Blinkbox free streams to combat piracy

Users will be able to watch their choice of movies at home for nothing, as a group of Hollywood studios team with UK's Blinkbox to run a week-long free streaming service in an effort to lure Internet users away from pirated material.

As part of the “Full Stream Ahead” campaign, which is backed by the UK Film Council and BFI, anyone accessing the Blinkbox website will be offered £20 (E24) 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 over the Internet to watch them on computer or television. The film studios are hoping video streaming services will attract people who may otherwise turn to file sharing networks.

Michael Comish, chief executive and co-founder of Blinkbox. “By the time the music industry enabled strong and good-quality legal [streaming] services it was arguably too late. We are in the early days of digital retail for movies, and our ambition is to make people aware of the benefits of streaming services before it is too late.”

Research by Global Web Index last year showed that web users were turning to unlawful filesharing sites because the content they wanted was not easily available elsewhere. The survey showed that 45 per cent of filesharers said they would consume films legally if the technology allowed them.

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