20th Century Fox dipped their toe in the digital video pool with their DVD release of Live Free or Die Hard. If you purchased the DVD, it contained a digital copy of the movie that could be downloaded to your computer for play on portable media players. Now the company is getting more focused with that concept as they team up with Apple for their new “iTunes Digital Copy” promotion, starting with a DVD just as anticipated as the latest Die Hard chapter: Family Guy’s spoof of Star Wars.

Purchase the DVD release of Family Guy: Blue Harvest, and you’ll be able to transfer the movie to your video iPod, computer, or on Apple TV. Within the DVD is a digital copy of the movie, along with a unique code for iTunes. Pop the DVD in to your computer, enter the code, and iTunes copies the movie into its digital library.

As you might expect, there are some Digital Rights Management issues at play here. You’ll only be able to transfer your copy of Blue Harvest to one iTunes library, so, if you’re like me – using several different computers with different libraries – you’ll need to plan where you want that digital copy to wind up.

As an iPod owner, I love that this becomes a legitimate option with this DVD release and I hope Fox will keep experimenting in this area. At the same time, I have to wonder why they wouldn’t advertise this feature until the day of the DVD release. It seems to me that it’s the kind of thing they’d want to push ahead of time. The press release (dated the day of Blue Harvest’s release), pushes the fact that this was announced at MacWorld, but let’s be honest – copies were available for sale on the East coast before MacWorld’s presentation. Not pushing this feature in advance was a missed opportunity for Fox. At least they are planning ahead, however. The press release for Blue Harvest says the iTunes digital copy will be featured on upcoming titles like Hitman.

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