Bram Cohen woos Hollywood with Bit Torrent

Written by Wil Harris

August 2, 2005 | 16:43

Tags: #bit-torrent #bram-cohen #file-sharing #hollywood #mpaa

Surely everybody reading bit-tech will be, shall we say, intimately familiar with the file-sharing programme Bit Torrent.

Whether it's for the latest (legal) gaming downloads, or the latest (dubious) cinema releases, there's no doubt that the technology has turned file-sharing on its head. No longer is it hard to get hold of popular, new content - the more popular something is, the easier it is to grab.

The fact that this is an entirely new distribution method is not lost on Hollywood. The MPAA has been in talks with Bram Cohen, the software's creator, about how BT can be utilised to digitally distribute films online.

From the Mercury News:

" 'We have no aversion to peer-to-peer technology. For us, it is in some respects kind of a promising delivery method,' said Darcy Antonellis, senior vice president of worldwide anti-piracy for Warner Bros. Studios. 'We obviously have issues with its illegal uses, but to the extent that the use of the technology can be legitimized, we're all for it.' "

Hillary Rosen, who I once beat into metaporical pulp in a debate at the Oxford Union, had an interesting take.

" In the past, negotiations have failed because of the entertainment industry's reluctance to put a pirate in business, said Hilary Rosen, the former head of the Recording Industry Association of America. Peer-to-peer companies, meanwhile, have been reluctant to go dark or filter out copyrighted works, for fear of losing their loyal users, she said."

Are we in danger of losing Bit Torrent to the man? How long can sites like ThePirateBay stay up if Hollywood muscles in? Shouldn't we support a guy that created something cool and is now trying to make a bit of cash out of it? The questions go on and on... let us know your thoughts.
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