The Motion Picture Association of America is keen to turn in pirates who share copyrighted movies illegally, but its next effort might do more to turn potential pirates into customers. As Variety reports, the association plans to start a sort of movie search engine that will point users to legal purchase options.
For instance, the (yet-unnamed) site could direct users to sites where they can purchase movie tickets, buy DVDs, or rent movie downloads—all they'd have to do is type in a movie name. Variety says all major movie studios will back the effort, and the site should link to "any legit partner," from Netflix and iTunes to the PlayStation Store.
Interestingly, the directory will supposedly be a "not-for-profit" venture, so it may not be plastered with ads. MPAA studios may nonetheless get plenty of extra income from the venture's mere presence. According to an industry source quoted by Variety, research shows consumers can't always distinguish between legal and illegal movie download services. (Thanks to Ars Technica for the link.)