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Netflix bends over, agrees to delay renting Warner DVDs

Nilay Patel
January 6, 2010
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Oh sigh. We'd been hearing that Warner Brothers would be pushing for month-long rental delays for mail-order services in order to boost sales, and it looks like Netflix has been pushed into submission: under an agreement announced today, Warner Brother DVDs and Blu-rays won't be available to Netflix subscribers for 28 days after they're released for sale. What's worse, Netflix says it expects to reach similar deals with the other major studios as time goes on. Why would Reed Hastings agree to a clear imposition on his company's rights under the first-sale doctrine? We're guessing this is the only way the studios would open up and allow more movies to hit Watch Instantly -- and the AP says Netflix is also getting a discount on the actual discs. Yeah, it's lame, but honestly we'd rather take more streaming content over new releases in the mail straight away, so let's hope all this wheeling and dealing pays off.

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