Warner Bros. to sell movies and TV shows via BitTorrent

“Warner Bros.’s video unit on Tuesday unveiled plans to sell movies and television shows to BitTorrent Inc. for legal downloads from the Web site that was once blamed for aiding the swapping of illegally copied films and programs. The pact marks a big step for Hollywood as it increasingly makes digital files of movies and TV shows available on the Web because until last year, BitTorrent’s software and Web site were considered to be aiding piracy of major studio films,” Bob Tourtellotte reports for Reuters.

“But in November, BitTorrent agreed with the Motion Picture Association of America, which represents Hollywood’s major studios, to help stem illegal swapping of digital movies and TV shows by removing links to pirated copies,” Tourtellotte reports. “Executives from Warner Bros. and BitTorrent said the MPAA pact and new digital rights management (DRM) software from BitTorrent were key elements in bringing the parties together.”

“Starting this summer, Warner Bros., a unit of No. 1 media company Time Warner Inc., will make more than 200 films including blockbusters such as ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ and TV shows like ‘Babylon 5’ available at BitTorrent.com. The content will be available on the same day and date they are put on sale in retail stores, but cannot be copied and burned onto a DVD. They must reside on a computer drive. [Bold emphasis added by MacDailyNews] BitTorrent will charge customers, and while final prices have not been set, the company expects TV shows to be priced comparably to the current rate of $1 per episode on other Web sites and movies to be around the price of a new DVD,” Tourtellotte reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jarvis” for the heads up.]

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24 Comments

  1. What good will it be to download full length movies on iTunes if they are encumbered with DRM? You will be limited to watching these movies only on a computer. Personally, I’d rather have the DVD so I can watch it on my television.

  2. well, soon or l8r there will be some type of media system to seamlessly watch computer media on the TV, and it will probably be by Apple. Front Row and Microscoff media center X2010 (or whatever it’s called) aren’t quite ready yet. As far as distribution models, I was doing some, ahem, research (typing with my free hand) and came across (pun intended)
    adultbouncer.com. Their distribution model is Pay One Price, $30 a month gets you 1000+ dvds with UNLIMITED downloading. Yes, you can download, use a download manager, and, get this, burn to dvd. They even give you links to videohelp.com for conversion tools ! Why can’t this type of model apply to Hollywood movies ? $30 a month is all their crap is really worth, and even the cheapest torrenters can afford that. Turnover rate would be very low because even if you downloaded every single movie, a new one you want would come out, and you’d have to continue to subscribe just so you could get it. A neverending subscription, simply because you like the cheap and great selection.

  3. er, I think $30- / month is kkind of pricey- $360/ year? I’m loving netflix for like $14/ 2 movie out version. We end up with 6 movies a month, but if I sent them back right away, more like 9 or ten.

    You add the cost of broadband, plus your $30/ month, plus also getting digital cable we are coming up on $200/ month. Maybe if I am some kind of a porn addict, that’s worth it. . .

  4. Uh? What? Why the HELL would anyone pay for that?
    Everybody here that has a video iPod should just download Handbrake now and be done with it. Convert your DVD collection to mpeg4 and BOOM your done… you’ve got the DVD for your TV, and the high quality digital file for your computer/Vpod….oh yea….as the netflix come in the mail…rip away and put them in your v-iPod too…… uh wait?….
    Did I just say that? oops.

  5. first of all, macbones, pay attention, I’m saying the Pay One Price as a ‘distribution’ model for ‘hollywood’ movies. I tested the Adultbouncer system to see how it works, pron is always first to implement web features, and has been the only industry to generate steady income on the web since the beginning. Hey, at least I’m smart enough to analyze their system from a business perspective. This model works extremely well from a consumer standpoint. $360 a year is simply a maximum price, there is no set ‘subscription term’, cancel after one month of downloading every dvd available if you want, and still pay only $30. Yours to keep forever, burning Netflix or Blockbuster dvds isn’t legal, this is. And don’t tell me you get like 10 movies a month but have no copies lying around. Anyway, this service amounts to 1000 dvds for $30, still way cheaper than Netflix, plus yours to keep. Even if you got broadband for only one month at $50 it still only totals $80, If you don’t have broadband, your probably a Quaker, and don’t have a DVD player either. Now, pay attention folks, what are peoples opinions on a P.o.P. ‘on demand’ service for ‘hollywood’ movies ?

    MDN Magic Word : ‘using’ – as in “trying using that hatrack of yours”

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