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BitTorrent Pairs with Warner

Postby SlyckTom » Tue May 09, 2006 2:41 pm

"BitTorrent.com soon to be a destination for downloading Batman, Ocean's 11, and Smallville…" BitTorrent, Inc. president Ashwin Navin exclaims on his web log. The caveat "Legally!" is cleverly inserted; less people think there's a more sinister use to the BitTorrent protocol.

This more sinister use to BitTorrent has been the evil little cousin everyone likes to pretend doesn't exist; yet always manages to ruin the family BBQ. Over time though, BitTorrent, Inc. has distanced itself from readily available unauthorized material. This fact was annunciated in November 2005 when Bram Cohen and the MPAA announced an anti-piracy partnership and established the framework for online movie distribution.

Further efforts to distance the BitTorrent protocol from piracy accumulated throughout early 2006. BitTorrent, Inc. announced a deal with British broadband provider NTL, where high quality material would be available over the ISP’s 100 MB NextGen network. Although the effort is still experimental in nature, it should provide a unique insight into the viability of managing BitTorrent traffic via CacheLogic’s caching technology. If successful, it will alleviate a substantial number of bandwidth concerns many ISPs face today.

BitTorrent, Inc. also shored up an agreement with director Steven Soderbergh at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City early this month. Considerably more progressive when it comes to online film distribution, Soderbergh agreed to release several non-DRM encumbered high definition shorts on BitTorrent.com.

But Soderbergh and NTL can only take BitTorrent so far. Adding credibility to BitTorrent, Inc.’s plight for legitimacy, Warner Brothers has signed on to distribute several films and TV shows via BitTorrent.com. Slated for summer 2006, older movies such as "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride," "Dukes of Hazzard," and "North Country," will be available.

Noticeably scant on the TV distribution menu however; relics such as "Babylon 5" and "Dukes of Hazzard” are also scheduled for online distribution.

The burning question on everyone’s mind eventually boils down to DRM, or Digital Rights Management. The unsurprising answer is yes, the releases will be DRM protected WMA files.

“With the initial rollout, consumers will be able to download programming to their PCs and make a permanent copy of the content with three back-up copies protected by Windows Media DRM,” BitTorrent, Inc. communications direction Lily Lin told Slyck.com. “It's important to note that in some scenarios, including what we're working on with Steven Soderbergh, BitTorrent will offer video with unlimited burning options, without DRM. We believe that's the ideal approach but major studios are going to take one step at a time.”

The DVD quality movies and TV shows have not yet been priced. This decision will be revealed closer to the summer release date.
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Postby cjules13 » Tue May 09, 2006 2:44 pm

So wmv movies eh? Does anyone know if those are easily convertable to DVD format?

I wonder what file size and most importantly, what price they will be at?
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Postby Fartingbob » Tue May 09, 2006 2:53 pm

Should merge the commetns from the other news thread about this into this one Tom.

My thoughts:
Most reports say they will be priced simular to DVD's. despite being inferior quality, with much more restrictive DRM, and it using your own bandwidth to help distribute it without any credit or discount made to those who upload.

What happens if it gets throttled by ISP's? i dont fancy paying £15 for a film only to find it downloads at dial up speeds.

What about less popular films, where there wont be many seeders. will WB give these priority in uplaoding from their servers into the swarm, or will you jsut get much slower speeds?

How will they manage to keep the bit torrent network safe from us evil nonpaying customers?

Are they only doing this so they can later say "we offered DVD's online legally, but these people refused to pay up, so we're gunna sue them for even more than before.' - likely IMO.
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Postby zim » Tue May 09, 2006 2:55 pm

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Postby GraphiX » Tue May 09, 2006 3:45 pm

paying to be restricted???? haha

yea' i can really see this taking off lol

lets choose from a 1001 free torrent sites that give you contents that you can use without restrictions or actually pay these idiots and get restricted.
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Postby Darknight » Tue May 09, 2006 4:48 pm

Not only these files will have nasty DRM, they will be encoded in the worst of all formats. WMV won't even give you the high quality that AVI, MPG or MOV can provide. :roll:
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Postby penguin15793 » Tue May 09, 2006 5:09 pm

lol, pay for tv shows we can watch for free at scheduled times, advertisements you fucking stupid mpaa, advertisements..for once they coudl be good, but nope, so..whos' gonan buy these? not me
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Postby abou105 » Tue May 09, 2006 5:29 pm

what a waste of time, have the studios learnt nothing from the legal music scene?
Information is so valuable in todays society, its understandable people want to lock it up, but the internet is about freedom of information, lets not take that away.
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Postby zbeast » Tue May 09, 2006 7:33 pm

I'm very happy to see Hollywood embracing technology in order to sell there product.
So I wont bag on them too much for trying to do it.
The only reason why I reject these type of services out of hand is
because when I buy something I want to keep it.
Drm'ed files are usually not portable.
I.E. what ever computer you downloaded the file to.
that's the computer you will have to play the file on.
You have to hope the company selling the file will not cancel the service.
You have to not only keep the drm'ed file you have to also keep its access keys.
How many people out there have loss there serial number for a game you have purchased.
At lease in the game example you can just look for a key-gen or crack.
For drm'ed music and video files. Your screwed.
I like watching movies coming from my computer not on my computer.
Usual these drm type types must be played from inside a custom player.
I buy movies, Usually used. $4,00 each and I sill trade movies. That works for me and my friends.
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Postby Alex H » Tue May 09, 2006 7:52 pm

I'm considering downloading Steven Soderbergh's stuff just to show some support for the people saying no to DRM.

Depending on how much it costs I might even download it a few times just to make him look good against all the other DRM-infested shows.

Anyone else up for this?
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Postby AussieMatt » Tue May 09, 2006 8:25 pm

There's an interesting twist to this deal with Bittorrent and it seems that Time Warner hedging its bets and trying different distributed p2p technologies\companies out in different markets and its various online properties.

Kontiki is powering AOL's In2TV

Arvato Mobilea Bertelsmann(Sony\BMG) subsidiary is using its GNAB product for Warner's IN2MOIVES in Germany.

And now we have this Bittorrent and Warner Deal
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Postby denominator » Tue May 09, 2006 9:33 pm

to quote myself from the other thread:

AP Article wrote:Pricing is also undetermined, although individual TV shows could be priced as low as $1 and movies will be sold for about the price of buying a DVD, BitTorrent said.

link to AP article

so, for basically the same price as a physical dvd, a consumer can download a film that has DRM and won't play on a standalone player?

I just don't see that going over very well for the general public, unless the prices of the films are greatly reduced. I'm sure most consumers would prefer to have a physical copy that they can play in their standalone players in their entertainment centers, mobile dvd players, and computers if they choose.
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Postby ShawnSpree » Tue May 09, 2006 10:37 pm

Wait til some cable ISP customers try to join and there internet becomes throttled by packet shapping technology, or people that can only download so many gigs a month.
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Postby curzlgt » Tue May 09, 2006 10:40 pm

Brought the honeypot pic out again :?:

Lot of sides on this one :? Its a first step, and overall I can't fault BitTorrent. Its not as if they are in a position to dictate terms. Give it some time, and some succeses, see if they capture significant market share, and if they can expand the market.

If that happens, they may become the next iTunes.

And I still see no harm coming to filesharers from these actions.

I do agree that the major studios want to see this fail, just as the major lables wanted iTunes to fail....

However, most of the quality movies made in the US are independents, imo. I suspect that most of them would love to find a better distribution partner than the studios. A partner that offers a more equitable deal, that alows them to to offer their customers the choices they want.....

All that being said, it is very early on this, and I'll wait to see how it unfolds. For now though, I'm likely to pass personally. At least till the content they distribute does not restrict my fair use rights, till I can view what I own the way I want, when and how I want. Also, the content must be priced to reflect the new distribution modle.

Content, priceing, and fair use, will be the ultimate deciders for me.

Good luck!
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Postby Drake » Tue May 09, 2006 11:14 pm

curzlgt wrote:And I still see no harm coming to filesharers from these actions.


The MPAA can now turn up the heat and argue that there are viable legal options available, even though they will be offering an inferior DRM'd product.

curzlgt wrote:I do agree that the major studios want to see this fail, just as the major lables wanted iTunes to fail....


Maybe. Then again, I think they might be excited about having the opportunity to charge the same amount of money for an inferior product and still be able to get away with cutting out some middlemen. They shouldn't be charging more than they charge retailers but apparently they don't agree.

curzlgt wrote:Content, priceing, and fair use, will be the ultimate deciders for me.


I thought George W. Bush was the decider. ;)

All in all, they're offering a crappy product.
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Postby indecision04 » Tue May 09, 2006 11:14 pm

Fartingbob wrote:What happens if it gets throttled by ISP's? i dont fancy paying £15 for a film only to find it downloads at dial up speeds.


Actually, maybe this will help stop ISP's from throttling.
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Postby denominator » Tue May 09, 2006 11:52 pm

indecision04 wrote:Actually, maybe this will help stop ISP's from throttling.


why would this change anything? they're not throttling the bt traffic because of it's legality or possible uses, they're throttling it because of the massive bandwidth users are consuming.
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Postby curzlgt » Wed May 10, 2006 12:42 am

Drake wrote:
curzlgt wrote:And I still see no harm coming to filesharers from these actions.


The MPAA can now turn up the heat and argue that there are viable legal options available, even though they will be offering an inferior DRM'd product.

curzlgt wrote:I do agree that the major studios want to see this fail, just as the major lables wanted iTunes to fail....


Maybe. Then again, I think they might be excited about having the opportunity to charge the same amount of money for an inferior product and still be able to get away with cutting out some middlemen. They shouldn't be charging more than they charge retailers but apparently they don't agree.

curzlgt wrote:Content, priceing, and fair use, will be the ultimate deciders for me.


I thought George W. Bush was the decider. ;)

All in all, they're offering a crappy product.


The MPAA has had its hand on the thermostat at least since Movielink, they can turn the heat up whenever they want :? The MPAA, so far, seems smarter about the possibility of alienating their customers, instead focusing on for profit pirates. You could be right though......

And no doubt, $ signs dance in their heads when they think about pocketing the unecessasary middlemen's cut, instead of passing it along to the customer. :roll:

No fair! I want to be The Decider :x I'm bigger, smarter, and my dad's tougher than his dad :P

I'll save my all in all assesment for a while yet.
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Postby king8654 » Wed May 10, 2006 1:11 am

Fartingbob wrote:
What happens if it gets throttled by ISP's? i dont fancy paying £15 for a film only to find it downloads at dial up speeds.


mmh...ISP's probably will not charge any differently, mostly due to the fact that throttling is to relieve the backbone, not a argument over whether legal or not.
Anyways, with the encryption being thrown into bittorrent clients, throttling is not the biggest enemy.

Hollywood is definetly moving in the right direction, but still they have their heads up their asses. Offer a service to the public that probably will ease up movie piracy, but instead of building off that they reverse the positive aspects with pricing an the deadly DRM.

I would like to see maybe the new DRMS coming out, i believe from Sun, implemented instead of these restrictive DRMS putting restrictions on digital items we pay for.( We not involving "me")

curzlgt wrote:

Content, priceing, and fair use, will be the ultimate deciders for me.


Content - DRM non-DVD quality
Pricing - Over The Hill...Crazyy
Fair use - Prollyyy NOT, one computer playing one allowed dvd...OK

Ive decided...Bittorrent Trackers For FREE
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Postby Fartingbob » Wed May 10, 2006 4:14 am

king8654 wrote:
Fartingbob wrote:
What happens if it gets throttled by ISP's? i dont fancy paying £15 for a film only to find it downloads at dial up speeds.


mmh...ISP's probably will not charge any differently, mostly due to the fact that throttling is to relieve the backbone, not a argument over whether legal or not.

ISP's throttle BT traffic because it consumes so much of the bandwidth, not because they disagree with the content. So whether its a legal movie download or an illegal DVD, they cna throttle it all the same. But unless WB can guarentee that wont happen or you get your money back, then it'll become a serious problem as BT throttling continues to grow.
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Postby yaveznodo » Wed May 10, 2006 5:16 am

Right idea, wrong implementation, yet again.

Do they even know what's going on with their customers? Will they ever actually think their decisions through logically?

Doubtful.

We don't want DRM. We don't want limitations. We want a fair product for a fair price, it's not too much to ask, after all we're the ones paying for this stuff.

Here's a personal example. Spenser For Hire, been watnting to watch it for ages, big fan. It's being shown on AOL'S In2Tv. Yippee! I thought. So I downloaded their software, set it all up, spent two hours downloading the content. Then it flashes, you can't watch this because you're not in the USA. I can't buy the series, can't watch it if I'm not in the USA. What else am I going to do but go to an illegal chanel for downloading?

You guessed it. Straight to the newsservers for a search.

These dinosaurs better start delivering what people are asking for, instead of what they think they can get away with.
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Postby AussieMatt » Wed May 10, 2006 7:05 am

yaveznodo wrote:Right idea, wrong implementation, yet again.

Do they even know what's going on with their customers? Will they ever actually think their decisions through logically?

Doubtful.

We don't want DRM. We don't want limitations. We want a fair product for a fair price, it's not too much to ask, after all we're the ones paying for this stuff.

Here's a personal example. Spenser For Hire, been wanting to watch it for ages, big fan. It's being shown on AOL'S In2Tv. Yippee! I thought. So I downloaded their software, set it all up, spent two hours downloading the content. Then it flashes, you can't watch this because you're not in the USA. I can't buy the series, can't watch it if I'm not in the USA. What else am I going to do but go to an illegal Chanel for downloading?

You guessed it. Straight to the news servers for a search.

These dinosaurs better start delivering what people are asking for, instead of what they think they can get away with.


Unfortunately syndication of TV shows is controlled by the local affiliates in your country and they would get pretty pissed off with Time Warner if they started to directly engage customers in overseas markets .

The Non US Networks need to come to the realization that they no longer control TV programing and the internet made TV and Video distribution global .If they dont provide the distribution channel the internet community will .Time to jump on baord Network affiliates .

You can always use a US proxy to access content from the US from overseas.
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Postby liberator » Wed May 10, 2006 9:21 am

We are soon going to discover one more truth about BitTorrent Inc (so sad). Now they have a deal and are offering content we will find out they possess NO TRACKER worth it's salt. Not C++ based, not PHP based, not even in Python apart from some reference implementation. No frontend, no backend. No community portal supporting registrations and security features as well. Nothing. Despite all the talking about the centrality of the tracker. We'll find out that nowadays BitTorrent Inc is mostly about talking and press releases.
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Postby ring_leader_uk » Wed May 10, 2006 4:49 pm

well, at least they're on the right track, and it's about time too. Thank god someone has finally taken into account the massive commercial potential of bittorrent. Having said that, the DRM protection will be a bit of a pain in the arse, as presumably it will prevent propper peering?
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Postby SlyckScratch » Thu May 18, 2006 12:47 pm

It just struck me that if you buy a download from this service, they also have to give you permission to distribute/upload their copyright works. I wonder what the license agreement looks like...
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