Anthony Kaufman’s Variety article about the changing tides of film distribution and how that may impact sales at Cannes, is a good one. He lays it out there, highlighting how companies like IFC, Magnolia, and Regent are very driven when it comes to the potential of VOD. One section of his article, however, is inaccurate:
[Bob] Berney, who is building a new distibution company, agrees. “There’s going to be a lot of discussion about digital rights and what that means,” he says. “If you buy a film from a foreign country and you only have U.S. digital rights, how do you isolate your territory?” The DVD industry, for example, developed region-specific discs, but for digital downloads, the Web knows no bounds.
In the world of digital downloads, things are region-specific and the Web does know its boundaries. For example, very few of the titles we’ve released are available in other countries. They will be soon, but only when the rights make sense and are available. Sites like Hulu aren’t even available outside of America, and the iTunes Movie Store is primarily an American phenonemon. Likewise, there are overseas versions of this experience that aren’t available to Americans. Places such as UK destinations like Blinkbox, Joining The Docs, LoveFilm (the British alternative to Netflix) or Italian destinations such as Play4Film. So, there should not be concerns about more availability when compared to DVD releases. Global availability for digital rights is broken up in ways analogous with how the industry has done business for years.