On Netflix, hundreds of Warner Bros. titles go missing

| May 1, 2013 | Copyright Law

Today, May 1, is a notable day for California Netflix subscribers.

Why?

Because today, Netflix’s license for hundreds of movies from the Warner Bros. archives expires, and the titles will no longer be available. (Withouth this license, Netflix would be violating Warner Bros.’ copyright.)

For people who only enjoy the latest Hollywood fare, this will likely not be too much of an issue. True cineastes, however, might mourn the loss of  the 1967 James Bond film “Dr. No” or Jules Dassan’s well-regarded 1960 film “Never on Sunday,” both of which will no longer be available on Netflix after today.

In a statement, Netlfix said it periodically reviews its licenses with film studios and television network and opts not to pay for access to titles that are not very popular. There is also some speculation that Warner Bros. does not want to give access to all of its content to Netflix because it wants to launch it own streaming service, though a spokeswoman for the studio said this is not true.

If you read out last post, you already know that these are challeng times for movie studios and television networks. It is not as if people suddnely stopped desiring their output, it is just that which avenue via which this output is delivered (Netflix? Redbox? A studio-owned service) is currently in flux.

We have no doubt that the next five or 10 years will see great changes in the movie and television industries, and thus in California’s entertainment industry as a whole.

Source: Slate, “The Great Netflix Purge,” Sam Adams, April 30, 2013

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