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Apple Goes Hollywood with Disney's Help

The clamour continues as press and pundits ponder Apple's 'Showtime' announcement next week, and the prospect of online movie sales through iTunes is the topic driving the debate. Apple is widely expected to be preparing to upgrade the products in its iPod family, possibly even to introduce a large-screen touch-activated device.

Apple may also announce a movie download service, possibly in the US only. The first iteration of the service may disappoint some. Reports claim Apple has been unable to agree terms with studios other than those in the Disney empire: Miramax, Touchstone, Walt Disney Pictures and, of course, Pixar.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs became the largest individual shareholder of Disney stock after selling his movie company, Pixar, to Disney. Other movie studios allegedly want more flexibility. Reports surmise they aren't happy with the company's set price structure, nor with its insistence that movies be released the same day as they debut on DVD, according to the Washington Times.

Some studios even believe Windows Media software offers better copy protection than Apple FairPlay - and studios want digital rights management to shroud their wares. The sole exception appears to be Lion's Gate Entertainment, which has agreed to make movies available through the service, which may, or may not, be announced next week.

Negotiations between Apple and other studios continue, reports explain, but it's not the first time the company has negotiated deals right down to the wire. When the iTunes Music Store originally launched, some labels didn't agree terms until the eleventh hour, Mac rumour websites reported at the time.

News source: Macworld UK

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