From nowhere the definitive flicks and TV resource the Internet Movie Database (IMD-small-b) has announced it will offer over 6,000 free films and television shows to users - as long as they live in the US.
"IMDb's mission has always been to be the world's most comprehensive, user-friendly destination for all movie, TV and celebrity-related information, products and services", said IMDb founder and MD Col Needham. "We're excited to offer our users a simple online experience to watch full-length movies and TV episodes for free. Our goal is to show our users every movie and TV show on the Internet for free on IMDb.com."
This content is top end stuff too with the likes of 24, CSI, Family Guy, Heroes, the brilliant House MD, The Office and The Simpsons coming from TV along with classics such as Star Trek, Beverley Hills 90210 and the even more wonderful Buffy the Vampire Slayer (come on, you know you love it!). From the start of the new US TV season this 'fall' even brand new shows like the Knight Rider remake, Chuck, Life and 30 Life will appear.
On the films side Fever Pitch, Fiddler on the Roof, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Hoop Dreams, Some Like it Hot and Raising Arizona give a flavour of some of the treats on offer.
Filmmakers and rights owners will also be able to put their content up on IMDb through an initiative called 'Upload your Movie' - allowing them to reach the whopping 57 million users who visit the site each month.
Interestingly, the IMDb makes no hint of any future plans to charge for content and so enter into a battle with market leader iTunes. Could that be just a matter of time or - with any luck - is the IMDb a true hippy at heart...?