Film Fresh, DivX sign DVD agreement

Deal allows users to back up their downloads

There's another player making inroads into the business of Internet distribution of mainstream films. Unlike many others, though, this time you can burn your downloads onto a disc and make backup copies.

Film Fresh struck a deal with DivX, and the two have pacts to sell movies from Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate.

Some of the titles available for about $16 apiece are "The Da Vinci Code," "Hancock," "3:10 to Yuma," "Spider-Man," "My Bloody Valentine" and the "Saw" and "Matrix" franchises.

There are about 200 million devices worldwide that can play DivX media, including DVD and Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3 consoles.

"We move content off the PC," said DivX content services director John Greene.

Once purchased, movies can be burned to as many DVDs as the customer wishes, but the DVDs can only be played on the device that is registered to the proper user.

"We don't want to limit their ability to back up their content," Greene said.

Film Fresh, founded four years ago by CEO Rick Bolton, primarily competes with CinemaNow and Apple's iTunes.

Until it struck its distribution deals with Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros. and Lionsgate and merged it with the DivX format approval agreement with those four studios, Film Fresh dealt primarily with indie and foreign films and niche titles.

Bolton hired Mike Arrieta two months ago to help coordinate distribution deals with major studios. Arrieta was formerly executive vp digital distribution and mobile entertainment for Sony Pictures.

"Having the studios on board is an important moment," Bolton said.