Zediva Launches Online DVD Viewing

3/16/11Follow @wroush

Sunnyvale, CA-based Zediva today launched a service aimed at disrupting the DVD rental market currently dominated by companies like Netflix and Coinstar’s Redbox. For $1.99 per DVD, Zediva members can watch a movie that’s physically playing on a DVD player at Zediva’s data center and streaming remotely over the Internet to a computer, tablet, smartphone, or set-top box. (The movies are streamed in the form of Adobe Flash files, meaning Apple iOS devices are left out.) The arrangement allows Zediva to get around the 28-day waiting period imposed on Netflix and Redbox before they can rent out newly released DVDs. “Zediva is designed to allow anyone to enjoy new releases at an affordable price point,” Zediva founder and CEO Venky Srinivasan said in a statement. “Our mission is to provide immediate access to the most current and popular blockbusters.”

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • Jon

    Sorry, but unless the DVDs they have purchased include public performance rights (and most DVDs bought at retail don’t include such rights) Zediva is in fact infringing copyright, even though they are not reproducing the films. True, the films are ultimately being viewed by individuals perhaps in non-public settings, but Zediva is transmitting the films and therefore engaging in a “public performance” under the Copyright Act’s definition of that phrase (Sec. 101, Title 17, U.S.C.). There is a pretty well known legal precedent for this which I am surprised someone didn’t point out to Zediva–the Columbia Pictures v. Redd Horne case, 749 F.2d 154 (3d Cir. 1984).