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Tuesday, 10 September, 2002, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
Potter films to stream online
Scene from Harry Potter
Blockbusters can be kept for 24 hours
Movies including Harry Potter will soon be downloadable from the internet after Warner Brothers announced a video-on-demand plan.

Warner Home Video has signed a deal with internet film provider CinemaNow that will allow the young wizard and his studio stablemates to be streamed on the internet.

Hit films will be able to be downloaded for $3.99 per view, with other movies costing $2.99 in the three-month experimental deal.

Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock classics will also be available
Hollywood studios are moving towards movies on the internet despite the rise of illegal downloads and the threat of hacking.

CinemaNow will feature everything from 1950s classics such as Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, and more recent cult classics like Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!

The deal between studio and provider will last until the end of the year but could then be extended.

"Making major studio content available to download in a secure and legal manner marks a tremendous leap forward for online distribution," said Bruce Eisen, CinemaNow's executive vice president.

"This is an important step to begin assessing both the demand and revenue platforms from this emerging business."

Joint venture

Once downloaded the movies can be watched a number of times but are coded to become unusable after 24 hours.

The films can be viewed an unlimited number of times after being downloaded for the standard fee, but the movie will become unplayable after 24 hours, limiting the potential of piracy.

Independent film studio Lion's Gate owns a majority stake in CinemaNow, while Microsoft and Blockbuster are also involved.

Warner Brothers is also taking part in a joint venture with Universal, Paramount, MGM, and Sony to launch their own internet movie scheme which could be ready by the beginning of next year.

See also:

21 Feb 02 | Entertainment
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