After years of avoiding it, Hollywood studios are preparing to let people download and buy electronic copies of movies over the Internet, much as record labels now sell songs through Apple Computer's iTunes music store and other online services.
The U.S. movie industry has made some previous half-hearted attempts to let people rent a small number of movies online. But the rapidly growing use of Internet video, both legal and pirated, is prompting it to create more robust download options and to consider online business models it dismissed as recently as a year ago.
The studios have been working for months to confront the technological and business challenges of digital sales. Those initiatives gained new urgency last month when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that companies distributing software that allows users to trade pirated copies of audio and video files are liable for copyright infringement if they induce users to break the law. That would presumably leave others who make no such inducements safe.
Source: E-Commerce Times