The movie kiosk company filed court documents accusing the Burbank entertainment giant of copyright abuse and unfair business practices. The amended complain follows Disney’s renewed efforts to have a federal court judge stop Redbox from selling digital download codes for its movies.
In its response, Redbox described Disney’s increasingly aggressive efforts to prevent the discount retailer from purchasing Disney’s “Combo Packs” that contain a DVD, a high-definition Blu-ray disc and a download code. The kiosk is making the download codes available at significant discounts — less than half of the cost of downloading movies on iTunes. The timing inflamed tensions over the move, as Disney had just rolled out its long bruited-about Movies Anywhere service, having sat on the sidelines as other studios promoted the similar UltraViolet technology.
“Disney wants to eliminate low-cost options like Redbox,” the new complaint says, “in order to force consumers to pay as much as possible for Disney’s content, even after Disney has already been fully compensated when it first sells that content to a distributor or retailer.” It also cites marketing by Disney around Coco, Thor: Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the upcoming Black Panther, which characterizes the Redbox downloads as less than pristine.
“Incredibly, Disney complains that consumers may believe these titles … are somehow inferior to those of other studios simply because Redbox offers them at low prices,” the complaint says. “We look forward to advancing our case to an ultimate victory in court.”