Netflix User Sues Over 28-Day Delay

Manhattan woman files for damages over Warner’s release window

Last Updated: March 7, 2010 @ 11:54 AM

The movie rental industry has become a legal minefield over the past year.

Studios seeking to bolster DVD sales have sued companies like Redbox over failing to agree to a Hollywood imposed delay over when they can begin renting new releases.

But the suits and countersuits have been largely consigned to the studios and movie rental companies.

Until this week.

One angry Netflix customer is suing the rental giant for making her wait 28 days for new releases like "Where the Wild Things Are" or "The Informant!"

The irony is that Netflix had sought to avoid the legal battles plaguing the rental kiosk industry by making nice with Warner and consenting to the delay in new releases.

But the deal between the rental giant and the studio didn’t sit well with one Susan Uman.

The Manhattan woman sued the company and the studio in federal court on Wednesday.She  charges them  with an illegal conspiracy to restrict the movie rental trade.

Her class-action suit also contends that the 28-day delay is a violation of her customer agreement.

A spokesperson for Warner declined to comment for this article. Neither Netflix nor Uman’s lawyer, Marian Rosner, immediately returned calls for comment.

When Netflix and Warner Brothers announced their new release agreement last January, the two media companies portrayed the pact as mutually beneficial. Warner Brothers believed it could maximize the sales potential of new DVDs, while Netflix received more Warner titles for its streaming services. The rental giant also got a discount on the Warner films it streams and the new releases it rents after the 28-day window closes.

Uman is requesting damages and asking for Netflix to close the window.