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Warner Brothers to "Veronica Mars" Backers: Okay, Okay -- Use iTunes or Amazon if You Want

Problem solved?

Warner Bros.
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

“Veronica Mars” was supposed to be a triumphant mix of Hollywood and crowd-sourcing: Fans of Kristen Bell’s old TV show, aided by Kickstarter, helped fund a movie version, in conjunction with Warner Bros.

Then, some of those fans started complaining, and loudly: They didn’t like the fact that Warner Bros. was using its Flixster site, in combination with the UltraViolet cloud technology Warner has been backing, to distribute digital copies of the movie to fans who had helped fund the film.

Some fans argued that Flixster was cumbersome and didn’t play nicely with Apple TV. Others said the site didn’t work at all. Some just thought it was silly to use a little-used service instead of the ones everyone else uses, such as Apple’s iTunes or Amazon’s video service.

Say this for Warner Bros.: They’re not being obstinate about it. Here’s the message Warner PR told me fans are getting, if they complain about Flixster to

Thanks for contacting us,

We are sorry your experience hasn’t been as easy as we would have hoped. If you are having a specific technical problem, please let us know and we’ll try to help you resolve it. In recognition of the challenges some backers are having, if you would like a $10 rebate — the value attributed to the digital download — on your Kickstarter pledge, just let us know and we’ll start that process (it will be facilitated by Amazon payments and could take about a week to show up on your card).

Alternatively, if you have your heart set on a specific digital retailer, go ahead and buy the Veronica Mars movie on that service, provide us the receipt and we’ll refund you the full price of that transaction (again via Amazon payments). If you have already purchased the movie elsewhere please send us the receipt and we will provide you the refund via Amazon payments.

Thanks so much for being a backer of this project. We hope once you watch your digital copy you will be proud to have helped make this film possible.

— The Veronica Mars Team

In short: We’re sorry, and if you really want to, you can go ahead and buy a digital copy of the movie from iTunes or Amazon, which are selling it for as much as $19.99, and we’ll give your money back.

For more background, see “Veronica Mars” producer Rob Thomas’s comments on Kickstarter.

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