US firm unveils 'iTunes for movies' at Cannes

26th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

CANNES, France, May 25, 2006 (AFP) - A US company has unveiled here an online, on-demand cinema library aimed at filmmakers and movie fans looking for more than just Hollywood fare, set to go global at the end of the year.

CANNES, France, May 25, 2006 (AFP) - A US company has unveiled here an online, on-demand cinema library aimed at filmmakers and movie fans looking for more than just Hollywood fare, set to go global at the end of the year.

The designers at Jaman and their partners, Cinequest, told AFP that their site could do for the film industry what iTunes and MySpace have done for the world of pop music.

"Other companies are working on it (the idea), but at the moment they are too expensive, and the rights protection is too strict. We are also building a community feature into the site, and I think we are going to be the first out of the gate," said Dave Le, Jaman's senior designer.

On the site, movie fans will be able to download high-quality films for as little as US $1.99 for a three-day rental, or US $4.99 to buy and burn onto a DVD.

Le said the technology, developed over the past year, had an in-built high security encryption programme to prevent piracy and stressed that this was not file-sharing software.

Viewers will also be able to chat on-line, while they are watching the movie or afterwards, to discuss the film.

"This is like a global movie theatre, like when you go to movies and come out and talk about what you've just seen. With home movies you are kinda disconnected from that. Here we are bringing your home into the cinema," said Jens Michael Hussey, director of Cinequest, which organises an annual film festival in San Jose.

The site, which will go fully on-line in December after public trials later this year, has bought up Cinequest's stock of some 400 movies, and has been in Cannes touting for other content.

Cinema cybernauts can join up for free, and will only have to pay the download charge, of which 30 percent will go to the filmmaker.

"This is a distribution platform which bypasses Hollywood. There are a lot of films that just don't get the audiences they deserve, and then I see all the crapola that's in the theatres and it's so unfair.

"This is a chance to take back control of what you see," added Hussey.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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