Dawn C. Chmielewski of the San Jose Mercury News reports that Bram Cohen, the author of the popular file-sharing application known as BitTorrent, is meeting with Hollywood film studios in hopes of legitimately distributing major motion pictures using BT’s technology. Yes, you would have to pay to download a film, but the BT distribution model is about as good as you are going to get at this point in time.
For those who don’t know about BitTorrent, what sets it apart from peer-to-peer, file-sharing apps like the original Napster and Limewire is that instead of downloading one file from someone else’s computer on the service’s network, BT breaks the file apart and allows you to grab different these segments of the file from anywhere on the network to speed up the download. Basically, the more popular a file, the faster the download. A better explanation can be found on BitTorrent’s introduction page.
I used BT to download the entire 2005 season of “Doctor Who,” which was the only way I was able to watch it since no U.S. network bothered to buy the broadcast rights : (
Anyway, I love the promise of BitTorrent and I hope the movie industry figures out a way to embrace the technology that will be beneficial to all parties involved.