Also in Apple's movie rental deal yesterday with Fox: Apple will license its FairPlay copy-protection technology to the studio for DVD movie releases. This will allow DVD purchasers to easily — and legally — copy movies to their computers for playback on iPods and iPhones.
The copy protection on DVDs was cracked long ago, but it's still not easy for the average consumer to copy a disc and transfer it to iTunes. Having one-click DVD copying, like iTunes has done for CDs for years, could well be the killer app for Apple's video products, including the Apple TV. (Update: According to Gizmodo, the files won't be ripped from the DVD; instead, Fox will include iTunes-formatted versions of the movie on the disc.)
Up until now, the only way to legally get a movie on your Apple TV was to buy it from the iTunes store. If this trial is successful, we could see other movie studios sign on quickly. Odds are good that Disney, the media company in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs is the largest individual shareholder, will get the same deal when the movie-rental store launches in January.