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December 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

During a week when “tax cuts for the rich” has been receiving considerable media attention, a proposal has been unveiled that would allow the rich to view movies on their home theaters beginning the same day that they open in theaters. Today’s (Wednesday) Wall Street Journal says the service, from Prima Cinema Inc., would require a one-time fee of about $20,000 and an additional $500 for each rented film. The service, which is due to launch by about the end of next year, is being backed by Best Buy Co. and Universal Pictures, the Journal said. In an interview with the newspaper, Universal Chairman Adam Fogelson said, “While this is a niche market, there is a chance for significant upside. … And precisely because it is a niche market, that upside should come without harming any of our existing partners or revenue streams.” But John Fithian, president of the National Theatre Owners of America, warned that the plan exposes new films to piracy. “There is no such thing as a secure distribution to the home,” Fithian told the Journal, noting, “This proposal will give pirates a pristine digital copy early, resulting in millions of lost revenue to piracy, while at the same time selling a very limited number of units. Only billionaires can afford $500 per movie.”