Movie Studios Still Confused About How BitTorrent Works

from the not-the-same-benefit dept

It's no secret that the movie industry has had some trouble understanding BitTorrent. Early on, they blamed the technology for file sharing -- despite it simply being a technology for efficient distribution of popular files. After plenty of people worked very hard to try to explain to the industry that BitTorrent wasn't the problem, the industry finally agreed to a deal with BitTorrent, the company, that was only notable for its lack of anything notable in the deal. Of course, now that they're trying to embrace BitTorrent, is it really a surprise that they clearly still don't get it? Warner Brothers is about to get a lot of publicity for its decision to use BitTorrent to distribute films and TV shows online. However, the details are not that impressive. Like other recent moves by the movie industry, they seem to take much of the convenience out of the deal. The content will have plenty of annoying copy protection, meaning you'll be able to burn a single copy to a DVD... but that DVD will only play on a computer, not a DVD player. On top of that, the prices will be approximately equal to the price of a DVD. So, people will pay the same amount for much less? Warner Brothers doesn't have to pay for packaging or materials and, thanks to BitTorrent, they don't even have to pay for bandwidth! In fact, that's where this gets even more ridiculous. They're offloading the cost of the bandwidth onto the buyers, but giving them no benefit in return. Also, of course, the real benefit to BitTorrent is only for content where there's a lot of demand and many people are downloading at once, so BitTorrent spreads around the load. In a system like this, there's a good chance that there won't be enough demand at any given point in time to see that much of a benefit for using BitTorrent. It seems like this is the type of deal Warner is doing just so they can claim they're embracing BitTorrent.

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  1. identicon
    Brenda, 9 May 2006 @ 8:35am

    Mike got quoted at CNET

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