Come Netflix and chill… If you pay

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As a Television student it seemed only natural to bring up the new online television platform that is Netflix. If you are unfamiliar, it is a subscription service that gives you access to hundreds of Films/TV series and Documentaries for your enjoyment. Subscriptions are usually around £5.99 per month. Without payment you are simply unable to access any of their content. For the amount you pay, the selection choice of content on Netflix seems to be growing rapidly, they even have shows exclusively for them. For example, recent shows such as ‘Orange Is The New Black’ is a series that is only available on Netflix. It therefore seems that the amount you pay is ‘fair’ for what you get in return.

I feel if Netflix were to suddenly come under the Creative Commons license, Netflix would be run far differently. As you may of already guessed, the website would most likely be plastered in advertisements. This would simply be because the website would not be able to operate without a revenue. Lastly and most importantly is that due to the nature of copyright law with Films and Television and the nature of the industry, the website would simply not be able to operate. When films are released you are able to watch them at the Cinema, which you of course have to pay for. When a film is then out on DVD (which you have to pay for), if Netflix were to have the film there for anyone to watch for free, this would cost the industry millions, due to the high number of people that would watch it through Netflix for free. You can think of the paying the subscription like paying for a TV license, you are paying for a service that provides a large collection of content for your enjoyment.

Many TV shows are now being developed today straight for the internet. BBC Three for example is now completely online and is also free for anyone to use. Do you think this is fair? Do you think the copyright law to putting Film and Television content on the internet will change? Or do you think it’s fair for some websites to charge you and others not too?

-Lewis King

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5 Comments

  1. I really think this is an amazing example. I use Netflix myself and the subscription is really accessible even for students like us. I think it’s just fair to pay in order to receive content that you would have to pay for anywhere else. The same goes with music, news or any other industry, at least that’s the way I see it.

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  2. Maybe putting film and television on the Internet is not fair but it is the direction video sharing is going. Fewer and fewer people are paying for cable or TV packages because they are simply too expensive. Internet accessibility is one reason audiences are drawn to Netflix because they can access it on their phones, tablets and computers anywhere as opposed to just in their homes. Like you mentioned, it is also cheap and gives you quality shows and films. This is making the market more and more competitive forcing stations like BBC to offer free online content to compete with streaming services such as Netflix. I’m sure with further advances and complications the online copywrite laws for film and television content will evolve.

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  3. I believe that it is absolutely fair to pay for Netflix. I like the comparison that you make between the cinema, TV license and Netflix. It costs a lot of money to create a film or series. Pay the actors, decoration, directors and many more people working. If Netflix was free, nobody would pay to watch anything either in cinema or TV, so why would these professionals make such good films for granted? The way TV industry works doesn’t suit a free system. I do agree with the idea that media is evolving and that everything is coming to digital, in this case on demand. However this doesn’t mean that everything has to be free, under a Creative Commons license.

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  4. Great example! Lately a lot of people subscribe to Netflix and its popularity is due to the fact that it is an affordable cost! I think that as you compared with cinema and TV license, it is fair to be charged to watch Netflix content. For sure, Netflix and all internet TV put the traditional TV in a difficult position. Netflix is cheaper and give often more interesting content to watch, this, as you said, brought channels like BBC 3 to make an important decision and move on internet. I believe is fair to be charged to watch content, and I think that we will see a lot of changes in TV industries due to the always increasing popularity on Internet Channel.

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  5. I think paying for Netflix is fair. Creating and developing films and TV-shows just for the Internet may not seem correct, but that is what we are moving towards – everything is now moving online. Netflix itself is an amazing service, and I don’t feel bad about paying 6 pounds a month and getting anything I want to watch.

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