It usually takes a while for some industries to warm up to new distribution methods. It comes as no surprise that Hollywood has finally realized that “if you can’t beat them, join them” holds true.
Warner Brothers sat on the negotiating table – opposite of Bram Cohen, who created BitTorrent. It’s certainly ironic that that bittorent was credited as being the single most important vehicle for pirated movies to go around the globe in hours, if not minutes. BW says:
Under the deal, announced May 9, Warner Brothers will distribute and sell over 200 Warner Brothers movies and TV programs through the file-sharing program BitTorrent. Titles range from new movie releases Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to hoary TV chestnuts like Dukes of Hazzard and Babylon 5. While final pricing and timing is yet to be decided, the programs are expected to go on sale this summer, and TV shows could cost as little as $1 per download. BitTorrent “has such a huge audience that we frankly need to convert over to legitimate buyers of our products. We felt we have to do things like this…so that consumers [have] the ability to buy and use our products the way they want to,” says Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.
The genie is out of the bottle, if you ask me. With so many alternative torrent clients and a myriad of trackers, I doubt a lot of people will choose the paid version of a program. It will all come down to ease of use, quality, and naturally, price (DRM could be a big part of the equation too).
BBC has recently launched its pilot service called “Open News Archive” – a free library of video footage. The clips are available for immediate download in three formats: Quicktime, Windows Media, and MPEG1.
All videos are under the “Creative Archive Licence” and as such cannot be used commercially but I bet a lot of people will find uses for it that are well withing the license. For example, I could use the Prince Charles – Camilla wedding footage to illustrate my HD for wedding videography post. Or, make a presentation of how Final Cut Pro works on the new Apple Powermac Quad.
If you want to use the videos as part of a commercial video project, you’ll have to get a different license from the BBC and also pay a license fee.
The pilot site is located here – make sure to bookmark it as the BBC definitely has plans for beefing it up with a LOT more footage. Who knows maybe when you come back in a month or two it will offer torrents as well!
You’ve all heard of Bittorrent which is by far the most popular tool for downloading (il)legal content online. The programmer behind it, Bram “Stoker” Cohen, just struck a deal with the MPAA, effectively refusing all links to illegal content.
OH MY GOD! Can he do this? Of cours, he can. He’s the programmer that wrote Bittorent (and gave us everything we’ve came to associate with it, like Miss Canada).
Would that have any impact on torrent users downloading illegal content? No way. There are many torrent clients now. I recently reviewed µTorrent – a lightweight torrent client. There are thousands of torrent trackers too…
Another blogger likened this to Bram Cohen going to the MPAA and selling them the Brooklyn bridge. Hope they paid him a pretty penny because I never donated to Bittorent and I feel guilty as hell.
If you follow Peter Jackson’s production diary for King Kong, you’ve probably seen the latest note:
With 3 weeks left until the film opens Peter and his crews are left with not much to do, Peter has decided to take a 2 and 1/2 week break and go scuba diving while he gives his entire crew time off to sleep and drink tequila…NOT! The crew are working DOUBLE-TIME to get the final 3 reels of film ready for mass production in facilities around the globe.
Peter Jackson may have lost 80 pounds (obvious in the King Kong movie trailer) but he definitely has some sense of humor left. I bet 7 months of shooting and 7 more for post production are tiring. Hope he finds time for scuba diving once the movie premiers (Dec 17?).