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Agreements not yet in place for Apple to launch cloud movie service

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Apple is not prepared to launch its in-the-works cloud-based movie streaming and re-downloading service, as licensing agreements with a number of major Hollywood studios have reportedly not yet been secured.

At least four of the top six film studios have not yet reached the appropriate licensing agreements with Apple, multiple sources reportedly told Greg Sandoval of CNet. Those people also said the launch of a so-called "iTunes Replay" service is not imminent.

The report specifically refuted a recent rumor that Apple was set to launch the rumored "iTunes Replay' service in the coming weeks, allowing users to re-download and stream purchased content, including Hollywood movies. Last week, Apple added the ability to re-download purchased TV shows from the iTunes Store, and in June the ability to re-download songs and applications was also added.

However, Apple does not yet allow streaming of content to devices, nor can users re-download major motion pictures bought on the iTunes Store. Apple is believed to be working on licensing agreements for all content, allowing users to stream and re-download what they have purchased through iTunes.

Those negotiations are part of a lengthy process that is expected to "drag on for months," Sandoval wrote. The licensing agreements required for Hollywood studios are expected to be even more difficult than the ones for music agreements, for which Apple is believed to have already negotiated the necessary approvals.

Rumors that iCloud will allow remote storage of movies are not new, but one major obstacle said to remain in the way for Apple is the so-called "HBO window," in which three of the top six film studios have a distribution deal with HBO. Under the terms of that deal, when a movie premieres on HBO, other outlets must halt sales or distribution of the title.



The HBO agreements are said to be such a problem that they also stand as a roadblock to the UltraViolet cloud movie service backed by the industry itself. All of the major studios are in support of UltraViolet except for Disney, of which Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is the largest individual shareholder.

Sandoval also indicated that there is "no truth" to recent rumors that Apple is working on a subscription film service that will take on Netflix.

"So, for Apple and the company's quest to acquire cloud-streaming rights, the chances look good, but it's going to take some time," he wrote.

During Apple's quarterly earnings conference call last month, Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer teased that his company would be making changes on the iTunes Store in the coming months. Oppenheimer revealed that Apple has "neat stuff coming" to the iTunes Store in the near future.

Apple's broad iCloud service will launch for free this fall, replacing the current MobileMe offering. In addition to automatically syncing data, such as documents and pictures, across devices like Macs and iPhones, it is also accompanied by features like iTunes in the Cloud, which already allows the re-downloading of music and TV shows through iTunes.
post #2 of 16
Hmm, I predict rumours that Apple will buy Time Warner will soon start to swirl!
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post

Hmm, I predict rumours that Apple will buy Time Warner will soon start to swirl!

Well, we've had Nintendo for years, Sony recently, Adobe for a while, and plenty of other nonsensical purchases, so... yeah. Pretty soon.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already f*ed.

 

Reply
post #4 of 16
If this was Google they'd just release the movies without a license agreement and call it open-source. If anyone sued them they'd just start crying and call it bogus.
post #5 of 16
The movie industry needs to understand that agreements like this are about all that is left for them. The ability to own a show and not have to store it makes buying shows look very reasonable. The idea that i need to store all this content if i spend money on it makes piracy look like a better idea. The fact that music now works this way makes me hundreds of times more likely to buy music online. In fact since that change i have bought music online that i already owned, but couldn't find (lost CDs) just because I know feel like it is a good investment.

Apple is doing damn near everything they can to save the music and movie companies from the internet, and they are fighting it every step of the way...
OSX, because making UNIX user friendly is easier than debugging windows.
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OSX, because making UNIX user friendly is easier than debugging windows.
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post #6 of 16
Even the TV episodes re-download are not working for me in Canada. Last AppleTV update only added Vimo, still no TV section.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomnryan View Post

If this was Google they'd just release the movies without a license agreement and call it open-source.



Good way to start the week.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

Apple is doing damn near everything they can to save the music and movie companies from the internet, and they are fighting it every step of the way...

If you read the article more closely you would find that this isn't entirely the movie industry's fault. The problem lies in the existing contracts that they have with HBO - hence my quip about Time Warner. They can't just break those contracts, which is why the negotiation is so difficult.
post #9 of 16
I wonder, if the entire industry except HBO and Disney are on board with UV, does TV really have any hope anymore? Disney (and I assume, ABC) can try to hold out for Apple's sake, but I don't see how they'll be able to put up a service that competes with what everyone else is offering.

On a side note, when did the iCloud symbol on AppleInsider's header turn purple?
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomnryan View Post

If this was Google they'd just release the movies without a license agreement and call it open-source. If anyone sued them they'd just start crying and call it bogus.

How true!

"THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, THE MORE THEY STAY THE SAME" ....Alphonse Karr ...
See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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See, in the record business, you can show someone your song, and they don’t copy it. In the tech business, you show somebody your idea, and they steal it. (Jimmy Iovine)
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post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by shen View Post

Apple is doing damn near everything they can to save the music and movie companies from the internet, and they are fighting it every step of the way...

Apple are doing everything they can to sell more devices. For the moment iTunes revenue is a needle in a gigantic haystack of licensing cash for the studios.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Last week, Apple added the ability to re-download purchased TV shows from the iTunes Store, and in June the ability to re-download songs and applications was also added.
However, Apple does not yet allow streaming of content to devices

This is inaccurate. Any previously purchased TV shows can be streamed to Apple TV
post #13 of 16
I now need to go change my pants because I just peed on myself from laughing my ass off.

This article is totally bogus.

Some guy from some website who doesn't work for Apple claims he has sources that tell him with 100% authority that Apple doesn't have the deals for a service they were might maybe going to release some time in the future. And is implying that since they don't have those deals right now this minute that said alleged service is never going to happen.

Dude, reality check. It doesn't matter if they don't have the deals right now cause the service wasn't supposed to launch right now. They just need the deals when the time comes. And negotiations are almost always kept secret so your sources aren't going to know what's coming up in the future because they don't likely have access to whomever's date book to know that there's a meeting next week. Not to mention they could just be flat wrong. It's typical Apple to deny to even their own that something is going to happen until it does.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel84 View Post

Apple are doing everything they can to sell more devices.

Apple wants to sell devices, sure. But they've also done more to modernize the industry that anyone else.

Look at the recording industry. Apple did everything possible to drag the labels into the 21st century, and they've kicked, screamed, and fought every step of the way. If Apple hadn't gotten the labels into iTunes, I'm willing to bet that we STILL wouldn't have a DRM-free sales channel with a pricing structure that makes sense. Just look at the mess that's Hulu.

They want me to pay to stream video AND make me watch ads at the same time? If, that is, the show is actually available on Hulu. And if the previous seasons and episodes are available. And just because they were available yesterday doesn't mean they're available today.

Finally, there's no reason in the world why they should have to renegotiate terms just for me to be able to redownload a movie THAT I'VE ALREADY PURCHASED IN DIGITAL FORM.

That includes redownloading it to my Apple TV or iPad, and starting to watch the show before the download is completely finished. (streaming)
post #15 of 16
When are these guys going to learn? Apple saved the music industry. Apple saved the book industry. Apple saved the Magazine industry.

Now they want to save the movie industry, but the suits won't let them!

They will die like fools unless they accept Apple's help, kicking and screaming the whole way.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Apple wants to sell devices, sure. But they've also done more to modernize the industry that anyone else.

Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Look at the recording industry. Apple did everything possible to drag the labels into the 21st century, and they've kicked, screamed, and fought every step of the way. If Apple hadn't gotten the labels into iTunes, I'm willing to bet that we STILL wouldn't have a DRM-free sales channel with a pricing structure that makes sense. Just look at the mess that's Hulu.

But why did the labels cave into DRM-free sales? They were desperate and they've suffered a great deal over the last decade. The studios most certainly aren't desperate, at least not yet. They make the vast majority of their cash on everything but digital and they're still turning healthy profits, even if DVD sales are slowing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

They want me to pay to stream video AND make me watch ads at the same time? If, that is, the show is actually available on Hulu. And if the previous seasons and episodes are available. And just because they were available yesterday doesn't mean they're available today.

If Hulu, iTunes and all the others could have things their way, they'd make all content available for rental and sale all the time. But the studios would never allow that for the reasons mentioned in the article (distribution rights, exclusivity windows, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

Finally, there's no reason in the world why they should have to renegotiate terms just for me to be able to redownload a movie THAT I'VE ALREADY PURCHASED IN DIGITAL FORM.

That includes redownloading it to my Apple TV or iPad, and starting to watch the show before the download is completely finished. (streaming)

Of course this stuff needs to be renegotiated, not least to deal with issues like the "HBO window".
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