There are many online websites for downloading movies, though the legality issue was still a major question mark until recently, especially since sites downloading music like Napster were shut down. The big news for many computer junkies recently was that the companies of Movielink and CinemaNow are recognized as being the first major online sources for legal downloadable movies in the United States. Previously the studios were shy about licensing online stores for anything but video rental, but now that has changed.
Movielink has managed this breakthrough by pushing forward with the backing of Universal, Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Warner Brothers. Cinema Now is in a similar situation, which is part of the reason why these companies are experimenting to see how the downloads process works. Movie downloads for new releases become available on the same day as the DVD release, and there is an ever growing backlist of previously made films all ready. The one thing to keep in mind that makes these downloads different than others: you can not burn anything onto DVD, the download will only stay on your computer and can not be copied.
Pricing, according to studios, is currently "competitive" with the DVD release, which in many people’s minds makes it a bad buy, being way too expensive for what you get. Classic movies are generally be priced at $13.99, with some movies priced as low as $9.99. New movies are all over the map. King Kong, for instance, will sell for $19.99, compared to $14.96 + shipping from retailers like Amazon. The Bad News Bears (2005), on the other hand, sells for $26.00 online at Movielink, which is essentially the same price Amazon is carrying at the moment. Most of these offerings, however, will not offer the extras found on today's DVD and you instantly sacrifice the ability to take your movies with you on the go.
Encrypted or not, the standard DVD is at least portable. All in all, this makes movie downloads from these sites, even with the reassurance of everything being acceptable and “legal” as really weak.. Until a better pricing appears, it would seem that these companies are doomed to failure. At least they would be, if the movie companies did not own them. Wait for a better deal.