WB to Distribute Content via BitTorrent

Another week, another Hollywood-IP deal.

This time around, it was the Home Entertainment Group of Warner Bros., which announced a partnership with BitTorrent to use its technology to deliver video content. The company's recent announcement came on the heels of an agreement between BitTorrent and the motion Picture Association of America to check film piracy and promote innovation in online content distribution.

"The technology behind BitTorrent is elegantly designed for the delivery of large files like TV programs and films," said Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. "BitTorrent has made the leap in creating a legal partnership that respects the value of intellectual property. This has provided us with a next-generation platform for the distribution of our films and TV programs."

The BitStream "file swarming" approach to transferring massive files from Web sites to PCs provides the speed and efficiency of peer-assisted transfers. The new delivery system becomes the first peer-assisted network in the U.S. to combine high quality video, rapid downloads and guaranteed quality of service. It will provide legal content to customers both on a video-on-demand and "electronic sell through" basis coinciding with DVD release schedules.

Startup date for the service is set for this summer, with more than 200 Warner Bros. titles being offered, including television series, new releases and catalog favorites.

BitTorrent's origins go back to 2001 and an effort to produce an effective Web publication tool for large files. After the company provided a search engine in 2005, the BitTorrent Web site became a convenient location for publishers to showcase their works and for consumers to download that content. The company continues to work in removing copyright-protected content from its search results and to provide a secure and legal venue for consumers in obtaining studio content.