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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 13:54 GMT 14:54 UK
Site offers legal film downloads
Computer and DVD
Movie studios are looking at legal downloads to tackle piracy
A UK website is to offer the internet's first legal film download service.

Wippit, which already sells music downloads, has announced plans to provide movies that users will be able to keep, from this summer onwards.

Some US sites offer films which can be downloaded legally for viewing within a time limit but cannot be stored.

Wippit founder Paul Myers said: "We are in talks with distributors and hope to provide new movies at the time of DVD release or shortly afterwards."

Mr Myers added: "As far as we know, we will be the first to fill the gap."

Lucrative market

Wippit says it will sell downloadable movies from 99p per movie. DVD extra features will not be offered.

The announcement comes after Sony revealed plans last month to make its top 500 films available digitally in the next year.

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.

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