Netflix Lands Movie Deal with Miramax

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The movie rental and online streaming service Netflix has struck a deal with Miramax to offer the studio’s movies to its subscribers. The deal marks the first time Miramax will be available through a subscription service and should be available to Netflix customers in June.

NetflixNetflix gets Miramax movie streaming deal

The deal is good news for Netflix subscribers since they’ll have the ability to watch titles like Kill Bill, Clerks, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love via the company’s streaming service. Netflix said it will offer “several hundred” Miramax titles with “dozens of titles being added on a rotating basis.”

Miramax already offers many of its movies through Apple’s iTunes Store for purchase or rental. The studio’s deal with Netflix, however, offers movie watchers a way to stream the shows they want to watch by paying a flat monthly fee instead of per-movie.

Netflix and Miramax aren’t saying how much money changed hands as part of the deal.

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Comments

Ross Edwards

Thanks for clarifying that it was being added for streaming.  I was having a brain-blip moment when I read the headline because I could have sworn I had rented Miramax films via the mail-DVD part of Netflix.  In fact, I can count the number of DVDs I have been unable to get through Netflix without running out of fingers.

Netflix’s increasing prevalence in the market and the increasing access to content via streaming (in addition to basically any DVD ever printed via mail) raises an intriguing legal question: As long as you have a Netflix account in good standing, can you legally possess any content that is available on their service?  The idea being, as long as it has been through your DVD or instant queue at some point, isn’t it just timeshifting for you to watch it at another time via an ATV2 from a saved file or whatever? Clearly, I don’t think this question is legally settled by any means, but I imagine at some point it might have to be.

I mean, really, how long until we can just say “Computer, play [any movie title], volume level normal” like on Star Trek TNG and have it start rolling, 100% legal and paid for and all parties are taken care of?  With the instant streaming services that provide unlimited content for a monthly fee, we seem closer than ever.  If someone, whether Netflix or another company, were to say, “Due to agreements we have with the content producers, we are offering $20/month unlimited content licenses.  You can download the files off our affiliate servers or you can come up with them yourself.  As long as your account with us is current, content producers consider you to own legitimate copies,” I would pay it.  The ease-of-compliance is just too attractive to ignore.  The idea that “reference quality” copies of the content would be available would just be icing on the cake.

Terrin

The DMCA makes the concept of fair-use, which time shifting relies on, more complicated. The DMCA essentially says it is illegal to by pass a digital encryption technology. So to store the video on your computer, you probably have to do so without picking any digital locks.

Netflix?s increasing prevalence in the market and the increasing access to content via streaming (in addition to basically any DVD ever printed via mail) raises an intriguing legal question: As long as you have a Netflix account in good standing, can you legally possess any content that is available on their service?  The idea being, as long as it has been through your DVD or instant queue at some point, isn?t it just timeshifting for you to watch it at another time via an ATV2 from a saved file or whatever? Clearly, I don?t think this question is legally settled by any means, but I imagine at some point it might have to be.

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