Studios Seek Order Enjoining Infringing Zediva Service

by Ben Sheffner 05/26/2011 14:53 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Today the MPAA's member studios asked a federal court to order the operators of the unlicensed video-on-demand service Zediva to stop their infringing activities. Our motion for a preliminary injunction argues that Zediva violates the studios' exclusive right to "publicly perform" their works under Section 106(4) of the Copyright Act. And it refutes Zediva's false, self-serving description of itself as a "rental" service. As the introduction to our motion states:

Defendants are blatantly violating the Studios’ exclusive right to publicly perform their copyrighted works.  Defendants use Internet streaming technology to transmit performances of the Studios’ movies from DVD players at their data center to their customers around the country.  The Copyright Act, however, gives the Studios — not Defendants, and not anyone else — the exclusive right to publicly perform their works.  17 U.S.C. § 106(4).  Defendants do not have authorization from any Studio to publicly perform their movies.  That is copyright infringement, pure and simple.  This Court can and should enjoin it.

Our motion is scheduled to be heard before Judge John Walter of the Central District of California on July 25.
The studios sued Zediva's corporate owners and founder and CEO on April 4. As Dan Robbins, the MPAA's Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, said when we filed the lawsuit, "When legitimate companies stream movies to their customers, they pay license fees to the copyright owners, enabling content providers to invest in new products and services that pay writers, set builders, wardrobe designers, and countless others who contribute to a movie production. Companies like Zediva profit off creators without paying them what is required by the law.” Here is the MPAA's set of FAQs on the case.

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