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Redbox vs. Hollywood Three Update

Redbox has fired the most recent shots in its seemingly eternal legal battle with Universal, Fox and Warner. In a court filing dated January 29, Redbox argued that its case against Warner should proceed based on the fact that a judge has already allowed Redbox’s similar case against Universal to move forward.

The ruling Redbox cited in its filing came last August from Judge Robert Kugler, who wrote the following regarding the Redbox/Universal suit:

“The court is convinced that plaintiff sufficiently pleaded that Universal has induced or otherwise convinced others to boycott Redbox in distribution of Universal DVDs, producing anti-competitive effects.”

The “others” that the judge refers to are wholesalers VPD and Ingram, who were instructed by the Hollywood Three to cease providing Redbox with new release titles. Redbox contends that this constitutes a violation of antitrust laws.
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Redbox’s January 29 filing cites Judge Kugler’s statement, and argues that the cases are so similar that the Warner suit should be allowed to proceed.
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Here’s an excerpt from the recent filing:

“This court held that it was ‘convinced’ that Redbox had pled a valid claim under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, including its claim that Universal had induced or convinced others to boycott Redbox and that Universal’s actions had produced anticompetitive effects. . . Like the Universal complaint, Redbox has here stated facts reflecting a concerted effort, orchestrated this time by Warner, also a distributor of DVDs, to artificially restrict supply and increase prices for the rental of new-release DVDs through facially anticompetitive behavior.”

Redbox’s filing went on to say that Warner’s alleged interference with Redbox’s relationship with retailers constitutes “tortious interference with prospective business opportunity and unfair competition” and that Warner’s motion to dismiss these claims should also be denied.

Are we anywhere near the end of the legal wrangling, Insiders? Does either side have any momentum in this case, or is it getting bogged down into a litigious version of trench warfare? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

(via Home Media Magazine)

11 Responses to “Redbox vs. Hollywood Three Update”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    bob [visitor]

    From what I heard from the inside that there will be a deal made between Redbox and the studios before this suite is even settled. In the mean time we will continue to procur these titles with other means.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    Steve [visitor]

    No end in sight. These things take years and years. Typically either the parties make a deal, or eventually the lawsuit becomes irrelevant.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      FooBar [visitor]

      Agreed, deal will be made. But between now and then, Hollywood will try to squeeze every dollar it can get from the consumer, AND Blockbuster will file Chapter 11. After that, we will see 30K Redboxes with Bluerays and Games and Hollywood continues to make movies..

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    John Small [visitor]

    I suspect this will be settled shortly with Redbox giving up whatever the studios ask of them. We will see what the numbers look like when Coinstar reports and see if they are willing to release their COGs numbers on Redbox instead of burying it.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    WerkinDog [visitor]

    Most of us who work hard to make ends meet can’t afford to take the entire family out to see a first-run movie, or spend $17-$30 when they come out on DVD, nor are we that interested in buying DVD’s to see them again. But renting DVD’s has worked out pretty good for us, we get to see films we otherwise wouldn’t spend money to go see, and occasionally rent something we like and try to find a copy on sale to buy in the stores.

    Yet studios claim we won’t buy DVD’s when they come out because we can rent them instead. Are they kidding? In this economy? Who would throw their money down on a pig-in-a-poke? And with all the different versions they release we never buy the first one because the kids know they’ll always re-release a better version right after (director’s cut, extra footage, behind the scenes, etc). When we rent something we really like, we Google it to see what versions they have and try to find the best one on sale, or buy the version nobody wants if it’s on sale for less. Why don’t they release one “loaded” version to begin with? Seems it’s their own fault for releasing so many different versions. Why buy the first version when it first comes out?

    So now studios are trying to coerce online rentals into not streaming movies online until 28-days later (Netflix) too? We hate the quality of streaming movies, particularly because it “automatically adjusts to your internet connection” which in most cases isn’t good enough to stream high-quality video so you end up with picture blocking, muddy blacks, “wait…”, and images that aren’t very sharp. You need bandwidth and in fact one online rental (Netflix) is demanding the FCC force our internet service providers to provide it because sme internet providers have started throttling customer’s bandwidth or invoking the “your over your bandwidth limit” cap clause.

    I wish they’d separate the online DVD rental companies from the online streaming companies. I don’t want my DVD rentals to be penalized for something I’m not interested in.

    “Very Long Wait’ is beginning to show up more & more in rental queues these days. Who’s throttling who?

    If studios want to make money, release -just the movie- to online rentals & kiosks so more people will see more movies. Release the “loaded” version in stores. Add value to make it more attractive: BD w/DVD or Digital Copy or Next Movie Pass included. Only release better versions like: “sets” or “collections” or “includes mementos” (Twilight) that would make great gifts.

    It seems to me the Sales & Marketing teams at the studios have failed miserably and are looking for fallguys to save their useless butts. I think they should be greatful for online rentals & kiosks, which at least from our perspective only helps them to sell movies we’d otherwise never get to see or even know existed to buy.

    • Member [Join Now]
      lakrow [jbromert]

      “And with all the different versions they release we never buy the first one…”

      A good example of this was Terminator 2. It was released on dvd multiple times before they released the Extreme Edition, which had both the theatrical and extended versions of the movie, not to mention the Windows Media HD version, and was loaded down with extra features. The insert also claimed that it was digitally remastered in 1080p HD quality, so it would be “future-proof”.

      So, when I saw the first blu-ray edition, I decided to take a look at the back of the box and all it had was the theatrical version and a couple of commentaries! They already HAD the full Extreme Edition in HD, just sitting around waiting to be put on blu-ray, but they just had to put out a low end version first. Now I see they’ve put out a Skynet Edition on blu-ray – I think I’ll wait for the “Extreme Skynet Edition” and hang on to the dvd until they quit jerking people around (though that probably means keeping it the rest of my life).

      The movie industry can hardly complain if sales are down after they’ve tricked people into buying the same movie a dozen times. The first movie I ever bought was Star Wars on VHS in the very early 80s for about $70, then the laserdisc when widescreen first became available, then the Ultimate Edition LDs, then I gave up.

  5. Member [Join Now]