The UK version of Netflix is called Lovefilm.

Here’s how it works:

You tell them what DVDs you want to watch, and they post them to you. When you’re done, you post them back, and they send you another from your list to replace it. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

Just like Netflix, they have a convenient queuing system, where you rank your films by the order in which you’d like to watch them. When you’ve seen a film it gets removed from the queue. If all their copies are out, they send you the next one down your list instead.

Oh, hold on, no they don’t. They’ve just changed it to a much less useful system instead.

Why would they do a thing like that?

One possible explanation is that Netflix has patented the idea of a queue.

Which, in the US at least, means that no-one other than Netflix can offer this feature (without paying money to them) for another twenty years.

Software patents stifle innovation.

6 responses to “LOLOAQIC”

  1. All I know is that for two years I had The Seventh Seal in my Lovefilm queue (for I am cultured, donchaknow), but safely buried somewhere around 50th (for I am not that cultured, donchaknow). But now it’s just a ‘low’, and has an equal chance of being plucked from the ‘low’ pile as about 90 other films. It’s certainly given me incentive to classify lots and lots of stuff as ‘medium’ or ‘high’.

    It’s also given me incentive to write to Lovefilm and complain. Bah.

  2. A number of possibilities exist for the Blockbuster queue.

    1) They pay Netflix.
    2) They’re going to challenge the patent on prior art if Netflix sue.
    3) They have patents of their own, which they allow Netflix to use in return for use of the queuing system.
    4) They’re working on a replacement even as we type.

  3. A ha. I was wondering why Lovefilm had changed their system to this much more stupid one. And the idea of patenting something like a queue is ultra-stupid. Thanks for the info.

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