Apple Plans Online Movie Rental Service

Apple Inc. is preparing to announce the long-rumored launch of a movie rental service through its online iTunes Store.

Citing unnamed sources, the Financial Times is reporting that Twentieth Century Fox is one of the first studios to agree to make its films available for rent digitally through iTunes.

Apple also has agreed for the first time to license its copy-protection platform known as FairPlay.

The technology would be built into Fox DVD releases, which would allow users to easily transfer the movies from the disc to a computer or an iPod for playback.

Analysts say the moves could dramatically boost the appeal of digital movie distribution.

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