BitTorrent Download Movie Site launches

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BitTorrent Download Movie Site launches

Today, BitTorrent has launched their licensed entertainment networl and an enhanced BitTorrent protocol that will allow it to offer copyrighted movies, TV shows, games, and other media. The BitTorrent Entertainment Network will launch starting with over 5,000 titles, including films from Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros, as well as episodes of TV shows such as 24 and Prison Break.

24

According to the company, the service is aimed at young males who regularly use BitTorrent to download pirated versions of the same films and who prefer to watch these video programs on their PCs instead of a TV. BitTorrent is used by millions of users and in fact 1/3rd of all Internet traffic is consumed by BitTorrent traffic. The problem from naysayers is "converting" these pirates into legit-paying customers. Of course, the same naysayers were skeptical of Apple iTunes when it launched in the post-Napster age and iTunes is a runaway success.

The BitTorrent company claims that at least one-third of the 135 million people using BitTorrent software will be willing to pay for legitimate content. To entice the pirates, err, I mean potential law-abiding customers, they are featuring popular content at just $1.99 and targetting males between the ages of 15 and 35 years. Full-length movie takes about 30 minutes to download, while a TV episode should only take about 10 minutes. Movies will also be available for 24 hours at $3.99 for new and $2.99 for old titles. Sample movie content includes Superman Returns and Mission: Impossible III. The content will be protected by Windows Media DRM, and will only play back using Windows Media Player. Sorry Mac fans!

The library within the BitTorrent Entertainment Network is very extensive. It includes 3,000 movie and television titles as well as 1,000 games, and 1,000 music titles. Movie and record studios and associations have aggresively tried to shut down various BitTorrent tracker sites, including The Pirate Bay and isoHunt.com. Now that BitTorrent has gone legit, will the studios back off? Not a chance in hell.

Brian Cohen, the creator of BitTorrent has is working on some major enhancements to the BitTorrent client. While many other popular BitTorrent clients exist, such as Azureus, BitComet, etc., BitTorrent.com's client will most likely be the only one to support these DRM-protected downloads. I would venture to guess that both Azureus and BitComet are more popular than the official BitTorrent client, but things could quickly change. So it will be interesting to see if BitTorrent.com's client takes a larger market share and as such, if they start adding advertisements and/or adware to the client. The new version will support BitTorrent DNA Version 2. Unlike current versions of Bittorrent, the new version of Mainline will apparently NOT be released as an open-source client.

According to PC Magazine, the µTorrent client BitTorrent acquired in December will be used for portable apps. With DNA 2.0, users can start a BitTorrent swarm off of any Web object. The technology also recognizes when the user is Web surfing or using VoIP, by gracefully scaling down the network utilization to avoid interfering with the user's other Internet activities.


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