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New Movie Releases Online by '05, Legally?

We could be watching newly released movies via the Internet as soon as mid-2005 as the industry speeds development of a secure delivery system, Hollywood's chief lobbyist said Wednesday.

"I really do believe that we will be able to have some maybe by this time next year we'll be able to have the beginnings of some really sturdy, protective clothing to put about these movies," Motion Picture Association of America chief executive Jack Valenti said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Valenti said he would like to see movies go straight from the big screen to the Internet, where customers could download or view them on demand well before DVDs and videos reach the store shelves. "We want to use the Internet," he said.

Fighting piracy it says is putting its financial health at risk, Hollywood is working with high-tech experts, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and universities, to develop a secure system for delivering movies, he said.

Valenti said the industry has no current plans to sue pirates, as the music industry is doing, but isn't ruling it out because he has seen surveys showing music piracy is being taken more seriously since the lawsuits began early this year.

"As long as stealing movies and music is high-reward and no risk, people are going to do it," Valenti said.

(Source: AP)

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