Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Warner Bros. to Distribute Films Using Bit Torrent

The popularity of video on portable devices has studios looking to tap into…wait for it…peer-to-peer file-sharing.
May 9, 2006

Music, movie, and film studios have been battling file-trading networks since 1999, attempting to shut down these peer services, while also hoping to build their own distribution network directly into the home. Unfortunately, many of those studios found that creating their own e-commerce distribution network, complete with unwieldy digital rights management, was not very compelling to consumers.

(Why? Quick: what studio put out your favorite movie this year? What music label distributes your favorite bands?)

Eventually, a few vendors began popping up, most notably, Apple’s iTunes, and that seemed like a really good idea for entertainment studios – until they realized that by utterly destroying the digital retail market a few years back, they are left with precious few places to go when it comes to selling their wares.

So, naturally, you can expect to see these companies begin turning to the very file-sharing networks they attempted to shut down. Warner Bros. announced that it would begin selling its film and television shows using Bit Torrent, a popular tool for sharing large files.

From the Associated Press article:

Warner Bros., a division of Time Warner Inc., said it will use BitTorrent’s ability to speed the downloading of large computer files to rent and sell its films the same day the movies become available on DVD…

“If we can convert 5, 10, 15 percent of the peer-to-peer users that have been obtaining our product from illegitimate sources to becoming legitimate buyers of our product, that has the potential of a huge impact on our industry and our economics,” said Kevin Tsujihara, president of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

It’s a shame nobody thought of this back in 1998.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

It’s time to retire the term “user”

The proliferation of AI means we need a new word.

The problem with plug-in hybrids? Their drivers.

Plug-in hybrids are often sold as a transition to EVs, but new data from Europe shows we’re still underestimating the emissions they produce.

Sam Altman says helpful agents are poised to become AI’s killer function

Open AI’s CEO says we won’t need new hardware or lots more training data to get there.

A brief, weird history of brainwashing

L. Ron Hubbard, Operation Midnight Climax, and stochastic terrorism—the race for mind control changed America forever.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.