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Blinkbox offers 1-week free streaming film service to deter piracy

UK-based technology company Blinkbox has partnered with the UK Film Council and the British Film Institute to offer a week-long free streaming service to popular Hollywood films in an effort to lure internet users away from pirated material.

During the promotional period, consumers accessing the Blinkbox website from will be offered £20 credit to spend on films from studios including Paramount, Sony Pictures, Universal, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros.

Users will be able to stream their choices of title – which include Avatar, Sherlock Holmes and Up in the Air – over the internet and watch them on their computer or, with appropriate leads, on their television. It is reported that the quality of the streamed picture will be higher than many of the downloads available through peer-to-peer and BitTorrent.

The Guardian newspaper, that reports the story, says that Blinkbox, backed by venture capital firms Eden Ventures, Nordic Venture Partners and Arts Alliance, already has more than 1.2 million users a month, who between them watch about 5 million streams per month.

Research from UK consultancy Trendstream shows that 28% of those using peer-to-peer files haring to view unauthorised content do so because it offers instant access. The movie industry hopes that streaming services, which offer similar access, may bring these people back into the fold.

Story filed 09.06.10

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