July 25 set for injunction hearing over on-demand DVD service

Hollywood’s major studios on Thursday asked a federal judge to halt the web service Zediva, a tech startup that offers customers on-demand streaming of movies into their homes.

U.S. District Judge John F. Walter is scheduled on July 25 to consider whether to issue a preliminary injunction against Zediva. The studios argue that the company’s service — which offers customers streams of DVDs starting from the day of their release — violates the public performance provisions of the Copyright Act.

The studios filed suit against Zediva’s corporate parent and CEO in April. The company offers titles far earlier than the studios license movies to other streaming services like Netflix or Apple TV.

Since it launched in March, the company has argued that its service doesn’t infringe copyrights because its business is akin to that of a movie-rental chain. With Zediva, a customer can rent a DVD, but the company’s machines play the disc.

“Zediva simply functions as a very long cable between the user and the DVD player she has rented,” the company said in an answer to the MPAA’s suit.

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