Home of the movies... Iran?

A video-on-demand site that was shut down earlier this year with the help of Hollywood has seemingly sprouted a new head in Iran, underscoring vexing problems of Internet copyright enforcement for movie studios.

Taiwan-based Movie88.com, which sold access to thousands of films for $1 each, went dark in mid-February after a powerful motion picture lobbying group worked with the local government to pull its plug. The site, which offered movies owned by the major studios without their authorization, was deemed to be infringing on their copyrights.

Now, Film88.com has sprung up in its place, with an uncannily similar formula for renting and streaming films over the Internet. However, the site is a new venture based in Tehran, Iran--a country that broke off diplomatic relations with the United States more than two decades ago and that does not protect foreign copyrights.

"Movie88 is dead," Hail Hami, Film88's operator, wrote in an e-mail interview with CNET News.com. "We recruited some staff and a lot of ideas from Movie88. But we feel that we are better than Movie88. We have streams at 500k and are more user friendly." Film88 is a kind of sequel to Hollywood's real-life horror story, in which Internet thieves trade and own access to content without ever paying for it.

News source: ZDNet News

View: $1 movie site finds shelter in Iran

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