A year ago, home video trade publications were writing stories about the phenomenal success of Redbox, a DVD-vending business that's placed its familiar red kiosks in front of seemingly every grocery store and McDonald's in America. As it turns out, Redbox may have been doing too well. Last year Universal pulled its new releases from Redbox, instructing its wholesalers not to provide Redbox with any product until after a 45-day window. This week Fox followed suit, holding back its new releases for 30 days. The problems these studios have with Redbox are twofold: first, because every Redbox rental costs a dollar a night, the company is effectively undercutting rental agencies that are more generous with the studios; and second, because Redbox also sells used DVDs for a bargain price, they've been undercutting the retail market. (Sony struck a deal with Redbox earlier this year to keep its movies rental-only—no sales of used discs allowed.) Combine this with recent crackdowns on copyrighted material on YouTube and recent grumbling from publishers about Kindle pricing and we could be moving away from an era where media is cheap and easy-to-access, and back to an era where it's either tightly controlled or pirated like crazy.

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