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  Reply # 1102999 6-Aug-2014 00:24
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JimmyH:
NonprayingMantis:

1) Unlike Sky, they sell to NZers in NZ but don't have to charge and pay GST (or any other form of tax in NZ)*


Correct. But, other than GST, the tax argument is a red herring. Netflix is liable to pay company tax on any profits in the US. If you are arguing that you shouldn't buy from companies that don't pay company tax in NZ then you are pretty much arguing against anyone importing anything at all. Just like NZ exporters pay company tax in NZ, US exporters pay company tax in the US, UK companies in the UK, etc.

the 'any other tax' was an aside. The important one is GST  (but I do think if you are selling in NZ, to NZers, you should pay tax in NZ - see how Google and Facebook get away with it so much - I'm against that too.



The GST argument does have some validity. And if the government can find a way to cost-effectively collect GST on small imports (not just Netflix subs) then it should do so. However, in the Netflix vs Sky comparison, it's virtually irrelevant. It's $13 c.f., circa $100+ so loading 15% on wouldn't materially influence the decision. I'm far more likely to make a decision based on content range, release window, quality and ease of use than I am on a $2 closing of the enormous price differential.


correct, but consider this in light of lightbox, where the prices are much closer together and GST makes a bigger difference
regardless it is still a totally valid difference where Sky has to comply with the laws of commerce in NZ, and Netflix does not.





2) Unlike Sky, they are breaching their agreements with content suppliers to only supply in regions where they have paid for the rights


Probably not. They have made a reasonable attempt to comply by geoblocking. Plus, in my book, those agreements are close to a restrictive trade practice anyway.

given the geoblocking is so trivial that ISPs are flagrantly circumventing it, I'd say IP blocking is no longer a reasonable method of blocking access.





3) Unlike Sky, they don't have to abide by the Fair Trading Act


Ummm, yes, but so what? Companies are bound by the laws of the countries in which they reside. This is true for anything - books, music, clothing, powertools. It's a known risk that a NZer chooses to take when they opt for purchasing from offshore rather than onshore. If anything, NZ retailers should be treating this as an advantage and marketing it - buy from us and you get legal rights - parallel import and you don't. Caveat emptor.

the 'so what' is the whole point.  Sky has to abide by the laws of commerce in NZ when selling to NZers.  Netflix does not - that was my point! 





4) Unlike Sky, They don't have to abide by the Consumer Goods Act


Again, true but so what? Same issue as the Fair Trading Act. It's something that you should bear in mind when making a purchase decision for *anything* from offshore. But, for solid companies like Amazon with decent customer support reputations, it's actually rarely an issue in practice.

Note: as an aside - it's actually the Consumer Guarantees Act (not Goods).


the 'so what' is the whole point.  Sky has to abide by the laws of commerce in NZ when selling to NZers.  Netflix does not - that was my point! 





5) unlike Sky, They don't have to abide by the NZ censorship rules - so they don't have to submit any of their content to the censor, pay for it to be vetted, wait for them to pass judgement, before finally selling it.


Another red herring. In practical terms, mostly neither does Sky. My understanding is that we recognise many censorship classifications from comparable other countries (the UK and Australia) for films etc - and if it gets the equivalent of a G, PG, M, or R16 etc in those countries, it automatically gets the equivalent rating here - sight unseen - unless the rating is challenged. Plus, for most content, its the makers who arrange the classification, not the broadcaster. It's only R18 equivalents where a separate NZ classification is pretty much always required.


upon further research, I think we are both wrong on that one. Broadcasting is covered off totally separately under an industyr system.




6) unlike Sky, they don't have to provide any level of support whatsoever for their product - if you call them up and report a fault, one of the first things thing are going to ask is "who is your ISP" and after that good luck getting any help out of them 


Yep - and you should take account of that when comparing options. But, if worst comes to worst, you can always cancel and possbily be out of pocket for a whole $13. Gasp.


my point to all of that was that the 'laws of commerce' that should apply when selling in NZ, to NZers, do, in fact apply to Sky. They do not apply to Netflix.
The only point I'll concede is the censorship one - the others are real examples.
So when your previous post claimed that it was Sky who thought the laws of commerce didn't apply to them, I thought I'd point out that the opposite is true.
And you have said nothing to refute that.



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  Reply # 1103002 6-Aug-2014 01:37
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NonprayingMantis:

When ever you make a comment its very well thought out and backed up well. I agree with what you have to say there.




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  Reply # 1103005 6-Aug-2014 02:49
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JimmyH:
NonprayingMantis:

1) Unlike Sky, they sell to NZers in NZ but don't have to charge and pay GST (or any other form of tax in NZ)*


Correct. But, other than GST, the tax argument is a red herring. Netflix is liable to pay company tax on any profits in the US. If you are arguing that you shouldn't buy from companies that don't pay company tax in NZ then you are pretty much arguing against anyone importing anything at all. Just like NZ exporters pay company tax in NZ, US exporters pay company tax in the US, UK companies in the UK, etc.

The GST argument does have some validity. And if the government can find a way to cost-effectively collect GST on small imports (not just Netflix subs) then it should do so. However, in the Netflix vs Sky comparison, it's virtually irrelevant. It's $13 c.f., circa $100+ so loading 15% on wouldn't materially influence the decision. I'm far more likely to make a decision based on content range, release window, quality and ease of use than I am on a $2 closing of the enormous price differential.


The GST argument doesn't hold up either.  Unlike the likes of Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Apple and many other others, Netflix aren't soliciting business from New Zealanders, we are taking our business to them.  IMO, Netflix fails the basic test of tax residency for that reason.

Also for the parts where you are talking about CGA etc, remember that you as the user are technically the importer, if anything it'd be your responsibility to slip NZ Customs some money as 'virtual import duties' (of course, duties on a Netflix sub would fall below the amount that NZ Customs care about, so nothing really owed there).

(Darn insomnia)

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  Reply # 1103051 6-Aug-2014 08:57
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ajobbins:
freitasm:



Hamilton says Mediaworks conceded to him that it is under pressure from US studios to act.





If true, I see that as a deviously smart move by the studios to maintain the perception that exclusive distribution still exists.

Ultimately the local partners (TVNZ, MediaWorks, Sky etc) have no real power to put a stop to the practice of "parallel importing" content. The studios however, the ones putting on the "pressure" could largely put a stop to this, probably with one phone call if they really wanted to. They don't. They want to maintain the perception of exclusivity and the price premium it attracts.


You mean by getting the FBI to call John Key and say we want a law change now!!




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  Reply # 1103104 6-Aug-2014 09:56
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Any recommendations for a media player for both Hulu and Netflix that currently work?  Chromecast seems an option but requires router DNS.  WD media Live or Roku?  XBMC used to work but looks like it is broken.

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  Reply # 1103108 6-Aug-2014 09:59
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andynz: Any recommendations for a media player for both Hulu and Netflix that currently work?  Chromecast seems an option but requires router DNS.  WD media Live or Roku?  XBMC used to work but looks like it is broken.


amazon fire tv

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  Reply # 1103117 6-Aug-2014 10:03
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andynz: Any recommendations for a media player for both Hulu and Netflix that currently work?  Chromecast seems an option but requires router DNS.  WD media Live or Roku?  XBMC used to work but looks like it is broken.

 

Roku requires router DNS, plus you have to block the 8.8.8.8 DNS that Netflix set in their Roku app. That said, it works really well once it is set up. As Reven said, the FireTV is a great little box.

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  Reply # 1103125 6-Aug-2014 10:36
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NonprayingMantis:
robjg63: The argument that TVNZ, TV3 and Sky will make is that they have to pay a lot of money to have screening rights for material in this part of the world because that is what the owners make them pay.
If a place like Netflix can negotiate much better deals (because of size) then how can the local businesses compete?

I suppose the material owners would sooner have the local broadcaster pay a lot for the rights because they make a better income.
However, Netflix doesnt want their product blocked though as they are making money as well.

If the copyright owners start taking a bath on income, Netflix will get squeezed to not allow 'foreign' access.
The movie companies have started spreading their content around a lot more recently - they dont want Netfix dictating to them....




It's not that netflix have better deals. They don't have *any* deals to sell content in Nz. They are in breach of their agreements with the studios by selling here knowingly.

Bit yes, you are right. The rights holders will be clamping down very soon I think, ruining it for the rest of us who we're getting by just fine under the radar.


I meant they (Netflix etc) may have better deals with the content providers - ie be able to buy content proportionally cheaper than the local broadcasters.




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  Reply # 1103126 6-Aug-2014 10:39
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andynz: Any recommendations for a media player for both Hulu and Netflix that currently work?  Chromecast seems an option but requires router DNS.  WD media Live or Roku?  XBMC used to work but looks like it is broken.


We use our Apple TV to watch both NetFlix and Hulu. DNS entered at the device level. Works well, apart from a gradual audio sync issue which I'm 99% sure resides elsewhere (Smart TV getting TOO smart, I think), and is easily resolved by a device reboot.

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  Reply # 1103130 6-Aug-2014 10:50
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JimmyH:
robjg63: The argument that TVNZ, TV3 and Sky will make is that they have to pay a lot of money to have screening rights for material in this part of the world because that is what the owners make them pay.
If a place like Netflix can negotiate much better deals (because of size) then how can the local businesses compete?



Which is essentially a repackaging of the same whiney self-interested argument that the "authorised" distributors of books, cameras and magazines made against parallel importing - "but, but, but, we have invested so much money into our infrastructure and we will be out of pocket if people can bypass us and import from Amazon at a better price". Why do media and "creative" companies think they inhabit a different universe where the normal laws of commerce don't apply to them?


Well its not quite that simple - there was an item on Campbell Live last night about why the latest curved Samsung LED TV costs $2000 more in NZ than it does in Australia. The reporters missed what I think would have been the real reason. They were hinting that the retailers just charge more because they can. I suspect that Samsung NZ set a higher price here and therefore that model TV costs the local retailers more to buy in than it costs the retailers in Australia. Hence the higher price in the shops here.

The same sort of thing applies to books CDs electronics that are sold by local retailers. For the most part they 'have to' go through the official supply chain (for guarantees etc) and therefore can not compete with the parallel importers and overseas sites who can source items for a different price. The Amazon model should always be cheaper as they dont have a shop front and can keep their margins low, but if Amazon can buy an item from (sorry to pick on them) Samsung USA for example much cheaper than Noel Leeming NZ can source through Samsung NZ then the local businesses are always going to be at a disadvantage.





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  Reply # 1103164 6-Aug-2014 11:48
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old3eyes: You mean by getting the FBI to call John Key and say we want a law change now!!


In terms of piracy that's pretty much what happened. If the studios wanted Netflix blocked in NZ they could probably employ similar tactics. The fact is they don't want to stop this.




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  Reply # 1103186 6-Aug-2014 12:04
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ajobbins:
old3eyes: You mean by getting the FBI to call John Key and say we want a law change now!!


In terms of piracy that's pretty much what happened. If the studios wanted Netflix blocked in NZ they could probably employ similar tactics. The fact is they don't want to stop this.


I suspect it's not so much they 'don't' it's just that they haven't yet.

Bear in mind KDC lived here for quite some time before getting raided, but the FBI etc had been monitoring him, building their case etc.

Slingshot have really only started to promote global mode for the last month or so. Before that, they would have been well under the radar of the studios. It takes time for the studios to take action, but I have no doubt they will take action pretty soon.

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  Reply # 1103195 6-Aug-2014 12:11
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NonprayingMantis: 
I suspect it's not so much they 'don't' it's just that they haven't yet.

Bear in mind KDC lived here for quite some time before getting raided, but the FBI etc had been monitoring him, building their case etc.

Slingshot have really only started to promote global mode for the last month or so. Before that, they would have been well under the radar of the studios. It takes time for the studios to take action, but I have no doubt they will take action pretty soon.


But why would they?

a) Slingshot aren't doing anything illegal, nor are users. This is not piracy
b) It's financially beneficial for them to continue to turn a blind eye

On the other hand, if they do act:

a) They push more people back to piracy, losing paying customers
b) They effectively concede that the exclusive market they charge their customers for no longer exists, and risk losing the ability to charge the premium exclusivity attracts.

You are comparing action taken against copyright infringement/illegal downloading with something that is completely legal.




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  Reply # 1103202 6-Aug-2014 12:17
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ajobbins:
NonprayingMantis: 
I suspect it's not so much they 'don't' it's just that they haven't yet.

Bear in mind KDC lived here for quite some time before getting raided, but the FBI etc had been monitoring him, building their case etc.

Slingshot have really only started to promote global mode for the last month or so. Before that, they would have been well under the radar of the studios. It takes time for the studios to take action, but I have no doubt they will take action pretty soon.


But why would they?

a) Slingshot aren't doing anything illegal, nor are users. This is not piracy
b) It's financially beneficial for them to continue to turn a blind eye

On the other hand, if they do act:

a) They push more people back to piracy, losing paying customers
b) They effectively concede that the exclusive market they charge their customers for no longer exists, and risk losing the ability to charge the premium exclusivity attracts.

You are comparing action taken against copyright infringement/illegal downloading with something that is completely legal.


It's only financially beneficial in the very very short term until Sky et al renew contracts (which they do all the time)

Even if the studios are getting paid per subscriber by Netflix - which I don't think they are (let's say 50% goes on content, so about $4 per subscriber)  they will getting a shed load more from Sky per subscriber ($200m content, 800k subscribers equates to $25 per sub on content).  So everybody that switches from Sky to Netflix is a huge net loss for the studios.  
They'd much rather protect their gegraphic price model which is raking them in billions every year than collect the extra revenue from 20-30k extra Netflix subscribers

Your point b) in the second section makes no sense at all.  They only concede the exclusivity doesn't exist if they take no action and continue to allow Netflix free reign in areas they haven't paid for.  By doing nothing, it gives Sky/TVNZ etc huge leverage when it comes to renegotiating content deals.  "We'll only pay you for exclusivity if you uphold your end and stop Netflix from selling here willy nilly"

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  Reply # 1103317 6-Aug-2014 14:04
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I think you'll find the studios backed by the US government are already trying to take steps...

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/trans-pacific-partnership

Of course no one knows exactly what is being discussed as the TPP negotiations are secret.  We can only hope NZ is not held to ransom over its current parallel importation position.  

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