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Intel And Actor Morgan Freeman Team Up On Internet Movies

One of the biggest challenges Hollywood faces with Internet film distribution is piracy. The new venture, ClickStar, plans to use digital-rights management software to monitor downloads.
Intel says it's investing in a new venture with actor Morgan Freeman to distribute movie rentals to consumers via the Internet before the films become available on DVD.

Freeman and Intel executives unveiled the new digital entertainment company Wednesday at an annual retreat for chief executives of top media companies in Sun Valley, Idaho. Intel didn't disclose the amount of its investment in the new venture, dubbed ClickStar Inc., which was formed by Revelations Entertainment, a company Freeman created in 1996 with producer Lori McCreary.

Intel and Revelations have been working together for seven years. In January, the two companies set up a mock "digital home" with broadband Internet access and devices for receiving content at Revelation's facilities in Santa Monica, Calif. The move is designed to let Freeman demonstrate to movie-industry executives how easy it is to distribute content into the home, including current-run films or those that never made into theaters. "This is part of a digital home strategy for Intel," an Intel spokeswoman says.

One of the biggest challenges Hollywood faces in Internet film distribution is piracy. ClickStar plans to use digital-rights management software to monitor the allotted time and content of downloads. Technologies, including Digital Transmission Content Protection over IP, would play a role in streaming the movies to devices such as computers, televisions, handheld devices, and laptops.

Hollywood studios have offered film rentals over the Internet for more than a year through CinemaNow Inc. and Movielink LLC. Warner Bros. and Sony also are planning their own Internet and video-on-demand offerings.