iTunes to Offer Fox Movie Rentals

Apple struck a deal with 20th Century Fox which will allow Web surfers to rent Fox DVD releases by downloading digital copies from the iTunes store, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

The agreement will be announced Jan. 14 at the Macworld convention, the newspaper said.

The deal would mark the first time that Apple extends its FairPlay digital rights management system beyond its own products, FT said. Consumers would be able to rent Fox movies, and view them for a limited time.

“A digital file protected by FairPlay will be included in new Fox DVD releases, enabling film content to be transferred or ‘ripped’ from the disc to a computer and video iPod. DVD content can already be moved to an iPod but this requires special software and is considered piracy by some studios,” FT reported.

Apple already sells movies from Disney on iTunes, but it doesn’t offer users the option to rent movies from Disney or any other studio.