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WB to sell vids via P2P (in Germany)

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Intersting. ABC and NBC took the lead in tv show downlaods via iTunes
and with Jobs at Disney, ABC might be getting ready for a big leap
forward. Now, it looks like WB is upping the ante and trying to
leapfrog them by offering legal p2p downloads of movies and tv shows.
It's an interesting idea, but i wonder if the savings that WB is going
to get (from not having to allocate a huge set of servers) will be
passed on to the consumer at all. My guess is no.


In a move that shows Hollywood is examining the benefits of a
technology it long reviled, Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. is expected
to announce today that it will sell movies and television shows online
in Germany using peer-to-peer technology.

Warner Bros. is working with Bertelsmann AG and its subsidiary Arvato
to create a service called In2Movies, to launch in March. The service
will feature movies dubbed into German, including "Batman Begins" and
"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," for a fee that Warner says will
be similar to the cost of a DVD. It will also offer television shows
like "The O.C." and locally made programs and movies. Users, who will
have to register for the service, will be able to keep the movie
indefinitely. But instead of getting a movie from a central server,
pieces of it could come from other people on the network who also
bought that movie.

The Arvato architecture is similar to that used by peer-to-peer systems
like BitTorrent, a technology that enables millions of people to share
copyrighted movies and other material online without paying for them.
Peer-to-peer technology has long been blamed for enabling the theft of
music and movies online. But with Internet and DVD piracy on the rise,
the Hollywood studios are looking for ways to harness peer-to-peer and
other Internet-based technologies.

"Studios can't just turn their backs and hope 'P2P' is going to go away
tomorrow," says Kevin Tsujihara, president, Warner Bros. Home
Entertainment Group. In2Movies will use Arvato's new platform, called
GNAB to deliver movies. GNAB adds security features onto the movies so
they can't be pirated, makes sure the movie owners get paid each time a
consumer on In2Movies buys a movie, and routes the movies through
computers owned by In2Movies' users. By using the service, people will
essentially agree to let In2Movies turn their own computers into
miniservers to help distribute entertainment to others around the

In Germany, In2Movies will be competing with services that provide
online access to filmed entertainment, among them an Internet
movie-rental service run by Deutsche Telekom AG. It will also be going
up against stores that sell physical DVDs.

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