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The entertainment world is waiting to see which made-for-the-Web properties will take hold.

FILMS VIA GNUTELLA: IS IT SAFE?

SightSound.com Tries "Secure" File-Sharing To Sell Movies Online
Digital motion picture distributor SightSound.com plans to use file-swapping protocol Gnutella to disseminate encrypted film files, hoping that it can have its online cake (by utilizing the rapid, viral distribution of shared files) and eat it, too (by using Microsoft Digital Rights Management to ensure the collection of revenue).

The Pennsylvania-based netco—which has a non-exclusive distrib pact with Miramax—hosts such lo-pro features as "The Quantum Project" (starring Steven Dorff and John Cleese), "The Chosen One" (starring Carmen Electra) and other productions featuring actors familiar from straight-to-cable thrillers.

The 32-minute "Quantum" comes as a 166MB "high-res" file, and can be purchased online for $5.95. It's one of a dozen features to be offered to Gnutella users, who will ostensibly be able to grab the encrypted file from the service, but will have to pay to unlock its security features.

The film industry has, of late, been alarmed by copyrighted-trouncing technology—similar to the applications that have panicked the music business—notably the DVD-cracking protocol DivX, which so outraged the MPAA that it attempted to prevent Web sites from even linking to Net locales that offered the app for download.

Will Microsoft's movie-security measures protect SightSound from piracy? Will the same audience that has rapaciously scooped up free files of already-popular songs embrace the idea of paying for much larger files containing films they've never heard of? Stranger things have happened, and the entertainment world is waiting to see which made-for-the-Web properties will take hold.

In an unrelated story, two kids snuck in the back door of a multiplex and watched "M:I-2" for the fourth time today.

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/3a)
TAYLOR'S TREMENDOUS YEAR
She'd make one helluva CEO. (12/3a)
THEY CALL THE WINDFALL MARIAH (HOLIDAY EDITION)
Ch-chingle bells (12/3a)
SONG REVENUE:
BOWS OF HOLLY
Adele is money. (12/3a)
UTA MUSIC EXPANDS IN NASHVILLE
Reshuffling the deck (12/3a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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