MOVIE INDUSTRY MOVES IN ON PIRATES

Just minutes after The Pirate Bay (TPB) was disconnected by court order from a Swedish Internet service provider and took up residence on another ISP, the new one received orders from a representative of the motion picture industry to yank the BitTorrent indexer or face legal action, the website Torrent Freak disclosed Wednesday. It quoted Patrik (no last name provided), identified as someone who "provides bandwidth to another company who in turn supplies it to TPB, who said he received a phone call 20 minutes after the new ISP began hosting TPB. "She [representative from Hollywood] was bitching a bit and asked me to see if I would turn off the bandwidth directly, or receive a court order instead," said Patrik. He said that he is not prepared to take up the battle with Hollywood. "I am a small company so I do not have the resources to run for long, but there are certainly others who want to," he said.

PARAMOUNT WILL CLOSELY EXAMINE REDBOX

Viacom chief Philippe Dauman said Wednesday that Paramount's short deal with kiosk operator Redbox will provide a testing period that will allow the studio to determine whether the $1.00-a-night renter will harm or help the business. "We'll be able to directly test how our titles perform in the Wal-Marts where there's a Redbox and other markets ... where there isn't a Redbox," he told a Goldman Sachs conference in New York. Referring to other studios that have courted lawsuits from Redbox by refusing to provide DVDs of new movies during the first month after they are released, Dauman said his reaction was, "Rather than litigate this, let's test it. Consumers like it." In reporting Dauman's comments, Home Media Magazine noted that the test might eventually result in Redbox charging more than $1.00 for new-release rentals.

MATT DAMON TO PLAY LIBERACE'S LOVER

Director Steven Soderbergh has cast Matt Damon as Liberace's young lover in a forthcoming biopic about the showman who died of AIDS in 1987, People magazinedisclosed today (Thursday). Michael Douglas has already been cast in the lead role. "Matt accepted the challenge," Soderbergh told the magazine. Eyebrows were raised when Douglas, who is known for his he-man roles, was cast as the flamboyant Liberace. But Soderbergh told People: "We've already done some costume and wardrobe tests on Michael, and they're very, very, very good. ... Michael amazed me. He crushed it."

ACTOR HENRY GIBSON DIES AT AGE 73

Henry Gibson, best remembered for his portrayal of the meek poet on NBC's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In in the late '60s and early '70s, died Monday in Malibu, CA at age 73. He was also a favorite of director Robert Altman and appeared in four of his films, including Nashville in 1975, for which he won a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. More recently, he was a regular on ABC's Boston Legal for five years