The following was sent to me by Goomack:
As posted before on The Movie Blog, Apple has been trying to get Walt Disney, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. movie titles to sell on iTunes for a flat fee and the ability to own the movie once you buy it and another option was to pay a flat monthly fee for X amount of downloads. These studio are not too excited about selling their movies for less than the amount of the actual DVD from the store or keeping the movie on your computer after purchase.
Solution: It seems like Apple and these studios might have reached an agreement accord to this post @ Think Secret
The basic idea is that you can rent a movie on iTunes and have limitations on how many times you can view the file or a time limit that the file will work on your computer. Once the limits are met for the file it will be shut off on your computer and you will not be able to view it again.
Alright, now before I go off on how limited the vision of the movie studios is on this matter, let me first say this: The MIGHT be a good idea.
Look, I rent movies all the time, so I clearly have no problems with the idea of rentals. But here’s the crucial point. WHAT WILL THE PRICE BE?
Keep in mind that I pay $5 for a rental that I get to sit on my nice comfy couch and watch on my nice Plasma TV. So what are they going to want to charge me to have to download a movie, sit in my office chair (which isn’t uncomfortable… but it’s not my couch) and watch it on my computer monitor? The price will be the key.
If they want to charge me $5 or LESS, then this COULD WORK. For novelty sake I may download a couple, and if it’s an enjoyable and easy experience I may even do it once in a while. HOWEVER…
If they price this thing MORE than $5, then I’m not sure I’d ever even try it. You’ve got to convince me that this is a BETTER experience for me than watching the DVD on my Plasma TV while sitting on my comfy couch… and the only way to do that is with price point. We’ll see how this goes.