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Paramount tests frontier with 'Star Trek' drives

Mon, 04/12/2010 - 4:30pm
The Associated Press

Paramount Pictures is exploring a new frontier by participating in an offer to sell Seagate Technology hard drives with a copy of the latest "Star Trek" movie and 20 other films already on board.

The one-month offer, which both companies on Monday called an industry first, would combine a 500-gigabyte hard drive with a free version of 2009's "Star Trek" for an online promotional price of $100. An empty 500 GB Seagate hard drive usually sells for $140.

The other movies distributed by Paramount, including "GI Joe," ''Nacho Libre" and "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" come pre-loaded with a digital lock that requires a code that can be purchased online for $10 to $15 each. Even watching "Star Trek" requires registration.

The pre-loaded movies come with a Windows-based digital rights management system that prevents file sharing. They take up about 50 GB of the drive itself.

The special sale comes as Hollywood is struggling with falling DVD sales in the face of piracy and is looking for new ways to sell movies from its library.

Other companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have used heavy discounts on DVDs as a way to lure shoppers.

Both companies declined to say if they were taking a loss on the promotional price. Both could be using the offer as a way to lure buyers for other related products they're selling.

Paramount, a unit of Viacom Inc., is selling its other movie titles, while Seagate Technology is selling a device that enables movies stored on hard drives to be played on television sets for $130.

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