Feeds

DVD streamers deploy royalty-dodging ruse

Cunning Dutch plan

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

Dutch company Dvdstream claims it can deliver movies to customer's TV sets digitally without having to pay additional performance rights.

The company charges €12.42 a month for an unlimited supply of movies in a 768 x 576 resolution format. Movies are delivered through Palmbutler, a set-top box that streams digital media to TVs and stereos in the home. The company has currently 500 movies from all the major studios, but will eventually offer more than 2000 titles.

Dvdstream claims that by adopting a rental sales model it won't have to pay for royalties that are imposed on regular streaming video or traditional video-on-demand services.

Here is how it works: Dvdstream sells a digital copy of a movie to the customer. The Dutch copyright law does allow making a copy for personal use. That copy is delivered to the customers through the settop box. The customer then returns the movie to Dvdstream, just as with a regular DVD rental plan. Legally this is known as a "fictional sale", the company claims.

Dutch industry associations say that although the construction itself could be legal, Dvdstream may have overlooked one important issue. By offering movies to customers over the Internet, the company needs permission from the copyright holders, including the major film studios. Music rights agencies may also impose additional fees.

Dvdstream says that this is still a matter of debate. "At present the issue of the legitimacy is irrelevant to our user base," a spokesperson told The Register. Many experts believe it is just a matter of time before the company will be sued out of existence. ®

Related stories

321 lookalike punts DVD copy software
1.67m Brits download films illegally
BPI threatens uploaders with big stick

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.