US customers only, please
What do five of the worlds biggest movie-companies; Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures and MGM, have in common? They apparently don't care about their non-US customers:
"We want you to take part in the powerful Internet movie rental experience that Movielink delivers, but it is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States"
The above quote is what non US visitors are presented with when they try to access Hollywoods newest online investment, Movielink. Movielink is (as far as I know - I have no way of getting this verified from the site itself) a joint venture between the 5 movie-companies offering selected movies for download for a few dollars each.
Despite obvious technical challenges they decided to boldy adventure into an area they have been trying to kill for so long: Digitally copying full movies to the harddrives of individual users. To avoid illegal distribution, they have apparently put their trust into a mechanism that disables the movie after a set amount of time (I wonder how long it will be before that mechanism is cracked open?). The idea itself is great and I regained a little trust in the juggernauts of the movie industry, kudos to them.
But then they cut off their non-US customers from even getting info about their service. I realize that the cost of international downloads will probably be too high for them to begin with, but cutting the access before we even get to seeing what movies are available makes no sense. They don't even want to tempt us by showing what this is all about. They don't even give non-US press somewhere to get reliable information about the service.
To me, this still makes the movie-companies look like the BigCo's of yesterday, still not quite grasping the possibilities of the Internet. Worst of all, it looks a lot like the ridiculous regional-system they currently use to control the DVD market. They are so close to showing they have balls, and still they fail.