BitTorrent signs with with major studios

File-sharing system enhances legitimacy with corporate deals

BitTorrent Inc. on Wednesday announced deals with several major movie studios and content producers. The moves are part of the company's effort to position its file-sharing software as a legitimate application and show that it is not just a tool for piracy.

The content providers include News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, Kadokawa Group Holdings Inc.'s Kadokawa Pictures USA, Viacom Inc.'s MTV Networks, Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and Starz Media LLC.

The companies will offer their content via BitTorrent's Web site, mostly on a fee basis for ownership or rental. All television programs will be sold only for ownership, BitTorrent said.

The announcements come, ironically, just one day after the first series specifically produced for BitTorrent distribution finished its run. On Tuesday, Jun Group Productions announced the release of the final episode of The Scene, a dramatic series developed (according to the site) as "high-quality, free, legal entertainment to file traders." The series debuted in December 2004.

BitTorrent's downloading software allows for the transmission of large files at high speeds. The software was originally employed by many users for unauthorized transfers of large video and audio files, but the company now has agreements with a large number of major content producers to make their products available legitimately.

Additional reporting by Computerworld.com's Angela Gunn.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

  
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