SPTI, Arts Alliance ink download-to-own pact

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LONDON -- In its first such European deal, Sony Pictures Television International said Monday it has signed a download-to-own deal with leading European digital film distributor Arts Alliance Media for such titles as "The Legend of Zorro" and "The Da Vinci Code."

Under the terms of the deal -- which extends an existing download-to-rent deal struck earlier this year -- Arts Alliance will, effective immediately, supply movies for download on a permanent basis to more than 2.7 million customers of www.lovefilm.com or www.aol.co.uk. Releases will be available to download at the same time as the DVD release.

Customers also will be able to make one additional copy to play on portable devices and have a DVD copy sent to them in the mail. Later this year, customers also will be able to burn copies of their download to DVD.

The deal was announced by SPTI executive vp European distribution Stuart Baxter and Mark Livingstone, president of Arts Alliance media.

"The emergence of new ways to distribute our movies is critically important to our business," said Baxter, who described the deal as "groundbreaking."

"AAM is pioneering models like this in the U.K. market and we are already working with them to supply customers with our movies for renting."

Other titles to be made available under the deal include "Fun with Dick and Jane," "Monster House" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."
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