Warner Bros. to distribute movies via BitTorrent

— 4:31 PM on May 9, 2006

The Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has announced a partnership with BitTorrent that promises to make some 200 of Warner's movie and TV titles legally available for download. Content will appear on the bittorrent.com website this summer, and it will be available on "both a video-on-demand (VOD) and electronic sell through (EST) basis." The press release doesn't clarify these terms, but it implies customers will be able either to rent or to purchase content to keep. New movie titles will appear on the site at the same time as their DVD releases, and a back catalogue of 200 movies and TV shows including Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Tim Burton's s Corpse Bride, and Babylon 5 will be available.

No pricing was disclosed for the service, but the press release mentions "integrated monetization for paid and ad-supported content." ExtremeTech claims BitTorrent expects pricing for TV shows to be comparable to other services that charge $1 per episode. Naturally, content is said to be encrypted with "new digital rights management (DRM) software," and buyers will be unable to burn acquired movies and shows to DVDs.

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