×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Redbox Claims Disney Suit Is a Bid to Block Digital Competition

Redbox has fired back against Disney’s efforts to block it from selling download codes, alleging that Disney’s copyright lawsuit is simply an effort to thwart a competitor.

Disney sued in December and sought an injunction to bar Redbox from distributing digital download codes for Disney films. Redbox does not have a distribution agreement with Disney. Instead, it buys up DVD and Blu-ray combo packs, which include codes to download the films, and then sells those codes separately through its network of kiosks.

Disney contends that Redbox is violating the terms of sale of the combo packs, which — at least in some instances — include specific language stating that “Codes are not for sale or transfer.” Redbox offers digital downloads at a significant discount from the download prices available on other services.

Redbox, however, argues that the codes should not be treated any differently than the physical discs, which Redbox is entitled to distribute just as if it were any other video rental business. In its argument opposing Disney’s request for an injunction, Redbox invokes the “first sale doctrine,” which holds that a copyright owner cannot prohibit a purchaser from reselling a copy of a work, such as a used book.

The key question is whether selling the download codes and allowing customers to download a copy of a movie, constitutes “reproduction” under federal copyright law. Disney contends that it does, and that Redbox is infringing on its exclusive right to distribute its works. Redbox argues that customers are not creating a new copy of the film — they are simply redeeming the copy that has already been sold to Redbox.

Redbox also argues that Disney is seeking to clear the field of rivals to its own forthcoming streaming service.

“Plaintiffs seek to stifle competition to more smoothly launch Disney’s own digital content streaming service, maximize the price other services like iTunes and Amazon (and their customers) pay for Disney movies, and secure a greater market share for Hulu — the viewing service Disney will control as part of its $52 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox,” argued Michael A. Geibelson, Redbox’s attorney. “These anti-consumer and anti-competitive ends do not support a preliminary injunction, and neither do the plaintiffs’ evidence or applicable law.”

Redbox says it has invested $700,000 in launching its digital download service, which would be squandered should an injunction be issued. Disney’s motion for an injunction is set to be heard on Feb. 5 before Judge Dean Pregerson in Los Angeles federal court.

The suit comes as Disney and the other major studios, along with Netflix and Amazon, are also seeking to stamp out streaming devices that use Kodi software to enable streaming of copyrighted works.

Redbox Disney by gmaddaus on Scribd

More Biz

  • IWC Schaffhausen store opening, Rodeo Drive,

    8 Luxury Gifts That Industry Leaders Are Spending Their Paychecks On

    Whether you’re celebrating a new launch, a new business venture, or toasting to the end of another successful year, here are eight gift ideas to reward yourself — and to impress the company you keep. 1. Saint Laurent Perforated Leather Tote Bag If you work in the industry, you need a good bag, and you’ve [...]

  • best airlines ranked inflight entertainment

    Holiday Travel Survey Reveals Airlines With Best In-Flight Entertainment

    There are many ways to pass the time if you’re in the air, but for most people, settling in with a glass of wine and a movie is the preferred way to fly. But not all airlines share the same script when it comes to entertainment offerings. A new survey from the website, CableTV.com, ranked [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Jennifer Lawrence Denies Harvey Weinstein's Claim in Latest Assault Lawsuit

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. The suit details that Weinstein claimed he was trying to help her and that he was the gateway to her dreams. [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content