Studios, Blinkbox offer free movies

VOD service joins piracy fight

LONDON — Paramount, Sony Pictures Television, Universal, Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Bros. have teamed up with U.K. video-on-demand service Blinkbox to offer free movies — for one week only.

The scheme, which bowed Monday, is known as fullstreamahead.co.uk and hopes to persuade Internet users to stop watching pirated movies.

By accessing the Blinkbox website via fullstreamahead.co.uk users will be given £20 ($29) credit to spend on such blockbusters as “Avatar” and “Sherlock Holmes.”

The initiative, backed by the U.K. Film Council and the BFI, has been inspired partly by the success of music streaming site Spotify, which has proved that people are prepared to pay for online entertainment they had previously got for free illegally.

Blinkbox CEO Michael Comish said: “Not everyone realises that they can get instant access to an extensive range of high quality content through streaming services like ours.

“Full Stream Ahead is designed to show film fans that there are affordable, legal ways for instantly obtaining films: quicker than P2P, and virus and Spyware free.

“We believe that showing the public how new online services can legally fulfil their needs is a first step toward encouraging the majority of people to adopt new technology and turn their backs on copyright theft for good.”

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