Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Netflix = Slightly Evil (cont.)

IMDB reports that Netflix is suing Blockbuster:
Netflix on Tuesday sued rival Blockbuster, claiming patent infringement and maintaining that, in the words of a company spokesman, "From top to bottom, Blockbuster has deliberately and willfully copied Netflix's business model." In its filing, Netflix asked a federal court in San Francisco to shut down Blockbuster's online rental service. It also seeks unspecified damages.

I'm not a lawyer and I don't know the details of the case, but on first blush it seems to me that if Netflix has a valid complaint, then Blockbuster should have sued Hollywood Video years ago. And Colgate should have sued Crest. And Coke should totally try to get the courts to stop all sales of Pepsi.


epinionated1 said...

Maybe instead of calling Netflix slightly evil, they should be called slightly stoopid...any company that takes its bigger customers and gives them crappy service, which was their policy when I dropped them months ago, fits the definition to a T.

arrScott said...

This is the natural result of declaring business methods to be patentable. You can take the logic back to 1776, when presumably Adam Smith could have applied for a patent on capitalism, "A method of establishing the true value of goods and services through their exchange for money or other instruments of stored value in the absence of state mediation." The resulting licensing fees and lawsuits would have killed free-market liberalism in its cradle, Bonaparte would have won the Napoleonic Wars, the gold standard would still be in effect, and Soviet communism would probably have beaten Western mercantilism in the Cold War.

Anonymous said...

But, arrScott, you don't understand. We are living in a new economy. The old rules don't apply. Supply? Demand? You're living in the past, man. That's old-think. Adam Smith never even heard of eToys.

Or so I was told (minus the arrScott) back in the late 90s, when I tried pointing out to friends in the .biz what a terrible idea it was to allow business model patenting.

Anonymous said...


After reviewing some of the articles left on my consumer reviews
website, I still cannot understand: Who is winning in online DVD Rental business?

Blockbuster Service Reviews

Here are some of the Blockbuster specific examples:
Blockbuster Books, Records, Videos and DVD rentals
Blockbuster Video Stores and Online service
Blockbuster Late fees

Netflix Service reviews

Here are some of the Netflix specific articles:
Netflix Complaints - 3 Movie at a time rental
Netflix Quality of Service
Netflix speed of service

Can someone help me understand, who will come out on top here?