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Monday, March 10, 2008, 06:45 am PT (09:45 am ET)

Lionsgate joins Apple's Digital Copy for iTunes program

Leading indie film house Lionsgate said Monday that it is working with Apple to provide Digital Copy for iTunes, offering customers who purchase select DVDs an additional copy of the film formatted for iTunes.

Just like movies purchased from the iTunes Store, an iTunes Digital Copy is easily transferred from a DVD disc to iTunes, where it can then be viewed on a Mac or PC, or synced to an iPod, iPhone or widescreen television connected to Apple TV.

Lionsgate is just second studio to announce support for the program, joining Twentieth Century Fox, which helped launch the initiative with Apple back in January. The first Lionsgate DVDs to debut with iTunes Digital Copy will be the special edition DVD and Blu-ray releases of "Rambo" on May 27th, and "The Eye" latter this summer. In addition, Lionsgate and Apple said they plan to deliver numerous other films on DVD with iTunes Digital Copy later this year.

"Lionsgate is constantly identifying fresh opportunities to monetize its 12,000-title filmed entertainment library in an increasingly digital world and provide product that is at the very cutting edge of consumer taste," said Steve Beeks, President and co-Chief Operating Officer of Lionsgate. "Our consumers are always looking for new viewing options in terms of the motion pictures they buy, and we are always searching for new ways to deliver content in formats that reflect consumer preference across the entire home entertainment spectrum, from packaged media to digital storage to VOD."

Once a customer buys a Digital Copy-equipped DVD, he or she inserts it into their computer, enters a unique code into iTunes, and the movie is automatically copied to their iTunes library. Each DVD will only transfer its iTunes Digital Copy to one iTunes library, and an iTunes account is required for the process.

Lionsgate is one of several studios which offer a wide variety of movies for rental and purchase on the iTunes Store, including recent hit releases like "3:10 to Yuma," "Good Luck Chuck," and the action film "War" in addition to classic library titles like "Dirty Dancing" and "Reservoir Dogs."