HBO and studios working out deals to allow iTunes Movies in the Cloud
HBO and major movie studies like Warner Bros., Universal, and 20th Century Fox are coming to agreements that would allow Apple to properly implement iTunes Movies in the Cloud. Apple launched iTunes Music in the Cloud and TV in the Cloud last year as part of iCloud, but it took until this spring's new iPad event before they could announced Movies in the Cloud, even in the U.S.
Part of the reason was arduous negotiations with studios for the rights, including working around HBO's exclusive broadcast window. Without these deals in place, any already-purchased movie playing on HBO would suddenly not be available for re-download by users of Movies in the Cloud -- a frustrating user experience to say the least. According to the Wall Street Journal, however, those deals might be falling into place.
HBO isn't planning to give up its exclusive windows, for which it pays hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and which allow it to beam movies to its online service HBO Go as well as to its traditional TV channels. But HBO is relaxing terms to let users of iCloud and other services send movies they already own to other devices during those windows, an HBO spokesman said.
HBO agreed to loosen its arrangement with Warner Bros., which is working with iCloud, and also is in talks with Universal and Fox to do the same, the spokesman added.
Hopefully these will all be completed post haste and users will be able to access the movies they bought, on the devices they own, when and where they want to.
There's also a bunch of stuff in the WSJ article about the movie studio's Ultra Violet movie locker plans, if such things interest you.