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Movielink, CinemaNow Deliver Digital Movies For Sale On Internet

Six major studios on Monday will begin selling digital movies on the Internet that consumers can legally download and keep through Movielink LLC and CinemaNow Inc., two online movie services. Until now, most movies have been limited to rentals.

Movielink said it signed download-to-own deals with six major studios and will let consumers choose from nearly 300 movies for download from its Web site, which until now has offered mostly online rentals.

Universal Studios said it will begin selling "Brokeback Mountain" on Tuesday through Movielink, with Sony Pictures' "Fun With Dick and Jane" to follow weeks later. "This is an important first step in a digital distribution system," said Kevin Tsujihara, president at Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, during a press conference.

Movielink, owned by Warner Bros., a unit of Time Warner; Sony Pictures; Universal; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM); and Paramount, a unit of Viacom, will offer movies from all owners and 20th Century Fox, held by News Corp.

CinemaNow unveiled similar licensing agreements with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Lionsgate Entertainment Corp., the studio behind this year's Oscar winner "Crash," all content protected with Microsoft Corp.'s digital rights management (DRM) software.

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