The company that brought you “Lady and the Tramp” and “Pinocchio” is cracking down on online movie trailers, sparking a legal case that could help clarify how far film studios can go to compete with retailers by selling their own products on the Web. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, a unit of Disney, will go to court next week to ask a judge to stop trailer distributor Video Pipeline from providing some parts of its movie trailers online. Buena Vista, which is trying to increase its share of the home-video retail market, hopes to become a major online destination for people who want to buy its movies. If the company succeeds in getting a preliminary injunction, online movie retailers such as Netflix and others might not be able to offer some movie previews to their customers. The case marks yet another iteration in the debate over copyrighted material in the digital age and highlights a looming conflict between content companies and retailers concerned that the Internet could cut them out of the distribution chain. Although Buena Vista has long approved of Video Pipeline’s distribution of its previews in brick-and-mortar stores, the company has different ideas about the Web, where it, too,… Read full this story
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