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Embattled DVD rental company Zediva hires legal dream team

Posted at 13 May 2011 04:00 CEST by Justin_Massoud

The upstart company Zediva started its unique DVD rental service in April. Users selected the movie they wanted to watch and gained access to an online feed that streamed off a singular physical (and lawfully acquired) copy. The model drew immediate criticism, but the company held its ground. Zediva founder Venky Srinivasan compared it to Blockbuster. Movie execs didn’t bite.

Not long after, several studios banded together and filed a complaint alleging the company was sidestepping copyright laws. In response, the company has hired several lawyers – several of which are seasoned veterans of copyright litigation.

Zediva’s lawyered up in a big way, says Paid Content, hiring the firm Durie Tangri to helm its defense.

A key practice area for the group is copyright and IP law, in which it boasts an extensive résumé. The firm currently advises Google, but has had a hand in several well-known cases  such as UMG v. Augusto through the years.

The small group representing Zediva includes Joseph Gratz, Michael Page and Mark Lemley.

Gratz, a cyberlaw professor at the University of California and partner at DT, has represented Google and won the aforementioned UMG v. Augusto for a man who sold promotional CDs online.

Page has taken on cases involving internet privacy related to Facebook, and counts video game companies such as EA, Nintendo and Sega among his previous clients. He also successfully defended music sharing service Grokster prior to its eventual defeat and subsequent shutdown.

Lemley is a founding partner at the firm and has represented clients such as Netflix and Intel. He’s won countless awards for his work across myriad fields of practice.

TorrentFreak notes that the movie studios have hired Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP to prosecute their case. The firm’s client list is a who’s who of major entertainment industry players: Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, the MPAA and record label Aftermath. One of its lawyers, Glenn Pomerantz, was in court this week representing the RIAA in its case against Mark Gorton. The LimeWire founder admitted on Monday that he was “wrong” in his decision to ignore the piracy that took place using his service.

Is Zediva going down? Or is a settlement in its future? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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