Amy Ryan
December 27, 2007 AT 12:00 PM EST

So it looks like, thanks to an all-but-announced deal between Apple and Fox, you’ll soon be able to rent Fox home video releases online via iTunes. Also, according to Financial Times, Fox will encode future DVD releases so that they’re easily ripped and playable on video iPods.

Question: Is this a big deal, a harbinger of the inevitable shift that will finally allow Hollywood to monetize its films on the Internet without having to worry (too much) about piracy? Will the other studios (whose relationships with Apple have been testy of late) follow suit? Or is this a one-time experiment that may sell a lot of video iPods but not really help Fox — or any other studio making a similar deal with Apple?

I guess I’d be a lot more impressed if Fox’s upcoming slate of video releases didn’t consist largely of such titles as season 5 of The Simple Life and Lake Placid 2. Still, maybe this is the sort of deal that iTunes and iPod users — and studios with their fingers in the wind — have been waiting for. What say you, PopWatchers? Are you eager to rent movies from iTunes? Would you be more likely to buy DVD titles that you can play on your iPod?

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