08/01/2011 18:29 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
Stating that its “service threatens the development of a successful and lawful video-on-demand market,” federal Judge John F. Walter today granted the MPAA member studios' motion for a preliminary injunction against the operators of Zediva, an unlicensed video-on-demand service that the studios sued for copyright infringement in April 2011. The following is a statement by Dan Robbins, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the MPAA, in response to the ruling in Los Angeles:
“Judge Walter’s decision is a great victory for the more than two million American men and women whose livelihoods depend on a thriving film and television industry. Judge Walter rejected Zediva’s argument that it was ‘renting’ movies to its users, and ruled, by contrast, that Zediva violated the studios’ exclusive rights to publicly perform their movies, such as through authorized video-on-demand services.
“Movie fans today have more on-demand options than ever for watching films at home, from iTunes to Netflix to Amazon to Vudu to Hulu to the VOD offerings from cable and satellite operators. All these legitimate companies have obtained licenses from the copyright owners. The court found Zediva’s service threatened the development of these lawful VOD and Internet-based services.”
Background: Zediva is an unlicensed video-on-demand service that streams movies over the Internet from its Silicon Valley data center. The MPAA’s six member studios sued WTV Systems, the parent company of Zediva, and Venkatesh Srinivasan, Zediva’s founder and CEO, on April 4, 2011, and filed their motion for a preliminary injunction on May 26. The studios’ lawsuit alleged that Zediva violated the studios’ exclusive right to publicly perform their movies under Section 106(4) of the Copyright Act. Following the issuance of the preliminary injunction, the case will now proceed toward a final resolution.
Here is the MPAA's set of FAQs on the case.