Hollywood studios sue Zattoo

By Robert Briel | May 20, 2009

The Hollywood studios Universal and Warner Bros are sueing the online streaming video portal Zattoo for adding commercial messages with their movies.

In Germany, Zattoo offers live streams of the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF, which include the showing of movie titles from the two studios. The portal is allowed to do so under a 12 month contract with the broadcasters.

However, since the streams are available free of charge, the business model includes the show of pre-roll ads before the actual stream begins. This is the reason for the action by the studios, which claim this breaks the rule that the channels should be streamed unabridged and unaltered.
According to local press reports, the two studios are now trying to prevent Zattoo from showing their movies, which are broadcast on ARD and ZDF.

The reports also say that ARD and ZDF are reconsidering the extension of the current 12-month distribution contract with the online service.