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Netflix exec warns on piracy

Ted Sarandos says variable pay windows around world spur theft

A top Netflix executive issued a warning to Hollywood on Thursday that the variability of windows around the globe for blockbuster movies like “The Hunger Games” is an open invitation to widespread copyright infringement online.

Chief content officer Ted Sarandos cited the Lionsgate theatrical hit because the streaming service has rights to the pay-TV window for every region in which the company currently operates. “The U.S. will actually have the slowest access to ‘The Hunger Games’ in a subscription model online, which I think is incredibly dangerous for distributors in terms of having this global platform, and global knowledge of when things are available, and regionalized availability dates,” he said. “I think it will only encourage piracy in a way that is going to only grow.”

Sarandos noted that the pay window for “Hunger” comes at different intervals across an eight-month span. It begins in Latin America on Aug. 18, when “Hunger” is released day and date with VOD and DVD because of the region’s underdeveloped homevid market. Three months later, “Hunger” comes to Canada, followed a month after that in the U.K. and 90 days after that in the U.S.

“I do think the gap of time between DVD, VOD and pay TV is getting increasingly frustrating for consumers,” Sarandos. said “That’s why I will pay more to accelerate it like we did in Latin America. They were more receptive to the deal because their DVD market is almost nonexistent.”

Netflix gets “Hunger” through its deal with Epix, which recently reverted to a non-exclusive basis. That allowed Netflix rival Amazon Prime to get rights to Epix movies as well.