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Starz To Pull Content From Netflix 314

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-movies-for-you dept.
tekgoblin writes "Starz plans to remove all of its movies and TV shows from the Netflix streaming library after negotiations failed. Starz, which is owned by John Malone's Liberty Media, said they have ended talks with Netflix to renew a deal that ends February 28th. Netflix stands to lose a large amount of content, as Starz has licenses for first run Sony and Walt Disney movies."
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Starz To Pull Content From Netflix

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  • by Lieutenant_Dan (583843) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:13AM (#37284574) Homepage Journal

    Thank you for selecting Netflix. Along with our basic package would like to upgrade to the following?

    Starz Package - $5.99/month
    Fox Sports Live Streaming - $12.99/month
    Nickelodeon Package - $4.99/month
    Slashdot Channel - £2.99/day
    NFL On Demand - $14.99/month
    NHL Prime Time - $0.99/decade

  • useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Haven (34895) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:15AM (#37284600) Homepage Journal

    Netflix is a wonderful supplement to piracy.

    If it isn't on Netflix, it is popular enough for a torrrent. If you cannot find it through nefarious means, it is old enough to be on Netflix.

  • Re:Really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:28AM (#37284696)

    Who gives a shit whose "fault" it is?

    It makes the Netflix streaming service useless, so as far as I'm concerned, if Netflix wants me to pay to stream, they have to have content I want to watch.

    They already have next to nothing interesting on streaming, their streaming clients universally suck ass and routinely crash, and now they're going to reduce the available content even further?

    I don't care if it's "Starz's fault," it's Netflix that has to keep me as a customer, and right now, their streaming service still isn't worth paying for.

  • The other side? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ksdd (634242) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:35AM (#37284770)
    Everyone seems to be commenting on how this is bad for Netflix, but I'm kind of wondering how the Starz brass thinks leaving anywhere between $250-$300 million on the table is a good idea, or who they're going to receive better offers from. The content is OK, but I somehow doubt their stuff is as premium as they like to think it is...
  • by Peter Simpson (112887) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:37AM (#37284788)
    Because it's easier. Honestly, if I could find a dependable source, with as broad a selection of US *and* foreign material as, say Pirate Bay, at a reasonable ($1.99 per title?) price, I'd sign right up. But no, that source doesn't (legally) exist...due to the seemingly constant bickering over licensing, and who gets how big a cut of the rapidly diminishing pie. Maybe one day the media companies will get a clue, but apparently that day isn't here yet.
  • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grumbleduke (789126) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:41AM (#37284816) Journal

    So you blame Netflix? There are two parties in this contract; we won't know which one is at fault without knowing how much Starz is demanding, and how little Netflix is offering.

    Of course, the real villain here is copyright. Not the law, but the idea that it gives publishers complete control over their works (rather than just being a way to help them make a reasonable return). It means that publishers like Starz feel entitled to demand whatever price they want for their content, or flat-out refuse to license it - particularly if they'd rather you spent $10/mo on their service (even though you only want to watch the odd show), rather than paying Netflix $x/mo, of which only a fraction will end back at Starz.

    The same issue is gradually making itself known with computer gaming; particularly the current Valve/EA fight, with contract negotiations breaking down as both parties want to push their own distribution systems (Steam/Origin resp.) with their products (notably Crysis2, Dragon Age 2, and soon SW:tOR).

    This is bundling, it occurs when you have publishers, distributors and copyright owners all mixed together, and is anti-competitive and evil. This is what led to the EU fining Microsoft €899m [wikimedia.org] in 2008, for bundling WMP with Windows (and made MS give EU users a choice of web browser, by default).

    Sadly, the only way around this (short of having very strict and rigorously-enforced anti-trust laws - which take a long time to work; the initial complaint against MS above was made in 1994 - an appeal is still pending) is compulsory licensing. This would mean we could get dozens of Netflixes and Hulus, iTuneses and Spotifies, Steams and Origins, all offering competing services to access the same content - giving consumers the choice for which service to go with (rather than the copyright owner), depending on the terms ($n/mo for streaming v $m per download etc.) - with copyright owners getting paid a 'fair' amount, and not having to worry about endless contract negotiations.

    Of course, this will never happen in the US/EU etc. as it would involve the big copyright owners (Disney, Warner Bros, Starz etc.) giving up control, and their refusal to allow these sorts of services already (or reliance on excessive DRM) shows how tightly they cling on to this. Plus it would probably have to involve registering copyrights, a state-run scheme, international co-operation and a significant change to the big copyright treaties (such as TRIPS or the Berne Convention).

    But one can dream...

  • Re:useful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PixelScuba (686633) on Friday September 02, 2011 @08:46AM (#37284866)
    I used to download gigs of movies to watch with before streaming Netflix. It was so convenient I never bothered to torrent any movie because I could just boot the XBox and watch them. Torrenting was never really about wanting it free it was about the quickest and most cost effective way to watch movies. Netflix is reasonably priced and easy to access... any other streaming service I tried was a nightmare or outrageously priced (Hulu was OK, but I wasn't really impressed with their streaming selection) With all the providers pulling their content because they feel they can either 1.) start their own streaming service and believe I will also "subscribe" to that or 2.) force Netflix to give them more per film. I'd be willing to pay twice what I pay now for Netflix if it meant they could significantly improve the size and quality of their online catalog but it seems the media companies are going to go for greed on this one and drive me back to torrents.

    Any good sites for finding movies now?
  • Re:Really? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:36AM (#37285438)

    Also with the slow death of video rental stores, the only place to get their content will be torrents.

    C'est la vie; torrenting is still the easiest and most convenient way to get the content anyway. Sooner or later these companies are going to realize that if people want to see something, they're going to see it...especially digital media. The more difficult they make it to get the content legitimately, the more people turn to The Pirate Bay and they get nothing.

    Case in point, HBO Go...I recently tried to sign up for this service since I'm supposed to be eligible to get it due to being a cable subscriber (Charter), after about 6 steps into the process requiring me to use the Charter email address I've literally never touched in my 10 years as a subscriber I said "fuck it" and just download the shit illegally like I always did. I shouldn't have to do that, I'm a paying customer, but the legal process is so retarded that they make it impractical.

    They'll learn, just like the record labels did. It's only a matter of time...

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