In what must have been some marvelous licensing legal wizardry, The Financial Times is reporting that Apple has signed a deal with News Corpâ€™s 20th Century Fox studio to provide an online video-on-demand service. The service will allow consumers to rent the latest Fox DVD releases by downloading a digital copy from Appleâ€™s iTunes platform for a limited time.
Both Apple and Fox are officially quiet about the deal and the Financial Times says that it is likely the deal will be announced at Macworld on January 14th.
The deal goes beyond movie rentals in that Apple will also for the first time extend its FairPlay digital rights management system beyond its own products.
A digital file protected by FairPlay will be included in new Fox DVD releases, enabling film content to be transferred or â€œrippedâ€ from the disc to a computer and video iPod. DVD content can already be moved to an iPod but this requires special software and is considered piracy by some studios.
[tags]Apple, Fox, video, iTunes, Fairplay, DRM, online video rental[/tags]