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Warner Archive Instant service provides vintage film streams
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Apr 2, 2013, 11:03 AM
 
Warner Bros has opened up its catalog of historic movies and television shows on a new site for streaming subscribers, rather than more modern shows and theater productions. The Warner Archive Instant offers a selection of vintage films to watch instantly, and expands on the studio's existing Warner Archive store for DVD and Blu-ray discs. Currently, the service is only available in the US.

The streaming service costs $10 per month, and provides a selection of content spanning the history of Warner, including Warner Bros itself ad co-productions with MGM, Allied Artists, and RKO, that will be swapped with other films and shows on a regular basis, reports Engadget. A number of titles will be viewable at 1080p, and can be streamed to Mac, PCs, and Roku set top boxes, with other devices planned for the future.

Despite the impressive back catalog of major and minor releases in the Warner Archive Instant, it is likely that only those wanting to watch older movies and TV shows will want to subscribe to the service. Mainstream streaming services such as Netflix provide far more content, if heavily skewed towards modern offerings, than what Warner is currently providing, and at a similar subscription cost. The site offers a two-week free trial before users must subscribe.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Apr 3, 2013 at 02:15 AM. )
     
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Apr 2, 2013, 12:24 PM
 
Stuff like this should really be free.

All the folks associated with it's creation are long dead. Even the executives at Warner's that were involved are long dead. Copyright was created to protect the artists and creators, not to let corporations profit for eternity from things they didn't even create themselves.
     
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Apr 2, 2013, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post
Stuff like this should really be free.

All the folks associated with it's creation are long dead. Even the executives at Warner's that were involved are long dead. Copyright was created to protect the artists and creators, not to let corporations profit for eternity from things they didn't even create themselves.
Aren't there other royalties to cover?

For example, there should be the composers' royalties to consider, which were intended to generate income over time, and allow artists to leave some sort of material inheritance to their offspring.
Since music licensing results in a long-term, small stream of income (rather than other saleable goods like paintings or shoes or cars, which are sold ONCE, but for a substantial amount that covers the cost of producing them), it is a lot more difficult to set aside a sum of money, dump it in a bank account or invest it, and leave that for the heirs.
So royalties continue to be due for some time after the artists' death.

Aren't there similar considerations for script authors etc.?
     
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Apr 3, 2013, 02:03 AM
 
I certainly don't mind there being some costs -- after all, servers ain't free even if the content was in the public domain! But yeah, as a "vintage" service I think they need to price this more aggressively to attract an audience (and economies of scale would still make it profitable). I'd *gladly* pay $5/month for something like this, particularly if the library of Warner offerings is deep. A quick look at the page reveals mostly b-list films, but that's okay -- but they need more HD and A-list stuff if they want to build a subscriber base.
Charles Martin
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