There's a direction that just about every MPAA-fearing BitTorrent developer wants to journey to, and that's legitimacy. The legal threat faced by movie industry, coupled by the growingly lucrative allure of complicity, is changing the face of BitTorret sites and clients. BitTorrent, Inc. has led the charge, and by example has discovered the golden egg to P2P triumph. It has accomplished this by simultaneously keeping both the customer and content provider satisfied - until now a seemingly impossible feat.
Azureus, one of the most popular BitTorrent clients, is following Bram & co.'s example with today's concurrent release of Zudeo and version 3.0 of their software. Additionally, Azureus has successfully scored an additional round of capital investment, scoring a reported $12 million from Redpoint Ventures and BV Capital.
This cash infusion will go towards building up Azureus' content layer, which was announced by the BitTorrent company in April of this year. Similar in nature to BitTorrent.com, Azureus is looking to build the user experience by offering a wide array of authorized high definition, independent and mainstream video.
A major difference between the BitTorrent, Inc. experience and the one offered by Azureus is Zudeo. Zudeo functions on two planes; on the World Wide Web (WWW), while also integrating into the Azureus application.
Functioning on the web, Zudeo is similar in nature to any video website, even BitTorrent.com. However Zudeo's organization has the look and feel of YouTube or Yahoo! video - rather than a retrofitted developer's site. Zudeo also appears to have one advantage over the competition - Zudeo's integration.
The latest release of Azureus 3.0 is a complete aesthetic departure from the 2.x series. Azureus 3.0 integrates Zudeo, which displays the web index on the BitTorrent client. Also, there's a clever search feature accompanying the client, which searches the Zudeo content layer for authorized content. There's even a section of Azureus dedicated to publishing authorized content.
The latest iteration of Azurues is many things, and there are many things the new Azureus is not. Azureus is quickly following the successful lead of BitTorrent, Inc. and striking deals while the iron's hot. There are talks that major studios will start distribution content as well in the coming months.
It's apparent the movie studios recognize that BitTorrent is the distribution avenue for the immediate future. Millions of computer users are already familiar with the most popular site and clients, all content providers need to do is provide an option. Many, if not a majority, will overlook this option, but that doesn't really matter. Considering the massive volume of BitTorrent users, only a small fraction need to participate to make the venture successful.
The new Azureus is also trying its best to avoid the "piracy tool" stigma. Zudeo's content layer will be moderated for unauthorized publications, and Azurues' search feature doesn't travel outside of the Zudeo index.
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