Wednesday Links

Still recovering from SCMS, Daylight Savings Time, and the end of Spring Break. Only six more weeks left until finals. Yikes!

  • Michael Newman posted his SCMS talk on Television File Sharing on his blog. While most scholarship discusses the role of piracy in shaping the film industry, fewer people have talked about the (possibly more complicated) implications for TV consumption and fandom.
  • Cinematical reports that many of Netflix’s contracts for streaming content are about to expire and explores the implications, which might include higher subscription costs.  Edward Jay Epstein is even more blunt in predicting that Netflix is about to “hit a brick wall.”
  • On a related note, another article on Fandor, which seeks to combine streaming video with a greater focus on social media. Similalry, Zediva allows you to rent and stream movies at $1.99 per title. The article points out that Zediva, which does not pay for rights to stream, may be legally dubious, but they argue that the First Sale Doctrine allows them to pay retail for movies and then make them available for streaming. We’ll see how that works out once Hollywood lawyers get involved.
  • David Poland discusses Netflix’s plans to get into distributing original TV content, a series featuring Kevin Spacey, prompting Poland to ask whether the company is “abandoning its business model” again. Chris Becker links to a wide range of reactions.
  • Via Chris Becker a discussion of the fact that Time Warner Cable is streaming live TV content to iPads, but only within the confines of the subscribing household.
  • Chris also points out that AT&T is planning to cap bandwidth use for its subscribers, which may limit streaming video consumption.
  • Finally, Ted Striphas revisits the issue of “algorithmic culture” (something he considered previously a few months ago) which he discusses primarily in terms of Amazon’s recommendation algorithms. A similar principle, of course, applies for services such as Netflix. Hooping to put together a longer post on these issues soon.

I linked to this on Twitter but it deserves a closer look, and I don’t want to lose it in the Twitter stream. Here is Newton Minow’s article in which he revisits his “cultural wasteland” thesis to think about how media policy should work in the days ahead.

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