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Speaker: We don’t make the rules, we're just trying to play by them

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  • Mark Sibly,

    What I find really frustrating about the whole geo-blocking thing is that I can't legally (well I currently can, but that may change) pay to subscribe to services that show the stuff I want to see!

    This means I can't financially support those services - is this 'lost opportunity' cost taken into account when it's claimed that 'the current model works'?

    It was the same with videogames once upon a time, when console makers aggressively locked down their games to regions. Surely they also lost sales to customers outside those regions in the process? But videogames survived the change to a more global market. Region locked games are far less common these days (only Nintendo are holding out to any degree - and how well are they doing?) so I can now buy the latest weirdo Japanese dating sim or whatever and play it on my NZ bought PS4. Surely this benefits both Sony and the content creator?

    As people's tastes become more and more diverse - thanks in no small part to exposure to alternative content on the internet - the desire for people to be able to access more than just what lightbox or whoever has decided to license will just grow and grow.

    This issue will not go away, and while I appreciate their currently appears to be 'no alternative' (I hate that phrase) I can't help feeling there is a leap of faith required here - tearing down the region blocking walls will have effects that will not be wholely negative.

    I also find this whole idea of making it illegal to 'easily' use a technology - VPN - very distasteful. Surely, if VPN is legal, then it should be legal for ISPs to offer it as part of their service? Or is the end game here making VPN illegal altogether? Wonder what the TPP has to say about all this!

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Legal threat deadline expires. Callplus says bring it on.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Mark Sibly,

    Wonder what the TPP has to say about all this!

    That's another whole level of putting the interests of (US) rights-holders over NZ citizens and customers. Do we trust Groser, Key and McCully not to drop to their knees at the slightest hint of a farming trade-off or golf game?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Sibly, in reply to Sacha,

    I mentioned the TPP because at one point there were rumours that parallel importing was 'up for negotiation'.

    If parallel importing is prohibited - or even just limited somehow - then I guess it'd probably be the end of global mode too.

    Frankly, being in the IP/software/tech industry, the TPP scares me shirtless!

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Mark Sibly,

    Wonder what the TPP has to say about all this!

    http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/

    and

    http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/faq-on-the-nz-korea-fta-and-the-leaked-chapter-from-the-tppa/

    Wikileaks posted the almost completed investment chapter of the secretly negotiated TPPA from January 2015. It confirms the New Zealand government has capitulated to US demands, including on ISDS.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Fraser Rolfe,

    Finally some discussion of the TPPA. I don't see why Spark et al don't just sit back and wait for circumventing geo-blocking to become illegal. And it won't be a case of VPN-wackamole with individual users - the big content creators will simply sue the govt directly (Investor-state dispute settlement). Fortunately it will be no great loss - season 3 of House of Cards is pretty lame.

    Since Apr 2015 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    It’s pretty screwy how TVNZ has saddled up on this showdown. It’ll be the public library’s next, trying to throttle the distribution of unobjectionable content next. Mark my words.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Fraser Rolfe,

    I don’t see why Spark et al don’t just sit back and wait for circumventing geo-blocking to become illegal.

    Through some kind of deluded reasoning, I've wondered if the thinking could be that if they lose a court case then it creates more ammunition for lobbying the government about why it's so critical for the law to be changed to preserve their business model.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Robinson,

    One thing leads to another... unexpectedly.

    https://messagesent.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/disability-access-being-threatened-by-major-nz-media-companies/

    Very ironic that the Big 4 don't even offer captioning/audio descriptive content with their services.

    The actions of the Big 4 has created the 'perfect flashpoint'...

    Whangarei • Since Apr 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to izogi,

    They better hope that not to many moms and dads average kiwis don't tune between now and then. And what if Netflix and HBO start streaming motor sports, fishing and home redecorating reality TV?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Fraser Rolfe,

    Welcome to the Haarp Valley Teepee PA...

    simply sue the govt directly

    more 'grist to your mill'*, sir
    It can't happen here...
    ...can it?
    well cigarette plain packaging maybe - and don't forget that people friendly French utilities company, Veolia (who also run Auckland's rail system) are still suing the Egyptian Government for 80 Million Euros for raising the minimum wage!
    Poor corporations who just can't bear
    bearing the cost of doing business fairly...
    That TTIP agreement is working well then.

    Throw wide the floodgates of greed...


    *GFM <Grist For Mill>
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dave-johnson/corporate-courts----a-big_b_5826490.html
    and
    http://newint.org/blog/2014/07/11/ttip-democracy-trade/

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Kim Robinson,

    Kim, how are you getting with that human rights complaint?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Robinson, in reply to steven crawford,

    Waiting for the Big 4 to actually file those papers with the courts. Once that's done... it'll automatically trigger the Human Rights complaint.

    Whangarei • Since Apr 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Media companies still talking about suing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Sacha,

    I Thought they where only looking for "legal clarification".

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Robinson, in reply to Sacha,

    Whangarei • Since Apr 2015 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kim Robinson,

    Onya.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Sibly,

    Wow, just checked out Russell's link here and was surprised-but-not-really to find NZ has the fewest available titles in the world!

    Also, just curious, but how do content creators actually get paid when their stuff is licensed to netflix? Lump sum? Per view?

    And I assume content creators get a cut of sub-licensing deals with other regions, correct?

    Since Jan 2010 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Just Becouse I am ranting about the litigators, dosn’t mean I have any respect for Slingshot and Orcon or what ever costume it happens to be wearing. Just to be clear like acid.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Mark Sibly,

    Wow, just checked out Russell’s link here and was surprised-but-not-really to find NZ has the fewest available titles in the world!

    Netflix has been in New Zealand for about a month. It takes time to negotiate rights for content. In many cases they'll have existing licensing deals in place that aren't easily modified - so NZ rights will probably be added when those agreements are up for renewal.

    Also, just curious, but how do content creators actually get paid when their stuff is licensed to netflix? Lump sum? Per view?

    I'm not 100% sure for Netflix, but my assumption is that it's lump sum. The goal for Netflix is to have a broad enough range of content to be able to appeal to the widest audience possible - some may get very few views (not enough that a pay-per-view license would be appealing to the distributor) but it's important to have that variety.

    The same is true of Sky (and subscriber TV in general) - the most popular channels effective subsidise the more niche content.

    And I assume content creators get a cut of sub-licensing deals with other regions, correct?

    Each region is licensed separately, although there is sometime bundling (like I assume most of Netflix's content here is negotiated as an Australia/NZ combo).

    Also it may be uneconomical to license some content here - shows like Friends. Netflix paid about $500,000 per episode (nearly US$120 million) for the rights to the whole series. It's easy to imagine, given that precedent, that Netflix was unable to strike a reasonable deal for the show in this region.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Mark Sibly,

    how do content creators actually get paid when their stuff is licensed

    It depends on the relationship the content creators have negotiated with the rights-holders (producers or local broadcasters under our funding set-up), who negotiate with agents, who negotiate licensing with distributors like Netflix or TV networks.

    As you'd imagine, there's plenty of scope for power imbalances and ticket-clipping along that chain. I'd expect profit accumulates higher in the chain than the people who made the content. They probably just got paid wages like most other industries, with maybe some residual rights if they're in a more powerful position at the time in the local industry.

    Conflating content creators with the various layers of rights-holders is one of Hollywood's favourite PR tactics when lobbying for tighter copyright restrictions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    It's easy to imagine, given that precedent, that Netflix was unable to strike a reasonable deal for the show in this region.

    Indeed...

    The primary reason Netflix likely decided to move aside was the insanely large price tag Sony is asking. While they paid more than $500,000 per episode for Friends last year (for a total north of $118 million with 236 episodes), Sony wants an even higher price for Seinfeld. With 180 episodes of that show over nine seasons, the total cost could easily top $100 million, depending on how much time the deal covers.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH,

    Meanwhile elsewhere in the world, companies are actually going after the right targets:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/67845577/sony-lobbied-netflix-to-stop-aussie-vpn-users-leak-shows

    Since Sep 2009 • 444 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    The Internet Society of Australia suggests that geoblocking content should be banned under international trade treaties.

    We believe that in negotiations over the Transpacific Partnership agreement Australia should insist on an end to geoblocking and a requirement, as part of the new international trading arrangements being introduced, that content supplied over the Internet must be released at the same time and at comparable prices across all TPP participating countries.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1388 posts Report Reply

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