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Disney to sell downloads through Internet movie site

LOS ANGELES -- Disney films such as ``Glory Road" and the animated ``Chicken Little" will soon be available to own via computer download from the Internet-based movie site CinemaNow, but the movies can't be played on a standalone DVD player.

The companies were expected to disclose today that CinemaNow will sell the films for $19.95 and in June will allow consumers to transfer films to a portable device running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media software.

In a deal similar to others revealed in April, Walt Disney Co. will sell its films online the same day they become available on DVD, thus closing the gap between DVD sales and video-on-demand by several months. The deal includes new releases plus some library titles.

Consumers will be able to watch their films on up to three devices and will be able to make a backup DVD copy that will only play on a computer.

CinemaNow will offer the option of transferring the film to a portable device later in June.

Major Hollywood studios have not yet allowed films to be burned onto a DVD that can be played on a standard DVD player, although adult entertainment company Vivid Entertainment has started doing just that through CinemaNow.

In April, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and MGM began selling some first-run and older titles on Movielink, a PC-only download service jointly owned by five Hollywood studios.

Those films are priced between $20 and $30.

Sony and Lionsgate have also begun selling some films on CinemaNow, which is partly owned by Microsoft, Lionsgate, Cisco Systems Inc., and Blockbuster Inc.

CinemaNow said it is negotiating with other studios to offer films on the site.

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