Video Games and Digital Media Conference: Consoles as The “Media Hub” #Entlaw

Hello readers, I hope all has been well with you all since my last post. It has been a while but the conversations on this blog is always ongoing so we pick up from where we last stopped. Almost two months ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Video Games Conference put on by the ABA Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industry. It was quite interesting and I will be sharing some notes with you that I hope you find helpful (beginning with the one below).


Video Games and Digital Media Conference
Location: UC Hastings College of the Law
San Francisco, CA
Date: 3/17/2014

Consoles as the “Media Hub”

Seth J. Steinberg, Principal, Digital Arts Law


Christi Davisson, Attorney, Devices and Studios, Microsoft Corporation
Eric Lachter, Former Director of Marketing, Roku
Lee Rawles, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Electronic Arts
Anthony Stanley, Principal Counsel, Distribution, The Walt Disney Co.

  1. As streaming becomes important as a content delivery system is gaming no longer as important?
  2. Consoles cost so much because they are incredibly powerful machine.
  3. More people are playing games more than even before.
  4. But consoles have too many other platforms because not many are using it the way it used to before.
  5. Price, user experience and usage and consumers become an issue.
  6. Deals with content provider.
    1. Gaming consoles as a means of accessing Netflix has increased.
    2. Netflix access occurs through gaming console.
    3. Netflix is a huge player in video content delivery system.
    4. Netflix has made a huge push towards original content.
    5. Exclusivity is important in content deal.
  7. Two new entrants in the market, Amazon being one of them. How will their entrance impact the current ecosytem?
    1. Amazon has robust/great distribution
    2. Retail piece creates conflict
    3. They have VOD
    4. They have a brand
    5. They have a lot of money
    6. As content provider, you want to get on early
    7. There is a symbiotic relationship, they need content as much as they need the other side.
  8. Amazon chasing Netflix
    1. Interoperability will be an issue. The solution is one where if you buy your movies, regardless of what platform, your movie will be there.
    2. As users, if you acquire rights on one platform but cannot access it on another, that is an issue.
    3. Twitch TV is an online service allows you to rebroadcast your games. Twitch can see banner ads, and then share the revenue with broadcasters. Twitch is integrated into PS4 and Xbox 1.
    4. Huge interest in gamers to broadcast what they are doing with the world and their friends

i.     Great revenue stream

ii.     Interesting business model

iii.     Provides linear content in game space.

  1. Rights Associated
    1. Licensed Content
    2. Music (stream rights from publisher)
    3. Public performance rights
    4. Talent Fees

It is always uncomfortable to have legal issues with your fans. Game space seeing it with sports game space.

  1. Rights related issues as you move into the streaming phrase.
    1. Right to Publicity
    2. Copyright
    3. Public Performance issues

i.     Thousands of followers etc.

ii.     Retransmitting a piece of content becomes an issue

  1. Retransmission .
    1. Fantastic technology but creates a major issues.
    2. Gaming consoles serving as “media hub.”

i.     The issue is whether internet contents are clear.

ii.     Live cable content is complicated because:

  1. Guild Issue
  2. Music rights
  3. Music rights in local news a major issue.
  4. Lots of development need to happen in this dynamic space because of rights issue that come up.
  1. Netflix/Comcast recent deal has implications on net neutrality.
    1. Will be an ongoing issue.
    2. When you are looking at rights, think of rights related to marketing issues.
    3. You want to license as broadly as you can but new features and new things come out and you have to make calls ASAP. The space evolves so quickly.