Studios claim site performs illegal exhibits
Claiming that Zediva’s DVD rental label is a “sham,” the MPAA has filed a federal copyright-infringement lawsuit against the company for what the studios deem illegal exhibition of their films.Zediva claims it operates like a brick-and-mortar DVD rental store, making it exempt from licensing fees, according to an MPAA release. ”In reality, Zediva is a video-on-demand service that transmits movies … in violation of the studios’ copyrights,” said the org in its statement. Complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges a single count of copyright infringement against WTV Systems, the parent company of Zediva, and Venkatesh Srinivasan, Zediva’s founder and CEO. Zediva’s website explains that users ” … are renting both a DVD and DVD Player in (their) data center.” In court docs, the MPAA says the company’s comparison of itself to a rental store is “disingenuous” and part of an effort to “… rely on technical gimmicks in an effort to avoid complying with U.S. copyright law.” MPAA is suing for an amount to be determined at trial, or up to $150,000 per illegally streamed title. Company recently made headlines by offering $1 rentals on titles it released before Netflix and Redbox. Reps for Zediva could not be reached for comment.