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Google has cut a deal with Paramount Pictures to license nearly 500 of the studio’s films for YouTube and Google Play in the U.S. and Canada, the Internet search giant announced Wednesday.
The rental service will be available immediately, though some titles will be added over the next few months. The deal swells Google’s movie rental library to nearly 9,000 films.
“Paramount Pictures is one of the biggest movies studios on the planet. We’re thrilled to bring nearly 500 of their films to movie fans in the U.S. and Canada on YouTube and Google Play,” Malik Ducard, director of content partnerships at YouTube, said in a statement.
Paramount’s decision to partner with Google might strike some as odd, however, because Google subsidiary YouTube remains locked in a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit with Paramount parent Viacom. That case, first filed as YouTube rose to prominence in 2006, alleges that YouTube knowingly allowed copyrighted episodes of television programs such as South Park and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart to be viewed on the website. Viacom has appealed a summary judgment ruling in favor of Google.
Perhaps for that reason, Paramount had been somewhat of a holdout among the Hollywood studios when it comes to making movie deals with the YouTube parent. Google has inked similar pacts with Disney, Sony, Universal, Warner Bros. and more than 10 independent film companies.
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