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Movielink is Sorry.

In speaking with folks in the P2P and content delivery space, the name Movielink pops up fairly frequently. I’m not a great follower of the cinema, but when I do want to see a film at home, something within me is repulsed at the idea of letting Blockbuster have another shot at extorting a “purchase” out of me when I have a perfectly good 6 Mbps downstream link to my home.

Also, I no longer have a roommate with 3/4 of a terabyte of movies on a file share in the apartment.

So I recently checked out Movielink’s website. I was unimpressed with how they chose to start our market conversation. Here is literally the very first thing they decided to say to me:

Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, which supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies. Click here to get the latest version of Internet Explorer. We do not support Mozilla or Netscape. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

(from http://www.movielink.com/store/web/error/siteentry/browserError.jsp)

Yes, Movielink, you are sorry. A sad, sorry sack of software that refuses to use standards, and cultivates customer contempt.

The business side of me is dumbfounded that a comparatively well-funded (backed by a consortium of major movie studios) and ostensibly tech-heavy company has nobody at the helm when it comes to customer experience. (Earth to Movielink execs: even if the specialized DRM you want people to use is incompatible with my browser, a semi-skilled salesman takes that first “no” and uses it to begin the conversation to convert me.)

The tech side of me wants to propose a new RFC for promulgation through the Internet Society: services that require proprietary, non-standard software MUST NOT listen on ports 80 (http) and 443 (https).

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