Google has launched an Australian movie rental service through YouTube and Google Play, joining the likes of Apple, Telstra, Optus in targeting customers who prefer to pay for access to legitimate online content, rather than watch illegal downloads.

Australian titles including Snowtown, Bra Boys and Chopper are available alongside Hollywood flicks including Midnight in Paris, The Help, Moneyball and the Iron Lady.

Prices are similar to iTunes, BigPond and Fetch TV, with high definition new releases costing $6.99 for 48 hours viewing time and older films starting at $3.99.

Android users can access movies on their mobile phone via the Google Play Movies app.

The new service comes after internet service provider iiNet's High Court win last week against a group of 34 film and television companies.

The film studios had sought to make the Perth-based iiNet responsible for its customers down- loading pirated movies and TV shows.

The chief executive of iiNet, Michael Malone, said the most effective way of combating privacy was by making content available to consumers online quickly and at an affordable price.

In Australia there are already several options for purchasing movies and TV shows legitimately online, including iiNet's Fetch TV option, which is also available rebadged as MeTV via Optus.

Telstra provides a pay-per-view model Bigpond Movies via its T-Box service and other devices, including connected "smart" TVs.

The West Australian

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