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The Entertainment Industry Blows It On Downloading … Again

February 26th, 2007

Hollywood interests have launched the Bittorrent Entertainment Network, an opportunity to download your favourite movies, legally, through bittorrent technology. A great idea, who’s time has come. Bittorrent works amazingly well, and is a very efficient mover of data. People have been downloading movies this way for a few years, usually illegal versions.

Want to see a movie that was released in your Cineplex last weekend? It’s on some bittorrent network somewhere right now. Lousy cam-cordered version usually, but it’s there. Lets not do as the music guys did, think the Hollywood smart guys, lets make this stuff available.

The result?:

BitTorrent’s newest entertainment network partner is MGM, the legendary Hollywood studio and owner of the world’s largest modern film library. With a roster of over 35 content partners, BitTorrent is offering a breadth and depth of content not found in any other download service. At launch, the network at BitTorrent.com will feature over 5,000 titles of movies, TV shows, PC games and music content, as well as over 40 hours of high-definition (HD) programming. Consumers will be able to enjoy both new releases and catalog movie titles such as “Superman Returns,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “World Trade Center,” “Jackass: Number Two,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Sideways,” and “Thomas Crown Affair.” TV programming will include hits such as “24” and “Prison Break” from 20th Century Fox; “My Super Sweet Sixteen” from MTV: Music Television; “Celebrity Deathmatch” from MTV2; “Muscle Car” and “Xtreme 4×4” from Spike TV; Emmy and Peabody-Award winning “South Park” and “Mind of Mencia” from COMEDY CENTRAL; “Hogan Knows Best” and “Breaking Bonaduce” from VH1; “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” from Nickelodeon; “Skyland” from Nicktoons Network

Beautiful. Time to check it out. Lets pick a movie… Chinatown … how much to buy, where’s the buy button? Oh:

You may watch this on one computer. You have 30 days from the transaction to download the file and 24 hours to watch it after you first click play. See full terms of service.

Rules. I hate rules! I’m trying to buy a movie, and there’s rules. Rule one: can’t buy – rent! Cost $2.99 US. It will take a day to download, then I have to watch it on the computer, can’t burn a version and if I can’t finish watching it when I start, I got 24 hours to watch it. All for the same price as I can get it at blockbuster.

So much for the whole learning from the music industry. And sadly, what they failed to learn is you have one chance to get this right, or some guy and his linux will do it for you.


  1. doug
    February 26th, 2007 at 11:43 | #1

    The Movie Industry can’t ‘get this right.

    The are competing against FREE and they can never win. They are ’embracing’ this technology because they see themselves as having no other choice, but the technology is ‘inherently’ unfriendly to their interests. They can ‘buy’ Bit-torrent’ and make it into their ‘pet’ but that will simply destroy Bit-torrent as users migrate to the next newest ‘outlaw’ ap.

    The Record Industry has found exactly the same thing. While there are more ‘legal’ downloads occurring, the number of ‘dubious’ downloads is not really decreasing, and if it is that might be just the fact that many users now have everything they want at this point in time. And the ‘legal’ downloads are NOT compensating for the collapse of their ‘standard’ distribution channels. Overall they are HURTING big-time.

    Movies will be exactly the same. With one proviso. The files are TOO LARGE for efficient use of the P2P networks. If someone once manages to find a compression system that allows fast download of a ‘quality’ format, then Hollywood will be in some real trouble.

    Frankly I could not care less. maybe once the system collapses, we will get a flock of ‘good’ $5,000,000.00 flics instead of the usual release of ‘mediocre’ $50,000,000.00 disasters. Maybe that is the real secret to a Hollywood future. Don’t worry about new ‘distribution channels’ for you ‘products’. MAKE BETTER AND FAR CHEAPER MOVIES.

    One can hope at any rate.

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