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Hollywood Moves to Rent Movies Online

By RICK LYMAN

http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/17/technology/17STUD.html

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 — "Five major movie studios, including some of Hollywood's top players, unveiled plans today for a joint venture that would allow computer users to download rental copies of feature films over the Internet.

The service, which will be available only to those with high-speed Internet connections, is an attempt to get ahead of piracy problems that have plagued the music industry through services like Napster and which were beginning to be felt in the film industry with newer file-swapping services.

"I think the majority of consumers believe that copyright has value and that if they have a pay vehicle to watch movies on the Internet, they will pay for it," said Yair Landau, president of Sony (news/quote) Pictures Digital Entertainment. "We want to give honest people an honest alternative.".......

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