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Movie studios force Lovefilm to drop Flash streaming

DVD rental and movie streaming service Lovefilm has announced that it will be moving over to Microsoft's Silverlight for its video-on-demand from the previous Flash platform, leaving Linux users without the ability to stream films on the site.

"Change is always tricky. Not many of us like it, it can be unsettling, and most of us would prefer things to stay just as they are. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be how life works," begins the reluctant-sounding statement (opens in new tab) released by the company.

A couple of sentences later, things become a little clearer. It's revealed that movie studios "asked" Lovefilm to make the change over from Flash to Silverlight.

Of course, pirates take the blame, the studios insisting that the streaming service to "use robust security to protect their films from piracy, and they see the Silverlight software as more secure than Flash".

The request was backed up by a pretty stern threat, too: Lovefilm reveals that "without meeting their requirements, we’d suddenly have next-to-no films to stream online."

While the rental and streaming company was keen to express that this change wouldn't affect its service to platforms such as the PS3, iPad, internet TVs and others, older Apple Macs without Intel CPUs and Linux users will no longer be able to stream movies.

Returning to what sounds like a statement that had been written on its behalf, Lovefilm followed up with: "Silverlight offers the best combination of security, quality and customer experience from a small number of available solutions, and the majority of our customers already have Silverlight installed."

The statement ended by explaining that Flash would continue to be used until January 2012, after which it all streaming would use Silverlight.

The move appears to be yet another example of vopyright holders such as movie studios deciding it's more important for their content to be "secure" than for people to actually be able to watch it. The switch seems especially confusing given that it's widely considered that there isn't much of a future for Silverlight. Even Microsoft doesn't appear to be a huge fan (opens in new tab) of it these days... monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.