What the heck is Verisign, a company that specializes in internet commerce security solutions, doing announcing they're going to be distributing movies online next year? I'm not sure, but a beta version of the system will go live as soon as January 8. The distribution platform, a product run by AxiomTV, will only serve up family-friendly movies and TV shows and will actively block any pornography, violence or foul language. Subscribers will need a simple hardware set and some wires in order to get the movies delivered to their TV.

I'm not sure what the motive here is. Verisign seems like an odd player to get into the movie distribution game, especially with a system that's sure to resurrect the "You're destroying the director's vision" debate. That was the central problem with other services that rented "cleaned up" DVDs and such -- and those services have already had a tough go ...