Apple in rental deal with Fox [updated]


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Apple and Fox have inked a deal for a new video-on-demand (VOD) service, which is expected to be announced at Macworld San Francisco, according to a Financial Times (registration required) report.

"Fox and potentially other ­studios are coming around to the idea that there is nobody out there to challenge iTunes," said Jonathan Weitz, IBB Consulting. "This deal is a sign that media mobility is coming to the mainstream."

The agreement will allow consumers to rent the latest Fox DVD releases and download them via iTunes, according to an unnamed source. Titles will be playable for a limited time.

Further, a digital file protected by FairPlay, Apple's digital rights management scheme, will be included in new Fox DVD releases, enabling film content to be transferred or "ripped" from the disc to a computer and video-capable iPods.

Rumors of an Apple / Fox deal have circulated for months.

In related news, New York Times confirms the above and goes on to state that Disney will also allow movie rentals via the iTunes Store.

Editor's note: True file mobility would be great, but I doubt this is it.

The question is whether this Apple-Fox deal offers a workable mix of price and freedom. Only time will tell...

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