There's a lot of talk about the recent agreement between Netflix and Warner Brothers in which customers cannot rent new titles from Warner Brothers until 56 days after physical copies go on sale.
I believe this is a really dumb move from Warner Brothers and shame on Netflix for bending over and accepting it. It's pretty much the opposite of what customers want, and people will always find a way to get what they want.
Warner Brothers probably thinks they'll sell more DVD's to those that absolutely want to watch the movie the day it hits retail. I think they're just encouraging piracy. And pissing off potential customers.
Seth Godin explains it best in a piece titled Ubiquity:
The music industry got confused about this and decided that people merely wanted to steal music. What’s clear now from the rise of iTunes as well as ad and subscriber-supported services like Spotify is that people will happily pay as long as it brings most everything along for the ride.
And Netflix shows us that subscriptions are generally more welcomed than a la carte sales.
Into this world walks the MPAA, the movie business and the folks who make books.
And once again, there’s the same mistake: they think piracy is the problem. It’s not. The problem is that these providers are doing nothing to embrace ubiquity, because their heritage is all about scarcity.
I believe that most people don't want to steal stuff. They just want easy access to stuff at a reasonable price. The more barriers we put, the more tempting piracy becomes. In effect, these type of actions encourage piracy.
A good example is what we get when going to the Warner Brothers website from Australia. As I said before, the WB fail, bittorrent win. Dumb.