry is trying to get people to quit renting the movies and go buy them.

Jack@ss of the Year Award
By Jephph on 1/9/2010 7:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
"I believe that rentailers, studios and consumers can all benefit from it."

So... I'm assuming that you're going to be lowing your pricing for your customers since you'll be saving money then right?

Otherwise, congratulations! You've just received the Jackass of the Year Award! Well done Mr. Netflix COO!


...this just in...

"Netflix COO Ted Sarandos appears to have wholeheartedly embraced the idea, which he originally suggested to studios in 2007."

So you wholeheartedly embrace the idea of shortchanging your customers. You certainly are quite the competitor. You've just trumped yourself on being the Jackass of the Year! Congratulations again Mr. Netflix COO!

Just called Netflix
By SDBettas on 1/10/2010 9:45:31 AM , Rating: 2
And the CSR I spoke to straight up told me that this was so that WB could sell more movies right out of the gate, had nothing to do with Piracy

Just for physical delivery?
By Integral9 on 1/11/2010 8:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
Depending on how this deal is structured, this could be a boon for Netflix. But their customers will either have to switch to online delivery or find someone else to get their movies when they are released.

Assuming the deal only covers physical distribution of the media, then Netflix will still be allowed to deliver the movies to their customers on release over the Internet. With technologies like HDCP and devices such as the PS3, they can "guarantee" a secured delivery and with the expansion of on-line delivery to their customers, they could cut their costs tremendously if the mailing of the movies is still their #1 cost.

IMO, they would be foolish to sign this deal to anything more than the physical distribution of the movies.

By RealTheXev on 1/7/2010 8:23:45 PM , Rating: 1
I’ve read many of the comments here and it is obvious that not many people know what piracy is becoming. I lived in Kissimmee FL for 3 years so it makes more sense to me. Put any thoughts of computers and internet out of your mind.

Imagine you pull up to your local neighborhood gas station, and a strange person walks up to you, pulls open a DVD binder, and offers to sell you the latest releases, in a combo bundle for $10. I think a lot of people buy these things just because they are afraid of the people who suddenly come up to them, but some are genuinely interested. They don’t know about image quality or anything like that, they just want a deal on movies. This was getting common place in that are when I moved back home to Pennsylvania in mid-2008. I tried my best to get the cops to arrest these peddlers, but they are gone before you get a chance. It’s obvious a lot of these guys probably have a Netflix or Blockbuster with all the newest releases on their list, and they make a copy and send it back that day with something like DVDShrink, then go out and start selling them. They don’t care about DVD5 or DVD9, or how the movie looks.. they just wana make a buck. This was happening everywhere in the area too.. it was not isolated. Once one person started doing, a bunch of people were.

I’m surprised a move like this wasn’t taken long ago, honestly… Blockbuster would be wise to follow suit.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il

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