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Netflix vs. Blockbuster

by LDanix / April 7, 2006 12:41 AM PDT

Tom, Molly, and Veronica,

Speaking of phoney patents, I'm reminded of the Minnesota kid who patented a "method of swinging on a swing" in 2002. And who could forget the Australian who patented the wheel the year before?
If Netflix can get away with this, you guys should patent the "method of producing a podcast" and use it to get rich at the expense of all the other podcasters. But wait, that would hamper inovation. On second thought, leave that to the government.

Love the podcast!

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Phony Patents
by adkinsjm / April 7, 2006 2:19 AM PDT

Amazon did get away with One-click and Ebay may have to get rid of Buy It Now. It is not like those items are really original thoughts, the patent holders just applied for a patent quickly enough.

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Clean Films?
by beelissa / April 7, 2006 6:59 AM PDT

Okay, I have to ask. We were once members at Clean Films. Similar queue setup, you send them back by mail, no late fees. The difference was that Clean Films editted the content and removed unwholesome stuff. You can buy their DVDs or have a rental membership. I'm now a member of NetFlix and I can't see much difference to how they do things. Why are Clean Films not being sued as well?

I really can't believe something like this can be patented. Maybe patent law is different than copyright -- I'm sure it is. I just read that the person suing the DaVinci Code author lost due to the fact that the concepts were too broad to be under copyright. When I first joined Clean Films (that was the first time I saw the queue setup) I thought it just made sense -- they can't guarantee you will get the first movie on your list, so you make a list of second and third choices to give them something else to send if they don't have your first choice. And the no-late fees thing -- how can that be patented?

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Hrmm...
by Justin0077 / April 7, 2006 7:23 AM PDT

I use a combo of Netflix and GameFLy... If NetFlix doesn't go after GameFly I'm un-affected and therefore rather apathetic to the issue.

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questions for schwegler
by beelissa / April 8, 2006 12:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Hrmm...

Can you tell me more?

When you say combo -- do you just mean you're a member of both NetFlix and GameFly, or do you have some sort of combination membership? My son wants to join something that will let him rent games, but I'm worried about cost.

Does GameFly have the same queue format as NetFlix?

My point is that, it just seemed very intuitive and obvious, and I just couldn't see how they could get a patent on it, just like you can't patent putting a shopping cart on your site or having a row of cash registers at the front of a bricks and mortar store. Ditto for the "no late fee" thing. Clean Films never said "no late fee", they just didn't charge one. Same for NetFlix, they don't use that phrase, but they don't have a time limit, as long as you're a member. You just don't get the next DVD until you return the first one.

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Oh
by Justin0077 / April 11, 2006 8:57 AM PDT

No Im just a member of both...

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