The Germans probably have an overwrought, seven-syllable word for extreme irony. But I’m not sure anything can do justice to Napster founder Sean Parker, arguably the founding father of internet piracy, championing a ridiculously expensive movie startup.


According to Variety, Parker is one of the founders behind Screening Room, a new startup that would bring new studio releases into people’s homes. The cost would be $150 for the secure set-top box, and $50 per movie, which would be rented for 48-hours.

This is more expensive than the ~$20 it costs for two people to see a movie in theaters. I feel duty-bound to mention that it is also infinitely mroe expensive than the no money it costs to illegally torrent a new movie off the internet, a place a feel Mr Parker might be familiar with.


For those of you who claim that Mr Parker’s initiative will reduce piracy in a Netflixian sort of way: $50 is a crapton of money for one movie, and I gently posit that giving access to new movies outside of theaters, no matter how encrypted, will see a giant surge in piracy.

It’s probably for this reason that studio executives told Deadline the plan would be “the beginning of the end” and “so damaging, I can’t tell you right now how unhappy I am”.


Contact the author at