Well, well. From today’s New York Times…
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 for 99 cents through Apple Computer’s iTunes music store and other online services.
The studios have been working for months to confront the technological and business challenges of digital sales. Those initiatives gained new urgency on June 27 when the Supreme Court ruled that companies distributing software that allows users to trade pirated copies of audio and video files are liable for copyright infringement only if they induce users to break the law.
Sony, for example, is converting 500 movie titles to a digital format that can be downloaded and sold. Universal Pictures, a unit of NBC Universal, which is 80 percent owned by General Electric and 20 percent owned by Vivendi Universal, is preparing nearly 200 titles for digital online sale. And Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner, says it has already digitized most of its library of 5,000 films and will start selling some of them online later this year.