Hollywood acts to fend off online film piracy...Major Hollywood players and have unveiled a scheme which proposes to allow computer users to download videos for a fee from the internet. MGM, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Warner Brothers and Universal Pictures have agreed to work in conjunction with each other to develop a business strategy and the necessary technology. The companies hope that by introducing their own pay-per-view services they will dissuade users from illegally downloading pirated films, which have already begun to be made available in full on the internet. They will be mindful, too, of the plight of music industry giants that claim to have paid a high price for their late incoming to online operations, losing out to services such as Napster and Gnutella. Video-on-demand services will initially be made available to computers with a high-speed connection, with plans to extend the service to cable television users. Moviefly, Sony's video-on-demand service, will provide the backbone for the venture. Company executives had been hoping to roll out the service this year but were keen to involve as many top industry players as possible. The average feature film is 500megabytes, will take around 20 minutes to download and will remain on a user's harddrive for 30 days after the download or 24 hours after a viewing. The price of the service has yet to be confirmed.