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Intel and Morgan Freeman put DRM to work in new movie venture

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Intel is teaming-up with Morgan Freeman's Revelations Entertainment company to deliver an online digital entertainment service that helps counter film piracy.

The companies are backing ClickStar, a venture whose mission is to side-step the cinema as the default vehicle for viewing films on their first release. First-run, pre-DVD-release films will be accessed, paid for and downloaded by people who will view films from an Intel-compatible home entertainment device.The venture, set to launch in 2006, is designed to help reduce illegal copying of new movies.

In a statement, Freeman said: "Our goal is to deliver first-run, premium entertainment to film fans around the world and to make film easier to buy than to pirate."

ClickStar comes after pirated copies of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith appeared in Pakistan just five days after the film's theatrical release to Worldwide audiences in May.

ClickStar is also designed to connect filmmakers directly with fans and pave the way for new, revenue-generating business models for the film industry.

Oscar winning film director Steven Soderberg recently said he would release six up-coming films through DVD, pay-per-view cable, satellite and cinema simultaneously because the current theatre-only model is outdated and inefficient.

ClickStar means Hollywood is following in the footsteps of the gaming industry, which is increasingly turning to online services. Online communities, such as Playstation and Xbox, Live are being used by games companies to build new constituents of consumers and audiences, who can be drip-fed new features for games rather than waiting for features in a new release of a games title.

Online delivery is also seen as an effective way of curbing piracy. Games companies, especially in Asia, are delivering services to mobile handsets on a subscription basis, which makes copying of titles harder for pirates.

The Launch of ClickStar comes at an important inflection point in the entertainment and technology industries. Increasingly broader internet bandwidth combined with faster processor performance and emergence of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies are opening the door to secure, high-performance online entertainment services.®

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