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BitTorrent to launch store tomorrow

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 25 Feb 2007 11:54 User comments (6)

BitTorrent to launch store tomorrow BitTorrent is to launch a download store tomorrow. The BitTorrent Entertainment Network, will distribute more than 5,000 titles from movies, TV shows, games and other media. The company is not afraid to go up against stores like iTunes or newer contenders like Joost or YouTube, touting a user base of up to 135 million users.
BitTorrent has managed to strike deals with major names such as 20th Century Fox, Lions Gate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, despite that fact that BitTorrent software is used for mass piracy around the world. In order to sell BitTorrent as an option to studios, the company had to agree to deploy digital rights management (DRM) on content it sells or rents.

The initial challenge of course for BitTorrent as a company, is to offer consumers an attractive legitimate way to purchase content compared to its competitors, while also making sure not to alienate the current BitTorrent users who get their DRM-less downloads for free. BitTorrent President Ashwin Navin is not worried about the included DRM, saying this is just the early stages.

"Our partners require DRM protection for their titles," Navin said. "They are being cautious with a new distribution model. As the demand goes up, our partners will probably explore DRM-free options." When the store opens tomorrow, feature films offered will include Superman Returns, Mission: Impossible III and An Inconvenient Truth. TV shows will include 24 and Chappelle's Show.

At first, movies will only be available for rental at $3.99 for newer titles and $2.99 for older titles. Users can keep a movie on their HDD for a month, but after starting playback, will have 24 hours to watch the movie. TV shows and music videos are available on a "download to own" basis, costing $1.99.

One of BitTorrent's biggest selling points is its speed, which already is proven to reliable send thousands of copies of large files around the world within hours.


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6 user comments

125.2.2007 13:11

omfg when did this happen?!?!?! dont see how this is going to work because when they go to the torrent site, they have hte option of buying the file or dl'ing it for free. anyone else see that prob??

225.2.2007 20:16

This is the most stupid commercial distribution system I have heard of. Yeah, sounds cool at first, but think of a few things:

1. You are buying the content. Who is going to want to waste their bandwidth uploading when they paid already paid for it?

2. Anyone unfamiliar with the way bittorrent works is just going to be a leacher. Most newcomers don't appreciate the fact that the torrent only survives if you have a 1:1 ratio minimum and just remove it from their list.

2. Even if you do upload, there is no incentive to continue doing so, especially if your download is useless to you after 1 day at worst, 30 days at best. Again, it is going to be a very leacher environment.

With regards to sukhvail's comment, they have two options: the torrent host is private, and second, the files will be DRM ridden, meaning you are really buying the licence key to read the file. I guess that is the only thing working in the favour of this method of distribution: people will be unwittingly distributing the file until they realise that they need to pay money once the download is complete... Then they go to the purchase site and buy a key out of frustration.

326.2.2007 6:54

DRM = instant consumer repelant, at least the smart consumers

....and now that i think about it....

paying for downloads = bleep stupid

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Feb 2007 @ 12:24

426.2.2007 7:15

LOL, takes me a week to download, cost me $4 and only 24 hours to watch it. I can go to my local video store and rent NEW dvds for $1. Which method will I choose.

526.2.2007 12:25

George watch your mouth. There's no need for that.

My killer sig came courtesy of bb "El Jefe" mayo.
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"And there we saw the giants, and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight" - Numbers 13:33

627.2.2007 1:56

Considering that alot of people do just rent and return and don't bother to make a copy for themselves I feel like people should be able to watch a movie for around 2 weeks at a minimum, if not a month, before it is unplayable. Why make it 24 hours when you can rent a Blockbuster flick or even netflix (depending on how many you watch a month) and watch it over and over for a week or 2 and return it with no penalty and in Blockbusters case - pay less.

What about special features too? Are we downloading the movie only? I rent DVD's sometimes because of a rich features set or even a 2nd disc...

Here's my suggestion:
$1.99 for the movie. $0.99 for the extras. Watch as many times as you want for 2 weeks. Or sign up for a monthly pass to rent unlimited films (caveat being they are only playable for 3 days).

There's really no sign of Hollywood given up their stubborn DRM stance so we'd be crazy to ask for anything more. But they need to realize that they need to SWEETEN the deal for early adopters to have a reason to try it. Plus, there has to be at least 20-50 seeds per file hosted BY THE STUDIO to start the torrent.

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