Whitney Houston movie yanked from Netflix streaming (Updated: happened before death)

Streaming rights to the Whitney Houston movie The Bodyguard were revoked at Netflix after her death. According to a Netflix rep quoted by Dan McDermott, the production company (Warner Bros., per IMDB) "saw an opportunity to make really a very large amount of money on the DVD sales of her movies".

UPDATE: Netflix says its staff were mistaken. Dan writes: Netflix is telling the truth. The rights were pulled before her death ... Unfortunately the rep and his supervisors were wrong.


    1. I came here to say basically this; I see an opportunity for a number of people on private ratio-counting trackers to boost their upload ratio.

  1. Once they figure out people noticed they will point out that this was just an oversight of some prior problem that they were simply correcting and that there was no attempt to cash in on the death.
    If you believe this… wanna buy a bridge?

  2. Honestly, I think I’m in rare agreement with the corporate bastards on this issue.   It may be callous, but it’s a free market.  If there are enough suckers out there who’ll pay more for Whitney’s crap now she’s gone, let ’em leech every penny they can.

    1. I, too, am okay with this. If they want to whip up a tribute edition of The Bodyguard, more power to them. It’s not like they’re jacking up the prices of all existing copies or anyone subscribed to Netflix specifically to stream that movie.

      1. Screw the stars of yesteryear (well, don’t screw ’em, presumably they’ve had enough screwing from contracts), the young rising stars of today and the Hollywood dreamers should pay attention to this lesson.

    2. Sure, they’re entitled to sell their properties any way they choose.  And apparently they don’t care if it makes them look crass and greedy in this case.  Good to know, Warner Brothers.

    3. It may be callous, but it’s a free market.

      This is a category error. No one is saying they aren’t entitled to price their products however they like.  We are saying it’s a dick move. A dick move that you’re entitled to make is still a dick move.

      This would be like if your boyfriend cheated on you, and someone defended him by saying, “Well, it’s a free country. You don’t own him.” It’s true, but it’s beside the point.

      1. copyright issues are discussed regularly here, so…
        1. if the owner of an entity  -who has copyright of that entity for a reason – holds that copyright for the value of it, whose morals are to say what constitutes its value at any given point in time. 
        2. Say that the owner of Ms. Houston’s library was a VERY needy outfit helping starving and under-priveleged people – children – in war-torn areas. Would you then argue that it’s a dick move for them to take advantage at the one point in history when they will be able to do so?

        everyone reading here wants to protect copyright, and this is why. it has value. it’s basic economics… when the food shortage comes and you have to pay 200$ for a cup of honey, is that a dick move, or is that what the market allows? I just paid too much for my first house, it’s not worth it. but the market says it is, so I rent, or I pay that price.

        it’s completely NOT beside the point, that IS the point.
        and I’m not even a capitalist!

        1.  Markets are means, not ends. You can’t justify hitting someone’s car with a hammer by saying how good the hammer is at transferring force.

          1. but no one hit her car nor her reputation nor her anything. stop with the abstract arguments that hold no water. the material in question, which she produced and her estate makes money from whether she were dead or alive (shared with the seller of her product). and I’m not ‘justifying’ a price shift due to availability. that just ‘is’
            – honestly, I’m not trying to get your goat – I can’t see the offense. perceived rare items inflate in price, whether she died yesterday or a hundred years ago. you all got your knickers in a knot over the rules of capitalism, but you won’t become a socialist, will you? you can’t have it both ways.

          2. I can’t see the offense.

            That’s a bug, not a feature.

            It’s creepy to rub your hands together and twirl your moustache thinking about how you can exploit someone’s recent death.

      2. We are saying it’s a dick move. A dick move that you’re entitled to make is still a dick move.

        We here at Warner Entertainment feel that we can offer no greater tribute to Ms. Houston’s life and work than a coffin-side brawl.

        1. this was in today’s news: “Whitney Houston’s family has sold footage of her star-studded funeral to media outlets across the world to raise funds for the tragic singer’s daughter”  – so the whole family are Dicks. for setting up a trust fund for her daughter.
          life is not all features vs. bugs. there are grey areas that your code cannot have all the answers for.can’t wait til I can share the alter with you all who are so holy.

      1. well, she’s passed, so it would be her estate making money. one would assume she owned part of the royalty. if she gave it all up for money earlier, then it is whose it is, and that’s a different argument.
         about ‘promoting learning and culture’, I personally think hollow love songs are not worth promoting, either culturally or otherwise… but it’s an opinion, and has little to do with the market. I can’t see what ‘learning’ has to do with it whatsoever. learning the lyrics? learning how love works by listening to the songs? like someone else said below, the price will go down again… I worked in a record store when Lennon was shot, and Double Fantasy sold out and was hard for us to get. I suppose we could have charged more for them then as there was no digital copy to pilfer and torrent. of course they printed a ton more eventually, and the demand died soon thereafter.
        No one defiled her, nor her possessions, nor the memory of her. they simply said the songs were worth more under the circumstances. in fact tons of folks called her a crack ho in the last few years, and I never saw that being defended in such a forum as this. and that’s far more insulting than saying her artistic output’s value had increased.

  3. …thereby yanking the ability to make a profit on the streaming version, and instead making nothing because people will just get it via other means.  Seriously, who buys DVDs anymore?  I don’t need extra things cluttering up my house.

    1. Exactly. I can’t remember the last time I bought a DVD, but I’ll pay for streaming and movie theater tickets.

      1.  But now that you can’t stream it, they can complain about not making money.  If you happen to use other means to see it, they brand you a pirate.  And the circle of being their own worst enemy is complete.

    2. Personally there is no movie that I need to see “right now.”  I can wait until it appears at my local library.  When it does become available, I place a hold on it and when I am done with it, someone else gets to enjoy it.  Total cost $0.00.

      1. I am also a big fan of my local library and watch all my (non theater viewing) films from them or netflix streaming. However, so long as you pay rent or property taxes it’s not a free service. But it is nice to live in a place where your taxes go toward nice things like that.

    3.  When Netflix split its service into separate DVD and streaming subscriptions (essentially doubling their price), they started pulling a lot of stuff off streaming to try to get people to pay for the DVD rentals, too.  So no, people don’t buy DVDs anymore.  But they rent them.

      1. So no, people don’t buy DVDs anymore.  But they rent them.

        I just bought a set of DVDs.  Because Netflix doesn’t carry every mid-60s Italian James Bond rip-off that I want to see.

          1. So far, one out of three.  Which is stupid because the whole point of Netflix is the availability of obscure films.

  4. Can’t they cash in by selling her pickled or freeze-dried body parts? 
    There’s a lot of money to be made. 

    1.  The warning label about containing chemicals known in the State of California to cause cancer really hurt the market.

  5. Why is this an issue? Demand raises, price goes up. Demand will eventually normalize, and the price will go back down. If you don’t want to pay a premium, just wait a while.

    It’s not like Ms. Houston’s oeuvre is a basic human need, like food, shelter, clothing, or internet access.

    1. Prices naturally go up when demand goes up if there is a finite supply. In this case there is an infinite supply on BitTorrent, iTunes, etc. Yes it’s legal, but you cam understand why  people might offended when death is so callously exploited for profit.

  6. And as living vicariously through the sleazy corporate-crafted image of someone we’ve never met comes to a close, we are gathered to show the aliens just what a crass, creepy species we can be. Stop the planet please. I want off.

  7. Still available on Amazon Instant Video (and included as a freebie in Amazon Prime).  My guess is that Amazon has a better contract that prevents (or makes painful) the studios from yanking something from Amazon’s customers.

    1.  Their “better contract” also prevents Amazon from having anything anybody actually wants to watch, also!

      (there are some good older TV shows, though nowhere near as many as netflix, and a handful of good movies… almost all of which everyone’s already seen)

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