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MIRAMAX TO TEST WEB WATERS
Independent Film Company Plans To Release
Films Over Internet
Miramax Films, the major independent film company, unveiled plans Tuesday to release up to 12 movies over the Internet, spotlighting the film industry's interest in using the Net to distribute films.

Utilizing the Internet offers studios the possibility of new revenue from their films as people pay a fee, which might be less than renting a home video, to watch movies on a PC.

But with PC video quality still not up to theater or TV standards and technology to stream quality video still uninstalled in the vast majority of home PCs, even Miramax admits its first step into cyberspace is a guarded one.

"We're going into it cautiously," said Co-President of production Bob Osher. "We're going to see how it goes, learn from it and make sure the experience for customers is good."

The movies would be available at a Miramax Web site using technology from SightSound.com, which has been renting full-length movies at its site for about a year.

Osher said New York-based Miramax has yet to make any decisions on what movies to make available from its catalog, which includes Oscar winners like "The English Patient" and "Good Will Hunting" as well as popular fare like "Scream."

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