The MPAA filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit in Los Angeles today against operators of the movie-streaming service Zediva, which the movie studio organization says illegally streams movies to its customers without obtaining required licenses, a violation of the studios’ right to “publicly perform” their works. Zediva claims it is like a brick-and-mortar DVD “rental” store and therefore not obligated to pay licensing fees to copyright holders. But the MPAA says Zediva is a video-on-demand service that transmits movies over the Internet using streaming technologies in violation of the studios’ copyrights. “Zediva’s mischaracterization of itself is a gimmick it hopes will enable it to evade the law and stream movies in violation of the studios’ exclusive rights,” said Dan Robbins, SVP and Associate General Counsel for the MPAA. “Courts have repeatedly seen through the façade of this type of copyright-avoidance scheme, and we are confident they will in this case too.”
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