Guardian Unlimited
Go to:  
Guardian Unlimited FilmNews
Home News Reviews Now showing Features Interviews Sites we like Help
Arts Talk Video & DVD Mood matcher Games Brits in film Trailer park TV films

Easy Rider



 Recent news
24 Jul 2003 
California's governor faces recall

24 Jul 2003 
Nicole bails out of trilogy

24 Jul 2003 
In brief: Charlton Heston receives award from President Bush

24 Jul 2003 
Police beg Ice Cube's mercy

23 Jul 2003 
Orson Welles' award withdrawn from auction

23 Jul 2003 
Hulk grabs top spot despite mixed reviews

23 Jul 2003 
In brief: Cheech and Chong relight the bong

23 Jul 2003 
Airbrushed Sinbad angers critics

22 Jul 2003 
Terminator meets and greets

22 Jul 2003 
Jolie to boost Oliver Stone epic



12.45pm

Disney signs up to online film service

Dominic Timms
Thursday July 24, 2003


Fans of Catherine Zeta Jones's Oscar-wining performance in Chicago or Daniel Day Lewis' portrayal of Bill the Butcher in The Gangs of New York will soon be able to watch their favourite stars online after Walt Disney became the last big Hollywood studio to sign a deal with internet film service Movielink.

The deal means films from Disney's studio empire, which includes Dimension Films, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax, will be available on the broadband movie service, which launched in the US at the end of last year.

Movielink allows film fans to download a film in about an hour, depending on the speed of their internet connection, and watch it over the internet.

The Disney deal is expected to more than double the number of films available on the service to over 400, up from the 175 available at launch, as titles including Spike Lee's 25th Hour and CGI animation Monsters Inc join classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany's and Psycho on the service.

It marks the first major distribution deal for Movielink's owners, the big five Hollywood studios - MGM, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, Universal and Paramount.

It also comes at a time when Hollywood is stepping up its campaign against movie pirates in a bid to limit the type of damage that has been done to the music industry by illegal download sites such as Napster.

Despite shutting many rogue sites the industry's lobbying body, the Motion Picture Association of America, says Hollywood lost around 1.86m in potential revenues last year after more than 500,000 films were downloaded illegally.

Earlier this year, despite a simultaneous global release strategy designed to prevent piracy, high quality illegal copies of The Matrix Reloaded were available online just days after the film's cinema release.

Starting this evening the MPAA, renowned for its aggressive stance against piracy, will broadcast the first of a series of "educational" adverts designed to dissuade US citizens from illegally downloading films.

"Digital piracy stands not only to damage our industry but the countless diverse businesses that depend on copyright protection. As our campaign continues to expand, we will be reaching out to those industries to join us in our commitment to educate the public, which is a crucial component in solving this problem," the MPAA president, Jack Valenti, said yesterday.

The MPAA's softly softly campaign, which also includes the launch of a new website, respectcopyrights.org, contrasts with moves from its music industry equivalent, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Last month the RIAA said it would take legal action against anyone caught illegally downloading or making available significant amounts of music online.

· To contact the MediaGuardian newsdesk email editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 7239 9857




Printable version | Send it to a friend | Save story



UP

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003