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UPDATE: The information I got was wrong

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Original post: Dancing on Whitney Houston's grave: Streaming rights pulled after her death to make a "very large amount of money" from DVD sales according to Netflix rep

I was inspired to watch the movie The Bodyguard tonight after watching Kevin Costner's stirring tribute to his former co-star at Whitney Houston's funeral this afternoon.

Unfortunately it isn't available for streaming. This was interesting since it is 20 years old. I checked the comments under the movie post on and saw a bunch of complaints saying that it had been available for streaming until her death.

So I called Netflx and the rep confirmed what I suspected:

Netflix rep: "Okay Dan, I just went and talked to my main supervisor as to why the movie had been pulled and the reason it was pulled was the production company pulled the streaming rights from us because all the publicity after Whitney Houston's passing there was an opportunity to make really a very large amount of money on the DVD sales of her movies. So they're going to pull all the streaming titles we have of Whitney Houston so they can make more money off the DVD sales of her movies."
Anthony Russo's profile photoSreek Menon's profile photoSteve Kingsley's profile photoChris Ortiz's profile photo
David Cox
It seems like the media companies are always trying to capitalize on tragedies. Interestingly enough, The Bodyguard still appears to be available for instant viewing via Amazon.
+1 for Amazon. Just checked it's there.
I still don't see how they are going to make any money of a 20 year old movie by enraging the consumer. They want to watch it now and will probably turn to torrents to get it.
They think that since there was massive hoopla over Michael Jackson after he died, they can score the same. But Whitney was not the Queen of Pop.
I think there is a chance this is fake. I don't think a frontline representative of Netflix is going to just say this blatantly after checking with his supervisor. They know how bad this sounds and would spin it or something.

I would expect a frontline guy to be saying something like they are just rotating movies or something lame. Then an upper level rep puts some kind of more palatable spin on the whole thing.
Amazon can do such a PR stunt right now with this by having those available for streaming at their Amazon Prime Videos. I'm officially ready to switch from Netflix to something else... perhaps the new Redbox venture or preferably strictly Amazon.
And Apple raised all her song prices in iTunes... is anyone really surprised at this? Pretty much to be expected at this point.
Please don´t buying it! Why shall they earn more money then the artist?
+Oleg Moskalensky Remember it wasn't Netflix that did this. They said the company told them to stop the streaming after she died. I guess Amazon signed a different deal for a term or something. Also interesting, he said usually they get deals on a per-movie basis rather than a big company with a whole catalog.
+Anthony Russo It is a direct quote. The guy checked his computer (to verify that it was no longer streaming and that the streaming rights ended after Houston died.) Then he separately checked with his floor supervisor and the main manager before telling me directly what I have in quotes above. At first he gave me a general speculative answer like "Oh we lose and re-buy rights for movies all the time..." but I wasn't buying it. So I wanted to make SURE that the rights were pulled after her death. They were. Then I wanted to now why and he checked with both bosses and said what he said. I believe him.
+Dan McDermott I seem to recall an issue with Sony and Netflix some time ago where their movies were pulled from streaming. This is one of the reasons I don't use Netflix. Having the DVD or Blu-ray, it will generally work, baring some defect or player malfunction. In addition, I watch so few movies that a Netflix subscription would not be appropriate for me. I think Redbox is something I could go for if there's a movie I want to see but not necessarily add to my collection. I did try it once for a movie a family member wanted to see and it was like $1.27 including tax. If I do that once a week, that's less than a Netflix subscription.
+Dan McDermott One can stream Bodyguard on Amazon for free (Amazon Prime members). They should totally use this to make some waves and stick Netflix face in the mud in the process.
+Oleg Moskalensky I'm going to look into Amazon Prime. I still like the Netflix streaming service and each option has stuff the other doesn't. And they are both really cheap for what you get. Important to stress that Netflix is not the bad guy on this. The company that owns the movie rights pulled them from Netflix.
I am guessing Amazon has a different contract term? No idea though. It actually makes much more sense for Amazon to pull it since they sell the DVDs and Netflix doesn't. Also Amazon isn't a company a movie maker would want to piss off.
+Dan McDermott I in no way doubt you posted exactly what you were told. I just find it very surprising that Netflix would allow this to be said in that way. If that is what happened, they aren't stupid and know how it sounds. I would think they would have it spun or come from higher up than a customer support rep.
AMAZON PRIME has it streaming FREE, starting right after her death.
sadly this isnt surprising...the assholes always cash in on celebrities dying instituting a "death tax"...damn douchebags
+Oleg Moskalensky well Netflix can't risk pissing people off as their only form of revenue is streaming and dvd rentals with streaming taking over. If Netflix starts a fight they can lose their streaming rights thus risking massive damage to their bottom line as people will leave from lack of content. Amazon on the other hand doesn't make any money on the video streaming they just bundle it in with the Shipping portion of Prime which is awesome enough to buy Prime alone. So Amazon has tons of ways to make money, Kindles normal;touch;fire, Selling EVERYTHING you can think of in their marketplace, Amazon even if the people wanted it taken down Amazon wouldn't suffer much from ignoring them where as Netflix would run the risk of being totally effed in the aye.
Funny, it's still available on The Pirate Bay...
+Joe Vidal - "And Apple raised all her song prices in iTunes... is anyone really surprised at this? Pretty much to be expected at this point."

Actually, Apple doesn't control the pricing. That was the record label that jacked up the price.
+James Dempsey Thanks for the update... as I don't have an account, I didn't realize who controls the pricing on iTunes.
+Anthony Russo I think it makes all the sense in the world for Netflix to allow this particular statement. Their business model doesn't rely on them being a punching bag for publishers in the way that, say, TicketMaster is. They've already set themselves up as "Good guys" in opposition of the Big Bad Movie Publishers. Their reaction is more akin to Apple saying, "We don't really like DRM, the publishers make us use it."
and the pirates are the bad guys? Seriously. If I hear another corporation or film company bitch about how pirates are destroying their "business" (aka RAPING OF THE MIDDLE CLASS) I will lose it. Oh wait I already have.
+Alex Ogier I'm guessing they were eager to set the record straight given the Sony/iTunes flap over the price increase in her songs. This post has gone viral on Techmeme and Reddit so I imagine the rights holders are getting calls and will respond.
Netflix only has leases on the content it streams. Rage directed at them should really be aimed at the copyright owners
its called "quicksilverscreen"! But thats gone now, but dailyflix isnt!
Rage should be directed at congress that continues to privilege copyright owners over consumers and creatives alike. Also make sure to rage at the Citizen's-United-allowing constitution that governs congress. Streaming services are always going to have their content restricted in various ways so the copyright owners can drive up prices to maintain current profitability rates. It's a giant artificial monopoly run amok.
Ironically, I went in to a Barnes & Noble to buy my mother-in-law a DVD of The Bodyguard yesterday. They had none in stock and the video guy there told me they sold out every copy they had and weren't expecting more for at least a week. Lost sales opportunities? Many.
What about the deal already in place? Why would Netflix make a deal so bad that they can pull it at any time?
Given how poorly run the Netflix call center is, I am not surprised this is what was relayed to the customer.
and THIS is why people resort to pirating. but at least amazon has it.
People will find another way to watch it. What these movie companies need to do is get with the times and find a way to earn more money off Netflix and other streaming mediums.
♫ At the record company party, on their hands: a dead star; the sycophantic slags all say: "I knew him first, and I knew him well" ♫
no guys, we gotta support the act-- oh wait, nevermind.
Just so Bobby Brown can rip off Bobbi.
You should update the post on reddit. Your untrue story is up near the top.
+Poodie Neutron I have no idea how. I didn't post it. I don't think I have ever used Reddit before. I hope someone can reference my "update" there.
I think +Dan McDermott did post it on Reddit, he just doesn't want to take the heat for it. I think we need to get rev. Al here to deal with this issue and it should make front page news on every newspaper and CNN and Fox news should cover this past wall to wall until Netflix shuts down and... It's amazing how a non story can generate this much response...
+Dan McDermott
I remember you telling me a while back that you never used reddit ever. In fact I think when I discussed reddit with you, you were kind of oblivious about the site and I remember explaining to u about it. So, no buddy I don't think you posted it on reddit. Between, at this moment it is the number two post on reddit which is a great achievement :-). Chillax. Honestly, if someone gave you a wrong info and you posted it on google plus, so what? Your clarification was great. Check the comments on reddit about it. 
Thanks +Sreek Menon. I'll delve into it all tomorrow. I'm kind of embarrassed right now and want to crawl in a hole.
+Dan McDermott You reported the facts as they were given to you. You're a first class newsman all the way, and we all know that you are not trying to do anything wrong. Things happen and when you realize the mistake, you want to make sure that everyone is made aware of the truth of the matter. Because of you in my daily stream, I stay updated on important news and events going on, so keep it up!
+Dan McDermott As I stated in this thread a few times, I just couldn't see Netflix coming out with such a statement. I didn't think of checking the cached Google pages but that was a good way of vetting the bad information. I'm actually a bit relieved that I wasn't just barking up a wrong tree. Kudos to you for setting the record straight.
+Dan McDermott
Why do you have to be embarrassed and crawl into a hole since everyone knows the source of your information? Maybe, the rights holder can take a cue and allow Netflix to steam the movie for a while. :-)
Well, don't you just love the power of social media, whether it's for the good or bad. 
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