Netflix Plays Its Cards

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Shares in Netflix (NFLX) jumped again Wednesday morning after an upgrade from Goldman Sachs. The company is also reportedly in talks to buy its first original series, "House of Cards."

While the negotiations are still in the discussion phase, such a move would be a first for the Los Gatos company. The idea is simple: instead of watching the weekly program on Showtime or Bravo, you would watch it streamed on Netflix.

Meanwhile, a Sunnyvale company called Zediva is offering streaming movies for $1.99.  Titles include "Megamind" and "The Fighter," which you can find at Blockbuster but not on Netflix, which has agreed to not to offer a new movie until 28 days after its released on DVD.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the company gets around copyright and lisencing deals by literally renting you a DVD player and the DVD.  Except the whole thing stays at Zediva's data center.  You order Megamind and, in the Journal's words, "a DVD player starts whirring'.

The video and audio are then streamed to you through a Flash player.  While the idea may have gotten past a few lawyers, Hollywood will almost certainly sue. 

(The company that runs this website, NBC Universal, owns Universal Studios, a movie production company.)

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