Print 14 comment(s) - last by PrinceGaz.. on Jul 12 at 7:01 AM

BitTorrent is all grown up, and legitimate

BitTorrent has just signed another major distribution deal, this time with the independent movie distributor Image Entertainment. With the new deal, BitTorrent will add approximately 1,600 movies to its distribution library. 

Image Entertainment is responsible for dozens of independant movies making it othe mainstream, one of the most famous being Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me. The service is scheduled to launch this fall. BitTorrent nor Image Entertainment released detaisl on the pricing structure for the new content, but Ashwin Navin, BitTorrent's co-founder claimed "We'll be able to offer consumers a subscription service that will be comprehensive."

Just two months ago BitTorrent and Warner Brothers announced the two companies would also enter a distribution deal, even though the MPAA had recently launched investigations against BitTorrent for hosting copyrighted material.

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Unbalanced see-saw...
By segagenesis on 7/11/2006 1:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
...of whats offered. Yeah, were seeing "legal" p2p content but the problem is they are competing with themselves. No really, in the time it would take for me to download a film from these services I could have just bought it or whatever else was on the store shelf. With that bought DVD I can play it in whatever device I want. As far as I know these downloaded movies only work if you have WMP9 and are locked down to where you cannot back them up either. So... that limits you to watching movies on Windows and nothing else including standalone devices.

This article was already posted elsewhere and they have no mention of pricing either. If its $20 a flick they can shove it... for that price you can do what I described above and you also get nice extras to go with it. Not to mention seeing how your paying them not only for the movie but in bandwidth (as in, if its really p2p bittorrent) for a non physical copy that costs nothing to them to distribute. They should offer it for far less than a real DVD considering the restrictions. On top of all that I imagine some ISPs are blocking bittorrent ports or filtering content...

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By GreenEnvt on 7/11/2006 2:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Locking it down to 1 computer certainly does make it less attractive to many users, but the industry doesn't have much of a choice.
If they let you pay $X for a movie that is totally unlocked, you can then share it with anyone.

Perhaps a better method might be some sort of watermark system, so if a copy makes it to the public they can tell who leaked it. This also has shortfalls though, as pirates have typically not had a hard time disabling the watermarks.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By freon on 7/11/2006 2:14:30 PM , Rating: 2
People were saying the same exact things you are saying when Napster got busted and talks of legal services began. Many of them seem to be doing fairly well these days.

There are people out there who like watching movies on their computer, and dont see driving to a store for a copy of something they can easily download as any sort of advantage. Price wise, I would expect them to be a little cheaper than a hard copy.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By OrSin on 7/11/2006 2:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Not really the same thing at all. Music downloads can be moved to any of number of devices and played where you want them. TV is whole other beast. Plus Music DL let oyu choose the songs you want and not ahve to buy the whole album making it much cheaper for the average user.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By freon on 7/11/2006 4:20:04 PM , Rating: 2
True, you can do that with music.. At the time, however, it was unknown if any of the music services would allow you to do that. Most people assumed it would be locked in some form, and would be limited to only listening, not making copies. Some services did, and I believe some still do charge you extra if you wish to burn that downloaded song to a CD.

As far as downloading only the song you want, well, that has absolutely nothing to do with downloading movies. You download a movie because you like the whole movie.. Unless you would rather they allow you to only download the scene you want? lol

Anyway, my point was people cried the same cry about music going legit; Fears of limits, having to pay, having to use proprietary formats and interfaces, etc etc, blah blah. Today, legit music download services are quite popular. It is highly likely the same will happen with movie services.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By segagenesis on 7/11/2006 4:33:31 PM , Rating: 2
I do not disagree with your statement but I still believe that there should be some form of Fair Use in whatever standard regardless of who pitches it. At least the concept of Fair Use I believe pretty strongly in and if we give it up whether through slow erosion of rights or capabilities... we will soon start being sued for remembering scenes from movies.

Ok maybe not that dystopian or orwellian but I am still against limitations on use of a product you paid for, regardless of what it is. While respectful of your opinion on the matter I still find DRM to be akin to saying you can only drive Ford cars on Ford highways and use Ford gas.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By segagenesis on 7/11/2006 3:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
People were saying the same exact things you are saying when Napster got busted and talks of legal services began. Many of them seem to be doing fairly well these days.

What OrSin said also... this is movies not music. I can buy music in iTunes and use it on my iPod and if I wish I can also burn a CD to use in my car stereo or whatever else. Also this is BitTorrent the company not to be confused with the protocol of bittorrent... which has become far detached from its original inventor. So, in essence you are trying to compare Bud Light to Guinness to Grey Goose vodka thinking they are all in the same.

As far as the "doing fairly well" I would only attach that label to iTunes seeing how nobody I know has not mentioned the words Napster or Rhapsody in ages, they know more about! While we see the point you are trying to make the problem here is that they are doing the equivalent to being a resturant waiter grabbing you off the street, convincing you that you are hungry, and then force you to regurgitate your meal before you left because it wasnt yours.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By biohzrd on 7/11/2006 3:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with you on many points.

First, yes, they ARE competing with themselves. If I can go buy a DVD, and bring it home and copy/convert it to any device to watch it on (including my PDA), then I'm definitely going to choose that option over a DRM infested more than likely lesser copy that I can ONLY watch on my computer. The only DVD's that are a PITA are SONY's, which I now have no problem backing up as well (DVD Decryptor and PGC Edit with plugins).

Second point, distribution: I have NO problem downloading from bittorrent and uploading so my share ratio is at least 1:1. This is only, however, as long as the speeds outweigh what they could offer.

Pricing: the ONLY way this would be an attractive option is if the price is around that of going to the movies. $5-7 is a fair range and the only range which I would begin to pay for them. Also, why not just do netflix or blockbuster online? $18 a month gets me upto 6 movies a week, delivered, to my door. I back them up and send em back the same day until I have time to watch them, then delete.

RE: Unbalanced see-saw...
By segagenesis on 7/11/2006 4:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
Pricing: the ONLY way this would be an attractive option is if the price is around that of going to the movies. $5-7

This I will agree with and along with MercanaryForHire's post thats about the limit ($8 maybe) I would pay when pay pre view off my cable box is $3 and your restricted to only that computer to view the movie. As in, I'd rather pay the $3 to only be able to watch the movie on my big screen tv in whenever 24 hours than pay more and be stuck to watching it on my PC. My PC monitor is nice, but not 54" nice. No word on whether you would be able to use tv-out with this service either.

Loosen the restrictions a bit like say allowing you to make a backup for your DVD player (even if it was "lower quality"... maybe) and I'd be willing to pay more. The bottom line, however, is if they want me to pay store bought DVD prices for these movies they have to offer everything I can get from a DVD and probably even some bonus content because there are esentially no overhead costs for them vs. pressing DVD's

Now I wouldnt admit to too many people you do that with NetFlix rentals since thats still technically pirating... it does not bother me but you never know :p It all boils down to how much value one sees in a service and at least to me this service appears to be a raw deal.

BitTorrent is a commercial entity now?
By MercenaryForHire on 7/11/2006 3:16:35 PM , Rating: 1
I really missed the boat/memo/TPS report on that one. I'm still stuck in the world where BitTorrent is just a distribution method. It is nice to see the movie studios stepping up and admitting "Okay, this 'torrent' thing kicks some serious ass. How can we use it?" instead of going "omgpiracy, shut it down!"

Now, as long as they take into account the reduced distribution cost by leveraging their client's bandwidth, and the nearly-eliminated manufacturing cost of a download, and factor that into the price accordingly, this could be a very good thing for consumers.

... And hey, as long as I'm dreaming , I want a Ferrari.

- M4H

RE: BitTorrent is a commercial entity now?
By Master Kenobi on 7/11/2006 4:01:06 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Now I have had no problem removing the DRM from music, even iTunes is cake to remove the DRM in a batch process. CSS on DVD's? Psh circumvented and DVD images/copies perfectly. The point I'm trying to make here is that, only the morons get boned by DRM. Anyone with a clue can blow past it in a few minutes. So they are only screwing the people too dumb to copy it in the first place LOL!

By MercenaryForHire on 7/11/2006 8:01:33 PM , Rating: 1
Paraphrased from Cory Doctorow's presentation, the fundamental flaw with all manners of DRM protection

In DRM, the attacker is also the recipient. It’s not Alice and Bob and Carol, it’s just Alice and Bob. Alice sells Bob a DVD. She sells Bob a DVD player. The DVD has a movie on it – say, Pirates of the Caribbean – and it’s enciphered with an algorithm called CSS – Content Scrambling System. The DVD player has a CSS un-scrambler.

Now, let’s take stock of what’s a secret here: the cipher is well-known. The ciphertext is most assuredly in enemy hands, arrr. So what? As long as the key is secret from the attacker, we’re golden.

But there’s the rub. Alice wants Bob to buy Pirates of the Caribbean from her. Bob will only buy Pirates of the Caribbean if he can descramble the CSS-encrypted VOB – video object – on his DVD player. Otherwise, the disc is only useful to Bob as a drinks-coaster. So Alice has to provide Bob – the attacker – with the key, the cipher and the ciphertext.

Hilarity ensues.

Hilarity and unrestricted torrents. :)

- M4H

By Hare on 7/11/2006 4:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
"detaisl" -> "details" :)

Yeah, I know it's stupid to point these things out but seriously. DT should use a program with a spellchecker before posting these news. Maybe after Firefox2 (int. sp-checker) we will see flawless news?

RE: Spelling
By PrinceGaz on 7/12/2006 7:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe after Firefox2 (int. sp-checker) we will see flawless news?

I very much doubt it, unless it also has an advanced context sensitive grammar-checker.

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