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March 31, 2005

Sony set to introduce an iTunes for the film industry

Michael Arrieta, senior vice president of Sony Pictures, has been voicing his ambition to bring iTunes to the hills of Hollywood, revealing plans to offer Sony's top 500 films in flash memory-based forms for mobiles within the next year.

By CBR Staff Writer

According to reports, Sony is looking to capitalize on the success of legal downloading seen in the music industry with Apple’s iTunes, and hopes to adopt a similar digital download service that will offer the company’s top films for mobile downloads.

The move is expected to generate support from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which over the past few months has brought lawsuits against peer-to-peer networks that provide illegal file-sharing. In February, Edward Webber, owner of BitTorrent web site, LokiTorrent, was forced to pay a fine as a result of the lawsuit brought against it during the MPAA crackdown on digital theft.

It is also thought that a new digital offering is likely to avoid ceding omnipotent control to any one technology company, such as Apple, in the digital download market.

Sony is already involved in a legal film site, Movielink, with movie studios Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros, which provides access to a catalogue of legal films.

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