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Legal movie downloads

08.26.2009

No, this isn't our per usual info about a specific film release, rather, this is news that effects the film industry as a whole. Today, four major studios have joined up to make a significant step forward in digital distribution for movies. Paramount, Lionsgate, Sony and Warners have signed on with Film Fresh, a little known site that uses Divx to code and distribute movies.

The movies will be able to be downloaded iTunes style, then either watched on a computer, transferred to a mobile phone or (and this is a big concession for the studios) burned to a DVD or Blu-ray. But for how much? New films would run about $10-$13, a bit less than traditional DVDs which will come with actual box art and non sharpie-labels.

So will this catch on and save the movie industry from the dastardly pirates that are sinking it now? Well, it depends. It’s still pretty damn hard to compete with "free," however, if the ease of use is high enough, it may actually convince some pirates to go legit. Speaking to uh, friends who pirate movies, I’ve heard that it can sometimes be quite difficult to find good video or sound quality, the right subtitles or a file that’s easily burned to a disc. This new distribution method would presumably solve most of the issues. But if my friends paid even the new, cheaper price for every movie they’ve ever downloaded they’d probably be anywhere from $5-7 grand in the hole right now.

This being said, if the studios every do figure out a way to stomp out filesharing for good (which is exceedingly unlikely) this is definitely a plausible alternative, and it’s nice to know that studios aren’t entirely oblivious of the future.

Extra Tidbit: Learning that I could plug my laptop into my TV wiith an HDMI cable changed my life forever.
Source: Variety

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