South Korean internet portal, gaming service and contents provider KTH has announced deals with several major webhard and P2P sites to launch a legal download service called Fine Movie (FM).

KTH-owned films downloaded from these sites will incur a fee whether the source was uploaded by KTH or an illegal pirate.

An affiliate of Korea Telecom (KT), the company has more than 1,000 titles to its name, but is starting a beta test version of FM with 100+ films. Recent releases Seven Days, Forever The Moment, Pan's Labyrinth and Miss Gold Digger are among these films.

The past few years have seen Korea 's ancillary markets stagnating, accounting for only about 20% of a film's profits. Piracy has proliferated with copyright holders pressing suit, but without offering much of an alternative to film viewers until now.

The film industry has been looking for ways to follow the local pop music sector - which was first hit by piracy and then revitalised by legal digital source sales.

KTH will be using an FM certification mark, and starting a monitoring center to act against pirates.

It is planning to make films available on the FM service an average of two months after theatrical runs end, and in some cases at the same time as DVD releases.

Films made available before DVD release will cost about $3.50 (KW3,500), films available simultaneously as DVD release will be $3, and films after DVD release will cost $1-$2.