BitTorrent, scourge of copyright, nightmare of content lawyers, anti-DRM protest of the people… except they’ve only gone and spoilt it all by cutting a juicy deal with the movie studios. After playing nice with people like 20th Century Fox, MTV and Paramount last November, they’re now set to announce a movie rental service that will use the same distribution technology that has seen BitTorrent become the file-sharing method of choice for millions.
The New York Times is reporting that the new BitTorrent store will not only provide YouTube-style downloads of free, user-added content, but TV shows at $1.99 per download and films at variable prices (e.g. Superman Returns at $3.99, Reservoir Dogs at $2.99). Thing is, while you get to keep the TV show (though expect some stringent limitations about burning and storing it), thanks to Microsoft’s DRM the films expire within 30 days of purchase or 24hrs after you start watching them.
I’ll leave the final word to The Guardian’s Jack Schofield:
“So now you’ll be able to use the same system to download a movie for free and keep it forever, or download it for $3.99 and have it expire a day later. Yeah, that’ll fly….”