Morgan Freeman's much-hyped movie-download service Clickstar has finally launched. On one hand, it's something of a surprise, given how long it's been hyped without any action to back it up. On the other hand, it's hardly surprising to learn that, like so many similar services before, it pretty much sucks. The chairman of the company quotes Freeman in a blog post as saying "ClickStar is our effort to make films easier to buy than to pirate." As paidContent.org's Rafat Ali notes, they've missed the mark badly: it's Windows-only, requires the use of IE7, poor site design requiring lots of clicks, and restrictions that prevent users from burning movies to DVD. In other words, the site is about as good as the previous studio-backed efforts, which is to say, it's pretty awful. The only bright spot is that Clickstar is compressing release windows: a Freeman film that was released in studios just two weeks ago is now available on the site. Compressing release windows is something that theater owners have reacted strongly to in the past. But it sounds like Clickstar is so bad, they won't really need to worry about it this time around.
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