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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sony wants an 'iTunes for movies'


Sony is to make its top 500 films available digitally in the next year.

Michael Arrieta, senior vice president of Sony Pictures, said at a US Digital Hollywood conference that it wanted to create an "iTunes" for films.

Films will be put onto flash memory for mobiles over the next year, said Mr Arrieta, and it will develop its digital download services for films.

Movie studios are keen to stop illegal file-sharing on peer-to-peer nets and cash in on digital the download market.

Movie piracy cost the industry £3.7bn ($7bn) in 2003, according to analysts.

The movie industry body, the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) has started a campaign of legal action against operators of BitTorrent, eDonkey and DirectConnect peer-to-peer networks.

Cashing in

"We want to set business models, pricing models, distribution models like (Apple chief Steve) Jobs did for music, but for the film industry," Mr Arrieta told Cnet news.

Sony and other movie studios, say Cnet news, are keen to wrestle power, and financial gain, from any single technology giant - like Apple - which has had success with iTunes for music downloads.

There are legal film sites now, such as Movielink, which provides access to a limited catalogue of legal films.

It is a partnership between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.

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