RealTime IT News

BitTorrent Partners With The Man Again

Ever longed for the open seas, an eye patch and a parrot in a quest to become a pirate? Well, it won't happen with BitTorrent.

The company has been headed toward legitimacy for a while now, but today it announced a slate of partnerships with film and television companies, such as 20th Century Fox, G4, Kadokawa Pictures USA, Lionsgate, MTV Networks, Palm Pictures, Paramount Pictures and Starz Media. BitTorrent struck a similar deal with Warner Bros. earlier this year.

The news makes one thing very clear: BitTorrent and the Man? They're golfing buddies.

Through these new partnerships, new film releases from 20th Century Fox, Kadokawa, Lionsgate, Palm, Paramount and Starz Media will be available on the same day as the DVD release, according to a statement.

One exception is Palm Pictures, which plans to be the first studio to release full-length feature films before the theatrical and DVD release dates through the BitTorrent platform.

BitTorrent technology shortens download times by creating a network between users who have downloaded or are downloading the file. It breaks the file into small pieces, so even a user who only has only downloaded a few pieces of the file is able to immediately offer those pieces back for upload, reducing bandwidth constraints across the network.

Although the technology is associated with movie piracy because of its ability to move large file downloads and distribute software, BitTorrent the company is increasingly moving away from the dark side of the forces that fuel digital piracy.

In fall 2005, BitTorrent struck a deal with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to take links of pirated MPAA content off its own BitTorrent search engine.

In April 2005, President Bush signed a law setting criminal penalties of up to 10 years for distributing pre-release movies and music.

Then, in May 2005, the Department of Justice raided Elite Torrents, a peer-to-peer network, for its alleged complicity in the pirating of the movie "Star Wars: Episode III."

Legitimized by law and action, the MPAA started to sue. And win. In one statement, it claimed that 90 percent of sites sued were eventually shut down.

In related news, a BitTorrent spokesperson refuted blog reports that CEO Bram Cohen is on his way out.

"No, he's here to stay," BitTorrent Director of Communications Lily Lin told internetnews.com.