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Harry Potter leads movie download charge

April 3rd, 2006 · No Comments

Harry Potter and the goblet of fire poster 13

The move to make top-line movie material available for legal download is beginning to look like a rush. In the US, the two main internet film services Movielink (a joint venture between MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros) and CinemaNow (founded by blockbuster and Microsoft) will shortly begin offering big budget feature films day and date with their DVD release. Hollywood hopes that by making the films available over the internet legally, they will deflate interest in peer-2-peer networks.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Aeon Flux, Fun with Dick and Jane, Brokeback Mountain, Saw II and King Kong (which Universal will also make available in the UK, via Lovefilm.com) will be amongst the first blockbusters available from Movieline.
CinemaNow has inked a deal with Sony for a range of titles, including Hitch, Spider-Man 2 and Memoirs of a Geisha. However, DRM controls will prevent the films from being burnt to disc in anything other than Windows Media format, and the files will only be playable on one of three PCs.
Whether users are prepared to put up with these restrictions, and cough-up around 20 dollars for each download, remains to be seen.
In Holland and Belgium,Warner will make Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire available for download on April 4, to coincide with the title’s DVD release. It’s the first release from the studio in a 100-title strong deal struck with local online service Free Record Shop.

Tags: Internet and networking · Trade

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