Get Your Aim Straight

october 18, 2007

I was reading this posting from JR about Netflix and their streaming video service Watch Now. JR was seemingly replying to this posting where the dude is encouraging people to kill trees in order to shout silently at a company. The dude wants people to print out little protest notices and stuff them into the Netflix return envelopes in order to "start a conversation in the company from the distribution centers all the way up through the management chain." Uh, yea whatever dude. That's like going to Wal-Mart and telling the working-on-minimum-wage cashier that you are digusted by the fact that walmart.com uses DRM. You how far that will get you? No where.  The same is true with these little printed protest notices.  You'll get no where and you'll end up killing trees to get there. I complained in my earlier posting about the same issue: The DRM that Netflix uses makes the Watch Now service unusable for those of us who use Macs and Linux boxes. I was then reminded by a buddy of mine, Mike that this was not Netflix's choice. Netflix has a business to run and they want to stream movies as part of the business.  But, if they are to stream movies, it is the movie industry that dictates just how the movies can be streamed. Don't want to use DRM? Then you don't get to stream movies. It's like blaming Yahoo! Music or Napster for using DRM. If it were up to Yahoo! or Napster, they probably would not want to use DRM -- why make things so complicated? But, it is the stupid RIAA that forces businesses to use DRM. Dude from defectivebydesign:  Your logic is flawed and...well...defective by design. First, don't encourage people to kill trees in an effort that will go no where. The people (or as I might guess, sorting machines) at Netflix will toss the little flyers without notice. Second, aim for the correct people. If you don't like DRM: Blame the movie studios. Blame the music studios. They are the ones forcing businesses to do this. Get it right or shut up. Now, if you really do want to let Netflix know about how they could be doing better...let me suggest a more environmentally conservative way of letting them know. Make a suggestion. Nudge Netflix to work with the movie studios to get rid of the DRM. Netflix runs a 24 hour customer service line (which they brag about). Give them a call. 1-888-638-3549. Ask why the service doesn't work on your Mac or Linux box. Ask if you can get a part of your subscription cost back because you're not using that streaming service. Ask if Netflix can work something out with the studios so that you can watch movies on your Mac or Linux box.  See?  You won't be killing trees.  You'll for sure get someone to talk with.  And, as with all customer call centers, your complaint about Watch Now not working on a Mac or Linux box will be noted.  When Netflix goes and reviews the problems being called in to customer support, they will take notice -- why?  Because it costs Netflix money to staff csutomer support centers.  It costs Netflix to be taking all those calls.  If Netflix does not have to take a call, they save some money.  Let Netflix know, nicely that using DRM is going to cost them money.  That will definitely light up some conversations in the company.