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Intel and Morgan Freeman to distribute movies online

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Intel has bought itself a prestigeous partnership in the digital content distribution service. According to an announcement made on Wednesday, the chip manufacturer co-founded ClickStar with Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary, producer of the Oscar-winning actor's company Revelations.

Financial details and share distribution of the partnership were not disclosed; Intel's participation however appears to be limited to an "investment".

According to a statement, ClickStar will create an "online service in which consumers can access, pay for and download first-run, pre-DVD-release films and artist-created entertainment channels in their homes." This service will exclude tradtional film publishers in the distribution infrastructure, where ClickStar promises to connect film makers directly with consumers. Details of the business model were not revealed.

"ClickStar addresses the growing worldwide consumer demand for digital content - especially filmed entertainment," Freeman said. "Our goal is to deliver first-run premium entertainment to film fans around the world and to make film easier to buy than to pirate." ClickStar will be led by former Sony Pictures executive Nizar Allibhoy.

Intel's idea to get its foot into the door of the digital content industry is seen by many market watchers as a natural extension of the chip business. Available digital content is not only expected to offer enormous revenue opportunities, but is vital to the core-business of many chip and software makers: If digital content is available, it is easier to convince consumers to buy new products that, for example, offer improved multimedia capabilities.

The fact that Intel partners with Freeman comes as little surprise: Intel has been working with Revelations for some time now on several projects, including devices for the digital home. (THG)

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