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

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  • David Zanetti,

    But whether we like it or not, the reality of the content model today, put in place by content owners, is that premium video content is sold with geographic rights at very substantial prices

    If you replace "content owners" with "intellectual property owners", then you have exactly what parallel importing laws were designed to prevent - geographic exploitation. You even admit, right there, that's all this is about.

    The rest of your argument falls apart because every single one of your points fails to address why we have passed laws to prevent IP owners from exploiting geographic rights, but you've built a business based on enforcement of them.

    That was your choice, nobody forced you to enter into a contract that had no value in New Zealand law.

    I'm sorry your rights aren't what you thought they were, but not a single line in this post is an argument that hasn't been raised before when parallel import laws were proposed and passed. The world didn't end then either.

    Since Aug 2014 • 6 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    That’s fine for consumers, but it undermines the rights model that content creation is currently based on.

    I think I've spotted your problem. Your business model is obsolete.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    One more thought. I have read an apparent axiom that if it is easier and quicker to get the torrent than get the show then you are doing it wrong. The thing is that consumers just won't put up with fragmented providers owning bits and bobs of content. But there is something else as well - the consumers view of content providers has been utterly poisoned by Sky's outrageous monopoly behaviour and the likes of Lightbox are suffering the (totally undeserved) backlash of consumers who are relishing giving a two finger salute to broadcast monopolies.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    I think I've spotted your problem. Your business model is obsolete.

    If by obsolete, you mean "the one that currently works".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Steve Curtis,

    I think there is a bit of confusion over why IP isnt the same as goods, which gets to the heart of why software, movies music etc isnt the same as Armani jeans.

    When you buy a DVD it is a license to use, under certain terms and conditions. When you buy the jeans, they are physically yours, there is no license involved.
    The use of IP extends to works of art, photographs, architects house designs, newspaper articles and so on.
    Now there is no physical ownership required with a TV series that is streamed ( ie not downloaded) it is even clearer that it is all IP and no residual property rights exist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report

  • David Zanetti, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    The use of IP extends to works of art, photographs, architects house designs, newspaper articles and so on.

    .. and the parallel import laws make clear, mere importation of IP is not in and of itself a violation of the rights within. Even if people think they have exclusive rights in some fashion to some distribution channel. The medium is irrelevant in this case, IP rights are not violated by mere importation.

    Before you mentioned breaking geoblocks is breaking protection of the IP, that's explicitly allowed by law (S226[TPM](b), Copyright Act).

    Since Aug 2014 • 6 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    Thanks, Kim. You said:

    VPNs and other services do have legitimate uses for individuals and it’s not for us to decide when use is legitimate and when it’s not.

    Our concern is that NZ companies like Callplus, who have paid nothing for content, are actively promoting a commercial service which enables large numbers of customers to access content without needing any technical know-how, in direct competition with legitimate NZ services, and we believe knowingly and openly in breach of their content rights.

    Unless there are no other uses for global mode than accessing content to which you have been falsely sold 'exclusive' local distribution rights, wouldn't you have to ban VPNs as well, to be consistent?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If by “the one that currently works” you mean the one which organisations who rely on it are mounting a legal battle to retain in the face of fundamental disruptive innovation?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Martin Connelly,

    Am so sorry for you that you are having this trouble preserving your monopoly. NOT!!!
    As it happens, lightbox is a pretty crappy service since most people will not be able to watch it on their TV. Watching something on a computer is not my idea of relaxed fun. But as the ISPs concerned are not doing anything wrong I doubt that they should be too worried anyway. And I also wonder if Mr Nyblock (who would be better named Mt Wantablock) would sue the Post Office if I purchased a DVD from off-shore and had them (The PO) deliver it too me?

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2012 • 28 posts Report

  • Michael Homer,

    Our concern is [...] access[ing] content without needing any technical know-how

    The attitude behind this kind of statement is troubling to me. Why does having or not having "any technical know-how" make a difference?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to ,

    I read recently that Sky are going to shut down Heartland anyway. That was an appalling deal by this government.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce,

    It's a no brainer for the 4 companies involved really. If they win then they have exclusive rights for the content they have purchased and then have the law behind them playing whack a mole with the VPN providers.

    If they lose the case then they can argue for lower $$ when paying for rights on the basis it's no longer exclusive.

    The legal costs shared between those 4 entities will be a rounding error to them.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Michael Homer,

    Why does having or not having “any technical know-how” make a difference?

    It acts a de facto barrier that providers can use to increase the perceived value of their services. Of course, that’s a risky strategy when a newer technology or service comes along and drops that barrier.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Deborah, in reply to Martin Connelly,

    lightbox is a pretty crappy service since most people will not be able to watch it on their TV.

    We've got it linked up via a Playstation app, so it's pretty easy to sort out from there. I've just signed up for Neon (because Game of Thrones), and linked our computer to the TV via an HDMI cable, plus an adapter (because Mac). A nice young man in Dick Smith helped me to sort it all out, because I really am a bit of a technical doofus. Our TV is about 7 years old. So really, it wasn't all that difficult to sort out getting Lightbox and Neon on our TV screen, c/f on our computer screen.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report

  • bob daktari,

    I wonder if anyone at these big bucks SVOD services bothered to look at how other creative industries adapted to the internet... you know learnt from others (costly) mistakes and decided that the best solution would be "a"... instead of adopting "b" the traditional model with a slightly differing delivery mechanism, which will of course end badly for all but a very few players

    Too many competing services with content scattered across them... marketed in a quite confused manner.... yep thats a winning strategy, oh well there's always lawyers if your pockets are deep eh

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report

  • llew40,

    And I also wonder if Mr Nyblock (who would be better named Mt Wantablock)

    FYI, its Ms Niblock

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens,

    There is a economic unreality to the cost of all this as well. If you already pay $1500PA to Sky, and about a grand to an ISP, then your bill for these media services is going to be in $2,500 range, plus another grand or so for the telephone. Now, I know it is hard for top execs on the fatcat salaries they all pay each other to grasp this, but for a lot of households somewhere north of $3,500 a year is a lot of money. How realistic is it to ask these consumers to then sign up to two or three ADDITIONAL content providers and cough up another $500-600PA to access stuff they can just torrent for free using their internet account?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    That is why these four competing companies want to clarify the questionable legality of GlobalMode.

    You want to *clarify* it? So if the result is a clear "global mode is legal" then you won't be appealing, or pushing for regulatory change because you'll have that clarity, and that's all you want?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    will be less likely to invest in future content for NZ consumers

    We don't need them to. We can happily buy and use the content that US, British and Canadian consumers do, at the prices they do. Why would we want to have our own special sleepy hollow service with 1/10 of the titles just to keep a few people in unproductive work at Sky/Telecom?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce, in reply to Tom Semmens,


    1. Eventually 1 (or 2) dominant providers will evolve thru consolidation (or failure of the weak)


    2. The price will be driven lower and lower until (see 1. above)

    In the meantime, shambles

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    True, that's conflating production and distribution. Even Netflix US, etc, aren't producing much of the content they distribute.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • RuralJohnny,

    Whilst you say

    The world of entertainment is changing rapidly. We are on board with that and that’s why we’ve established our own internet-based services

    it does not appear that you are on board with the changes that put customers first.

    Instead, it appears that you are on board with an obsolescent business model that puts the content distributers (rather than content creators) first.

    For example, as a customer of an ISP, I do not want to be forced to subscribe to multiple channels to watch content of my choosing. I also do not want to have to choose my ISP based on what content they make available.

    What I want from my ISP is a high quality of service, no customer service hassles and access to a wide choice of content from different distributors. The ISP offering all that will get my business. At the moment, that necessarily precludes Spark because the last-mentioned want is not available to me.

    If Lightbox were a simple retailer of a wide range of content, then I would consider Spark as my ISP because I would no longer need Global Mode.

    Pukekohe • Since Apr 2015 • 4 posts Report

  • David Zanetti, in reply to Sacha,

    Even Netflix US, etc, aren't producing much of the content they distribute

    There was a time in the US when cable channels didn't produce much content, but just distributed someone else's.

    Now they dominate the Emmy awards and are more than a serious contender for content. The same eventually will happen to Netflix (and, to a certain extent, already is: House of Cards has won Emmy, Golden Globe, and other "mainstream" awards for what is a show that originates on an Internet streaming platform).

    Since Aug 2014 • 6 posts Report

  • Peter Darlington,

    It's pretty obvious that the main reason for this legal action is that global mode crosses the line and makes it too easy for "mom & pop" users to get into the international content bypassing game. As long as just a few nerds installed VPNs the local broadcasters could live with that but once Call Plus gobbled up the large customer base of Orcon and extended global mode out, the writng was on the wall.

    It would be interesting to know what Spark & Lightbox's long term strategy is because on the face of it, they have made a disastrous decision getting into the content aggregation business this late into the technology curve. Sky will always hold on to a non-tech and rural base here in NZ but Lightbox has feck all leverage and you wonder if Spark has really even understood the business it is getting into?

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report

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