Freebies delight many of us and computer users are lucky to be able to download free movies from the Internet. There are several hundred sites advertising downloads of free movies but some are in the business peddling illegal fare. The trend to download free movies has also irked movie studios that fear a Napster-like piracy of music and movies via the Internet.
The free movies available online are usually those in the public domain because their copyright has not been renewed. The latest full-length movies are seldom free and they require a small fee sometimes charged as membership or shipping or mailing fee by some companies. If a recent movie is completely free, most often the transaction can get you into legal trouble.
The websites ibiblio.org and archive.org have free movie downloads. These sites have a collection of public domain movies. You can even get full-length movies from the 1930s and 40s such as the Three Stooges. It is legal to download these movies because the copyright has expired and they are now in the public domain.
The major movie studios are worried about this trend of free movie down loads. They see a future scenario of movie piracy similar to the music piracy boom of a few years ago. New technology makes it more difficult to put free movies on the Internet. Microsoft is planning a new operating system that will have strong anti-movie piracy protection.
The software is being developed in consultation with movie industry. The studios are looking at controlling the movie downloading market. With broadband speeds, Downloading a movie may become as common as downloading a song. A new alternative is to rent movies online for a small fee.
The movie download business is still in its infancy and faces many hurdles. For one, most people prefer to watch a movie on a television screen and not on a computer. Also, the hard drive of a P.C. can store only a few movies.
Downloading a movie from the Internet requires the following items. First, there must be a 56K modem or a broadband connection, 64 MB of RAM, Windows (95,98, ME, 2000, XP, Linux) and a movie download player like Quick Time. If all these components are present, you can play videos by download or stream. Movies should start playing within a minute or two once you select a link to the page that supports your modem speed.
It is not at all a tall order to expect the movie industry to be completely transformed by the free download business just like when the iPod hit the music scene. A way will surely emerge for the present technology to shed its defects and to bring out a high-quality product.