Monday, May 8, 2006

Warner Bros. Leverages BitTorent P2P for Film/TV Downloads

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group announced a deal with BitTorrent to leverage the company's peer-assisted delivery system for Web-based downloads of motion picture and television content in the U.S. Content published with BitTorrent will be available on the website and feature downloadable programming.

BitTorrent's "file-swarming" technology enables the transfer of massive files from a website to a PC with peer-assisted bandwidth efficiency. This new method of delivery is the first peer-assisted network in the U.S. that combines guaranteed availability, high-quality video and rapid download rates.

Warner Bros. is the first major studio to provide legal video content via the BitTorrent publishing platform.

BitTorrent will provide both a video-on-demand (VOD) and electronic sell through (EST) basis, day-and-date with the DVD release.

The service is intended to launch in summer of 2006 and will initially feature more than 200 Warner Bros. new releases, catalog favorites and television series.

The announcement follows BitTorrent's agreement with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to prevent film piracy and promote innovation in online digital distribution of content.

"Warner Bros. is in the business of making its movies and TV shows available to as wide an audience as possible. The launch of a legal BitTorrent online video service allows us to extend our reach to places our content would not ordinarily be found legally and opens up new opportunities. Entering into agreements such as this to distribute our content is not only a better way to reach existing and new customers but a reflection of the critical role distribution technologies play in the future of the entertainment industry," said Darcy Antonellis, Executive Vice President, Distribution Technology and Operations, Warner Bros. Technical Operations.

  • BitToirrent is headed by Bram Cohen (CEO and co-founder), who created the BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution protocol in 2001. Bram is also the co-founder of CodeCon and the co-author of Codeville.

  • BitTorrent is based in San Francisco.

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