BitTorrent Signs Deal With Warner Bros.

BitTorrent said Tuesday that it had struck a content deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment to use the network to distribute movies and television shows. It is believed to be the first of its kind between a file-sharing company and the entertainment industry.

The service would begin this summer, say BitTorrent executives. Television shows could sell for as litlle as $1, half the price of iTunes video downloads. The company's technology has sparked the interest of Hollywood as a easy way to distribute digital content, said BitTorrent president Ashwin Navin.

Navin also said that the company has wrongly been given a bad name by those who have decided to use the file sharing protocol for illicit purposes. He argues that the company itself has never facilitated piracy, and is working to disassociate itself with those who participate in such activity.

BitTorrent has caught on as a way to transfer copyright material due to both its decentralized nature and ability to transfer files in some cases very quickly. The technology breaks files into small pieces that are then distributed to several computers. Once downloaded, these pieces are reassembled into a single file.

Some are not impressed with the deal however, saying BitTorrent is not user friendly. "While BitTorrent might be good and all, it still cannot meet the ease-of-download of iTunes, which like music, is making downloading legal video a mainstream activity," noted technology pundit Om Malik said.

"BitTorrent is a great way to distribute content, but the slow uplink speeds, and individual file sharers-throttling the bandwidth ruins the experience," he continued.

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