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Netflix's day: Sony movies pulled, new bandwidth options, no more DVD API access and a lawsuit

Richard Lawler, @Rjcc
June 17, 2011
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In an apparent ode to Rebecca Black, Ice Cube and any number of body switch movies, Netflix has had an incredibly active Friday, so sit back while we get you up to speed. Sony Pictures movies from Starz Play are no longer available (on any device, not just the Xbox 360 this time) due to a "temporary contract issue" according to the official blog. According to NewTeeVee, the problem is an "IP distribution cap" that was reached due to Netflix's explosive growth, but with no word on when the movies will be back, you'll be missing The Other Guys. Up next was the National Association of the Deaf, which has filed a lawsuit in Springfield, MA against Netflix, claiming that its failure to provide closed captions on all streaming content puts it in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Netflix last claimed 30 percent of titles were subbed with plans to reach 80 percent by the end of the year, but the press release (and captioned YouTube video) make the case that as a leader in streaming video, it should do better.

Netflix also quietly gave US subscribers access to the same bandwidth management options provided to Canadians a few months ago. The new Manage Video Quality settings (shown above) can be found in the Your Account section, and if you're trying to stay under bandwidth caps or just keep seeing buffering, they should help you out at the cost of a few pixels. As if that wasn't enough, the Netflix Tech Blog squeezed in news that it was ending access to "DVD-related features" for apps using its Open API later this year. The move is apparently preparation for expanded international streaming, so if you're trying to manage discs through a third party things may change soon.



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