In a move which simultaneously makes no and a lot of difference to the P2P world, Warner Brothers has inked a deal with Bittorrent to legally distribute its content.
Stripping away the deadwood reveals that the crux of the agreement sees Bittorent Inc (located at www.bittorent.com, the original site of the P2P phenomenon created by Bram Cohen) secure rights to offer up more than 200 Warner Bros films and TV series within the next few months. Pricing details, as well as what DRM restrictions will be embedded into the content have yet to be revealed.
Titles available from day one will include "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Tim Burton's s Corpse Bride," "Dukes of Hazzard," "North Country," and "Rumor Has It," as well as library titles such as "The Matrix," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Natural Born Killers," and National Lampoon's "Vegas Vacation." TV programming will include shows such as "Babylon 5" and "Dukes of Hazzard” (yes it has two z’s, I never noticed that).
Now given that the genius of bittorent lies in its peer assisted transfers (you share what you have downloaded with others while you continue to download the rest of the file) it was always likely to find a outlet in the legitimate distribution of large multimedia files. That said, the wider bittorent technology is a many headed beast these days and the announcement today is unlikely to impact the literally thousands of client alternatives out there. For Warner Bros the deal provides it with an alternative distribution source to iTunes – which rivals Fox and NBC use.
The irony in all this is – try as they might – the bittorent team simply can’t remove the illegal content its site search turns up faster than it appears. So good citizens of the world consider for a minute going to the same web site where you can a) pay for your DRM filled content or b) type in a search for it and download the same stuff for free…