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BitTorrent Becomes Ever More Legit 169

Posted by Zonk
from the even-pirates-have-a-day-job dept.
lily_bt writes "BitTorrent just signed a deal with 4 entertainment distributors to add more than 1,600 titles to its video library. From 'SuperSize Me' to The Three Stooges to Bollywood films, BitTorrent wants to offer the most comprehensive service when it launches its pay service. The best part is that this content will be made available by subscription." From the article: "Once distrustful of peer-to-peer technologies, Hollywood studios appear more willing to partner with companies such as BitTorrent and video-sharing site Guba.com, which last month partnered with Warner Bros. to distribute movie titles. BitTorrent, widely used to both legally and illegally swap copies of copyright movies, has been aiming to turn its technology into a tool used for legal services."
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BitTorrent Becomes Ever More Legit

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  • cool (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spykemail (983593)
    The more legit BitTorrent makes itself look the better. As long as I can get quasi-legal fansubs I'm happy.
    • Re:cool (Score:2, Informative)

      by Suzuran (163234)
      Please understand: FANSUB ARE ILLEGAL. No ifs, ands, or buts. Fansubs are TOLERATED. TOLERATED != LEGAL, or even QUASI-LEGAL. Fansubbing can be stopped at any time once someone gets the money and motivation to enforce the law against fansubbers.

      If you don't like this, do something about it.
  • OMG (Score:3, Funny)

    by teknoboy (541506) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:53AM (#15697198) Homepage
    They are pulling a Napster! This time without being sued first...
    • Re:OMG (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GundamFan (848341)
      You know... I think Bittorrent never really wanted to be the illegal content distribution system of choice... at least on paper.
    • Re:OMG (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nutshell42 (557890)
      They are pulling a Napster! This time without being sued first...

      Could be because the movie industry is in almost every respect a bit less evil and a bit less stupid than the music industry. Perhaps because they have the music industry as a bad example on how not to do it.

    • That's one way to put it. Another would be that they're pulling a M.C. Hammer.
  • Great, but... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:55AM (#15697208)
    ...why should I suddenly trust them now?

    Every step they've made so far has been in the worst possible faith. I fully expect this to be another step in the same vein. What's their motive this time? Will the distributed content be so crippled and overpriced as to ensure failure and attempt to strong-arm yet more draconian laws?

    Until the RIAA and MPAA are disbanded, I won't be trusting either industry - and I'll be doing my level best to avoid buying their products, even if that means my not having any movies or music at all.
    • Re:Great, but... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Until the RIAA and MPAA are disbanded, I won't be trusting either industry - and I'll be doing my level best to avoid buying their products, even if that means my not having any movies or music at all.

      I second you on that. I have actually and drastically reduced the number of movies seen and music heard. Nor I waste my time to download them on P2P network. Simply I prefer to spend my time and money to other activities. There are plenty of things to do in one's life to not get bored.. though there are so
      • De minimis is dead (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)
        Yet, independent movies and bands have still a great value.

        How can one make an independent documentary film if it costs $10,000 to license four seconds of copyrighted TV show that happened to be showing on the television set in one of the documentary subject's room? How can an independent band publish an album if it runs the risk of accidentally tripping over someone's copyrighted melody [slashdot.org]?

      • While I certainly understand your sentiment, I can't entirely agree. I can do without movies -- I watch perhaps 1 every other month. But music? Gotta have it. No, not the redundent bubble-gum pop, but I am a hard rock junkie. Corrosion of Confirmity, Union Underground, Godsmack, Mushroomhead, Saliva, Stabbing Westward, White Zombie, Tool... gotta have 'em. Especially during long coding or graphic design sessions. I can't imagine writing code or painting for hours on end with no music! Maybe it's my own char
        • by Belial6 (794905) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:44AM (#15699001)
          Lets hope they are not paying attention. You just told them that you cannot function without buying their product. That means they can do anything they want, and you will still buy it. Given your statment about coding, I assume that you do this for a living? If so, you just told the RIAA that you cannot earn a living without their product. Why in the world would they sell their product for a fair price, and treat you with any respect if you cannot do without it?

          You've put yourself in the position of a haroin addict, and told the only dealer in town, just how bad your addiction is. Don't take this as an insult, because you certainly have a right to buy what products you want, but it is people like you that makes sure consumers have absolutly no leverage in negotiating a fair deal. The RIAA will take 1 of you over 5 of me, because they can charge you 6 times as much as me.
          • Given your statment about coding, I assume that you do this for a living?

            No, I work in retail, programming is just a hobby I happen to thoroughly enjoy.

            You've put yourself in the position of a haroin[sic] addict...

            Come again?? How on Earth do you equate enjoying music with a drug addiction?! Mind you, having some good background music makes the time go faster for me while coding, but I certainly won't go into anything resembling a crippling withdrawel. Good God, that's worse than a failed car analogy.

            • "No, I work in retail, programming is just a hobby I happen to thoroughly enjoy. "
              Fair enough.

              "Come again?? How on Earth do you equate enjoying music with a drug addiction?! Mind you, having some good background music makes the time go faster for me while coding, but I certainly won't go into anything resembling a crippling withdrawel. Good God, that's worse than a failed car analogy. Try to make some sense here, will ya? "
              Well, you said:
              "But music? Gotta have it. No, not the redundent bubble-gum p
    • re:" I won't be trusting either industry - and I'll be doing my level best to avoid buying their products, even if that means my not having any movies or music at all."

      Which is why they CARE so much about you. Now if you were a current customer....
    • Until the RIAA and MPAA are disbanded, I won't be trusting either industry - and I'll be doing my level best to avoid buying their products, even if that means my not having any movies or music at all.

      But, even though you are one of the most popular persons here on slashdot and the internet and world as a whole (Anonymous Coward), even you cannot completely avoid paying the *AA products, and most people are just too lazy and have the cash to just buy movies and music at Wal-mart or wherever.

      Also, not all mo
  • Subscription (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot@spad.YEATSco.uk minus poet> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:55AM (#15697209) Homepage
    The best part is that this content will be made available by subscription.

    Let me guess, it'll be in WMV format, you won't be allowed to burn it to DVD and if you terminate your subscription you'll lose access to any movies you've downloaded so far (Assuming, that is, that you're actually allowed to keep them for longer than 24 hours).
    • We're sorry, but our system indicates that you are not eligible to purchase the item you requested for one or more of the reasons listed below.

      - Your internet browser is not Microsoft Internet Explorer (Firefox compatibility coming very soon!)

      With our sincerest apologies to non-United States and Apple, Linux and other non-Windows users, in order to enjoy the GUBA Premium service, you must be located in the United States, and use Windows 2000 or XP with Windows Media Player 9.0 or higher, which support the W

      • The first time I read your comment, I thought you said:
        So hopefully they mean what they say and they'll actually support more than just windows and die soon.

        Which I feel would be the best possible outcome, incidentally.
    • Re:Subscription (Score:4, Insightful)

      by beh (4759) * on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:26AM (#15697352)
      What would interest me more is how they would put bittorrent to use with DRM?

      If they want to make sure that only YOU can watch the movie, or - in case you burn it on DVD and give it away - track you down if you spread copies, they would need to make sure that you get YOUR personalised copy of it (either with a fixed end-of-validity: say, you order your copy at 4:38pm, and it times out 4:37 next day -- or imprinted with some signature so that they will know YOU copied the movie), how would that still work with a distributed protocol a la bittorrent?

      I don't see how it could - client caching doesn't make any sense (because of time limits in viewing), and it doesn't make a sense downloading a single block for someone else, just so THEY can download quicker.

      Or - they go and encrypt all movies exactly the same and give you a temporary key for the file to allow you to decrypt it for a short while -- but is there a format that would allow for changing keys? (WITHOUT the danger of someone finding a way to crack the thing without knowing a temporary key? In that case, ANYONE could download a movie and decrypt it permanently - couldn't they?)

      • WITHOUT the danger of someone finding a way to crack the thing without knowing a temporary key?

        That's what the DMCA was originally intended for: to keep people from doing the Internet equivalent of "stealing" cable TV.

      • Re:Subscription (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kadin2048 (468275) <`ten.yxox' `ta' `nidak.todhsals'> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @09:15AM (#15697707) Homepage Journal
        I'm interested in their answer to this as well.

        This question came up the last time the idea of legitimate, DRM-ed P2P software was discussed, and I didn't see any answer.

        The whole advantage of BT versus a direct transfer protocol is the client-to-client aspect, which can only work as long as each client wants the same file. This means that you can't encrypt every file with a per-user/per-file key, and have to rely on the client software to apply the DRM to the final file. (As I believe iTunes does -- or used to do, anyway; wasn't the whole point of pyMusique that it could save files without applying the DRM?)

        I have no idea how the system actually works, but if I were going to design something like it, I'd say that you'd have to have files that were encrypted with a per-file global key (this theoretically limits their use to users of the service, rather than just everyone, at least until the files+key escape onto the net) and then encrypt the files as they're written to disk (including the temp files) with a per-download key which would be used to enforce the expiration and single-user nature of the files. The keys would have to be kept inside the application, or inside the Windows Media framework, and the system would depend fundamentally on the security of the client software and the its prevention of user access of the keystore.

        Oh, and the peer-to-peer connections between various clients would have to be encrypted with randomly generated keys, so that a user couldn't just capture packets flowing into the machine and reconstruct the un-DRMed file that way. This handshaking could also be used to (attempt to) verify the integrity of the clients to each other, so that a user couldn't inject an untrustworthy client and get un-DRMed content -- although I think it's impossible to block this avenue completely in the long run. (This is the pyMusique approach, at least as I understand it: simulate a client and get the file as normal, but just don't apply the DRM as the 'real' client does. However a P2P based system is more vulnerable to this attack than a centralized, iTMS-like service, since you can't arbitrarily change the handshaking procedure whenever you want: older versions of the client will still be out there, talking to each other, unless you have some sort of remote killswitch or enforced auto-updates.)

        That I know of, there are at least parts of the Windows Media DRM system which remain unhacked, including it's key-management functions for DRMed files; although I suspect this is not due to any fundamental features of the system but more because of its limited use right now (and easier ways to bypass it that don't involve breaking the DRM itself, i.e. Audio Hijack). In the long run, a system like this can only work with any kind of security with Treacherous Computing technology that restricts the user from ever accessing the keystore, and even then I'm not sure you can guarantee security that way.

        Because what you're trying to do is give the user access to something and keep them from it at the same time, all DRM systems are a bit schizophrenic, and this is no exception.
      • Maybe a propriety client which has to be used (enforced e.g. by using encryption) which will add the DRM after the file is downloaded. The client would also be able to extract the original file from the DRM'd version and so be able to send it on. I believe iTMS works (or worked) like this which was why SharpMusique could download tracks without DRM.

        If this is indeed the case, I look forward to it failing dismally.

    • i can't wait to pay a subscription so that i can seed videos!

      it's not like i use my computer for work or anything. i will spend all of my time downloading movies legally via legal bit torrent, then while i'm watching the video i can seed it! it is the perfect plan!
    • Not to mention, you won't be able to play it on a Mac.

      Gripe all you want, Slashdot hordes, about Apple's DRM, but at least Apple's is cross-platform. Microsoft hasn't even bothered to try to port theirs to OS X.
    • Not being allowed to burn to DVD is the sore spot. I wont watch movies that i $$$ for on my stinking square 17" monitor.

      I believe this will not succeed.
  • by mobiux (118006) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:55AM (#15697214)
    I thought bittorrent was the technology of filesharing where everyone sends parts of the whole file. Sure there is the tracking file that enables it, but isn't this essentially using everyone elses bandwidth for thier profit?

    It just doesn't make sense to me why anyone would pay for this.
    "Pay us a fee, you can get movies, but you have to share the bandwidth you've already paid for?"

    • by DieNadel (550271) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:04AM (#15697255)
      Unless the businessmodel encompasses something like paying for your bandwidth.

      I have broadband at home, but I spend most of my time working in the office. It would be nice to let bittorrent use my connection while I'm not using it and when I get home I'd be able to download, say, 3 films or something.

      It reminds me of the old time mp3 FTP file sharing: if someone uploads 1MB, then this account would be able to download 10MB.

      Anyway, I usually watch a movie a day. If the monthly subscription is cheaper than a cable, or DirectTV pay-per-view or even renting a movie each day, it would be fine by me to only "own" a movie for 24hs.
      • Anyway, I usually watch a movie a day. If the monthly subscription is cheaper than a cable, or DirectTV pay-per-view or even renting a movie each day, it would be fine by me to only "own" a movie for 24hs.

        But, stuff happens. Sometimes you can't finish watching the film, because something cropped up. If you own the DVD, you can go back at any time. Even if you rent from a shop, you can watch it the next night. Sure, you might incur a small fine, but at least the media doesn't magically disappear.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          You should probably speak for yourself. If this person is watching a movie a day, I'm guessing not a lot crops up.
        • But you have the same problem with pay-per-view. Usually movie pay-per-view is only valid for 24-30hs. And where I live, the fine for not returning a DVD on time is the same price of re-renting it (lower fines are not an option around here).
          • True, but with PPV, you've generally decided, "right, I have 2 hours spare, what's there to watch". I can't see many doing the same with this model, since you'll have to wait at least 2 hours for the thing to download. Or are they aiming at the ubergeek with SDSL?
      • Anyway, I usually watch a movie a day.

        I know this isn't the point of the topic, but that interests me. I watch a movie a month! Maybe 2 because of rentals. Which one of us is out from the norm? Now I'm going to have to ask my coworkers this question. Are you including TV shows as movies?

        So I assume a new movie comes out every few months. Now there is a significant set of existing movies so it is possible to watch more movies per month than the number of new movies that are made per month. But one

        • It is a movie a day, including TV movies and re-watching old movies (except when the original CSI is on, that is). I agree it would be close to impossible to watch a new movie each day.

          But that's almost all I spend with TV during weekdays. On weekends I tend to watch a bit more, but not much more.
    • The article does a really bad job of emphasizing the difference between Bittorrent the download protocol/technology, and BitTorrent, the CA-based company.

      It's kind of like what would happen if Yahoo! had named itself "HTTP" back in the early 90s.

      What's basically happening here is that a company (BitTorrent) is marketing a service which (I think) uses the bittorrent protocol to share DRMed movies, as part of a subscription service.

      From a technical standpoint, this has as much to do with the Pirate Bay's use of BT as Apple's iTunes does with AllOfMP3.com, since they both use HTTP. Which is to say, basically none.

      However, from an economic/political standpoint, this could be a good thing depending on how you look at it. Because BitTorrent, Inc. is the 'public face' of the BT protocol, whatever it does reflects on the perception of bittorrrent generally. If it's perceived as being legitimate, then it dampens the kneejerk "bittorrent == piracy" reaction, even though the majority of the traffic using that protocol on the network at any given time may be illegitimate or pirated. This perception is important, since it may be what drives ISPs and others to filter, block, or ratelimit packets on their network. As in many aspects of life, what people perceive to be the truth is far more important than what's actually the case.

      I would wager that at some point, as BitTorrent, Inc. tries to clean up its image, that it will probably try to keep other file-sharing systems from using it's name and trademark -- Azureus will have to be a "distributed peer-to-peer simultaneous transfer client" instead of a "Bittorrent client."
      • It's kind of like what would happen if Yahoo! had named itself "HTTP" back in the early 90s.

        Damn! Why didn't I think of that?!?
      • I would wager that at some point, as BitTorrent, Inc. tries to clean up its image, that it will probably try to keep other file-sharing systems from using it's name and trademark

        I'm not 100% sure of trademark law but I don't think you can take a word that is already in common usage and trademark it unless your trademark doesn't overlap with the existing usage of the word. In other words, you can't trademark the word 'Chair' if you are using it to sell chairs. If they want to trademark 'BitTorrent' it has to
    • Technically yes, they are using our bandwidth to share their movies, but as I see it, it's the cost of legitimizing the product. Up until this point they would just say "Bittorrent is only used by pirates". But now this gives us ammunition to say that it is legitimate and we finally have something to point to, to show how it is a viable technology, usable in a legal manner. I may or may not use the service, but for that reason, I wouldn't mind giving up a little unused bandwidth.
    • Net Neutrality (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quokkapox (847798)

      This method of distributing large files which require a lot of bandwidth does an end run around the telcos who are trying to charge large sites extra money, without the need for specific "Net Neutrality" legislation.

      If YouTube were able to distribute their video content (at least the most popular ones) via p2p, they wouldn't need such a large pipe if they're only seeding and running a tracker-like service. The p2p user base will share amongst themselves (which is more efficient anyway for the ISPs). I

    • One of my biggest turnoffs from World of Warcraft [blogspot.com] is the patching system. You have to run an external client to download mandatory patches. A quick glance reveals that this is a bittorrent client that cannot be configured.

      I tried WoW twice - once during beta and once again recently. In the beta the BT client maxed my bandwidth 100% - maximum uprate and downrate - for a 4.5GB file. The heavy load made my made my modem reset every 20 or 30 seconds and it took me days of dedicated transferring to downlo
    • Amen to that. If we're paying money to download a content, the content provider should have enough money to provide an ample direct download service. BitTorrent was designed to keep free large downloads from clogging up a small pipe by spreading that download across multiple small pipes at a controllable rate. Now, if the (RI|MP)AA offered direct download at one price and a torrent at a substantially discounted price, I'd be a little more convinced that it was worth it.
    • How is bittorrent a business model?

      Emotion. People trust businesses more than people, even though businesses are just an abstraction of people that are more likely to screw them vs doing business with just individual people.

      Does that make sense?

      Well, although there is little that can be done to stop a business, there are many checks and balances to make that business exist in the first place. Neither the article summary, nor the article, nor myself are clear yet, so keep reading.

      In this context, Bittorent
  • by witte (681163) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:56AM (#15697217)
    ... in Spain too ?
  • DRM? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gentimjs (930934) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:56AM (#15697221) Journal
    If these files which I can legally recieve over bittorrent are DRM'ed -or- require me to maintain my subscription to keep watching them, then fughetaboutit. I'm keeping my money, thanks.
    • Wow, you mean I get heavily DRM'ed files, have to help them distribute files myself, AND still get to pay a ridiculously overpriced subscription fee every month just to watch my own content? Gee, where do I sign up?

      -Eric

      • just to watch my own content?

        It's not "your content", as you do not own the copyright in the works. Even if it's an independent film and you're the director and/or producer, it's not "your content" because the MAFIAA reserves the right to take you to court over four seconds of someone whistling or four seconds of a TV being on in the background.

  • by also-rr (980579) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @07:59AM (#15697234) Homepage
    No one has managed to place effectice restrictions on HTTP activities because the protocol is too noisy with legitimate activity. Might this now be the same in the future with BitTorrent?
  • Annoying protocol (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    In my experiences, BitTorrent is horribly slow unless you open up inbound ports through your firewall to your workstation. This isn't feasible in a corporate environment and I would normally be fine with that since I'm not going to be downloading movies at work, but many people are starting to only offer BitTorrent links for legitimate downloads. The first time I came across it was the Mandriva Club last year.
  • Coupla points (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tygerstripes (832644) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:00AM (#15697239)
    1. Finally Hollywood have worked out how to take advantage of technology (instead of the other way around). This may, I suspect, actually get some people into legally downloading copyrighted content. Maybe.

    2. How much is this gonna cost? Unless it's significantly cheaper than purchasing a DVD, I doubt it'll take the world by storm - there is a certain trust in the DVD format. No mention of prices in TFA - any clues?

    3...
    BitTorrent is building a video store from which customers can download movies at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, according to the company.
    1 Gigabit? That's a bit of an outrageous claim, isn't it? Obviously, BitTorrent speed increases with current download demand, but hang on: 1 Gigabit???. Who has that kind of connection speed, exactly?

    Still, it really is encouraging to see major distributors at last display recognition of the fact that these tools and programs are not criminal; they can be put to both lawful and illegal use, and harnessing them is far more productive than trying to suppress them.
    • >BitTorrent is building a video store from which customers can download movies at speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, according to the company.
      >>1 Gigabit? That's a bit of an outrageous claim, isn't it? Obviously, BitTorrent speed increases with current download demand, but hang on: 1 Gigabit???. Who has that kind of connection speed, exactly?

      Hell, they can claim up to 1 terabyte per nanosecond.

      The key phrase here is "up to"... by definition, they could pass 1kb per hour and that claim would be v
  • Now all we need... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:01AM (#15697244) Homepage
    Now all we need is to get the ISPs to stop blocking Bittorrent. That's the only thing I run that actually makes it worth getting high speed, and to get it to work, I not only have to change the port it runs on, I have to change it to a specific port that for some reason they don't check. I think that Bittorrent's biggest adversary will be ISPs who insist on blocking it, or make it a pain to configure in order to cut down on the users' "unlimited" bandwidth.
    • Now all we need is to get the ISPs to stop blocking Bittorrent.

      I don't think we do. Net neutrality is kaput and movie companies can afford the fast lane.

      BTW, use Azureus and turn on encryption support to get full speed on torrent-crippled ISPs. Encrypted packets, even those sent over the default torrent ports, can't be recognized as BT traffic so they pass through at full speed.
      • BitTorrent isn't going to help the movie companies if it's blocked, whether they can "afford the fast lane" or not. Remember, BT is a peer-to-peer protocol. Most of the traffic will not be originating from the publisher, so there's no way a publisher is going to be able to go to an ISP and say "I want these torrents accellerated and I'm prepared to pay", because there's no way to identify that traffic.
        • I'm sure they'll make a way to identify the traffic. They'll encapsulate the first packet with an identifier or something. Plus, who says it has to run on the default torrent port? World of Warcraft uses nonstandard ports and the client uses UPNP to try to configure routers automatically.
          • This is supposing the studios decide to use a BitTorrent-like-protocol rather than BitTorrent. It's also rather easy to abuse this particular scheme if you're a regular BitTorrent user, just use a new version that happens to use the same ports and packet identifiers that result in high-bandwidth at Hollywood's expense.

            And given how simple router technology has to be, it's going to be hard for the Network Partisans to create a version that uses anything not easily duplicatable by third parties. I don't se

      • Encrypted packets, even those sent over the default torrent ports, can't be recognized as BT traffic so they pass through at full speed.

        That will only work if your ISP is sniffing every packet and trying to decide whether or not it is a bittorrent packet. Many ISPs simply throttle any traffic on any port that is a commonly-used setting for some file-sharing program. Less effective, but cheaper.

    • In a way you are right.
      If hollywood is making a million bucks, then your ISP wants a cut of that money to pay for the unexpected bandwidth usage because of things like this. Everyone will want a cut- new taxes, new royalties, new encoding fees-- if there is anyway to get into that million bucks, folks will find a way and raise it to two million bucks (and double your cost).

      Part of the reason the internet took off so fast was that all these middlemen and overhead costs were negated for a while and you could
  • Compensation? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuyu-no-neko (839858) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:02AM (#15697247)
    Part of the P2P model is that we (the customer) do the majority of the distribution work. Will BitTorrent suitably compensate us for our work, say by giving us substantial savings over other methods of buying the films? Or will they try to get a free lunch out of us so to speak?

    I a parallel would be if the local pizza company offered to sell you a pizza for half price, but only if you delivered a pizza to another customer whilst you're at it.
    • by ddvlad (862846)
      a parallel would be if the local pizza company offered to sell you a pizza for half price, but only if you delivered a pizza to another customer whilst you're at it.
      No, that's not a valid parallel. With p2p you are not tempted to eat the pizza on the way ;)
    • Every time I go to the grocery store and have to unload my groceries from the cart, put them IN the cart after they're rung up, take them out to the car, and load them into the car; I'm reminded of how much of the grocery store's work I'm doing for them these days.

      And for those of you too young to remember, yes there was a time when grocery stores did all that FOR you. I haven't seen this in the states in years (except at military commissaries, which still did this last time I went).

      -Eric

      • my grocery store bags the groceries and puts them back in the cart after they are rung up. They will also push them to your car if you wish (they don't usually ask me if I need help since I'm a fit 26 year old male, but I'd say about 10% of the time when I have a really full cart they'll ask if I'd like any help, just to be polite).
    • Re:Compensation? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      Pizza stores sometimes have this. There's usually "No Delivery charge", however, they also have "Walk in specials" where if you go and pick it up yourself, you save some money. If there's not distribution (delivery) charge, then the stuff downloaded off bittorrent should be much cheaper than what you can get the same product for at the movie store.
    • I would bet that if this happens, the teclos selling us our internets pipes will say that since we're getting a product cheaper through their service, they should get a chunk of that savings. Behold, the bittorrent tax.
    • Will BitTorrent suitably compensate us for our work, say by giving us substantial savings over other methods of buying the films?
      No [penny-arcade.com]. :)
  • by dema (103780) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:04AM (#15697256) Homepage
    The best part is that this content will be made available by subscription.

    s/best/worst
    • When you don't have to individually pay for everything you download, thus letting you try out new stuff without being hideously disappointed with buyer's remorse if it turns out to stink.

      My DVD & CD shelf is a testament against buying wihtout finding out whether something's good or not first. After the good old days of Napster when you could try out an album before buying it, I just haven't bought hardly anything because I have a 50% failure rate for finding good CDs.

      As for movies, unlike music, I gene
  • why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:05AM (#15697260) Homepage
    From 'SuperSize Me' to The Three Stooges to Bollywood films, BitTorrent wants to offer the most comprehensive service when it launches its pay service.

    all of those and more are already available on bittorrent. Hell there is already HD Rips of most content available via BT.

    How do they expect to compete with the illigit stuff? I can either download and play the illigit items on anything I own or pay for the content and only play it on the windows machine with the approved player?

    no thanks. Offer it without DRM so I can play it on my archos, mythbox, and other items that are not approved or I am not buying.
    • So, Lumpy,

      Does this mean that in the mean time, until DRM is dropped, that you'll just continue to steal the same content?
      • Re:why? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016)
        No actually, I cant stand the low quality rips on bittorrent, so I simply buy the DVD and then violate the DRM and copyright laws with extreme violence on my pc to turn it into a mp4 files. It's quite a bloodbath when I do that at home. Sometimes if I cant ge to that netflix I rented I'll rip that too for my archos and watch it later on the road. (OMG! THE HORROR! I am the cause of the downfall of freedom!)

        AS for TV shows, yes I still get some off bittorrent, the networks can go pound sand as far as I am c
    • I am a big fan of downloading content, but the truth is, it's a PITA. You often must start downloading from multiple trackers, because while some of the trackers work fine, others just sit there and never download. Sometimes you get a bad or corrupted file. Plus, I DO have an ethical belief that people should be compensated for their work. That being said, I avoid anything that uses DRM. It's a simple question of free and unencumbered vs. unfree and crippled. If studios started providing reasonably un-encum
    • "How do they expect to compete with the illigit stuff? I can either download and play the illigit items on anything I own or pay for the content and only play it on the windows machine with the approved player?"

      The iTMS seems to be doing well, despite the fact that DRM-free versions of the same content are usually available via P2P. Or via Russian sites like allofmp3, which are sorta legit, because you're paying, and the Russians assure us that the artists are being paid.

      The quick answer is that ther

  • DRMed to the dirt (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vi9er (985294) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:22AM (#15697330)
    Just checked out guba.com. In Firefox, they tell me that i have to be running IE, and have windows media 9 or higher, "Which support the Windows Media Digital Rights Management System as required by our premium content providers. We will add other DRM support as soon as it becomes available and approved by major premium content providers" CrapTastic!
  • by DuncanE (35734) * on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:25AM (#15697342) Homepage
    Can I be honest and say I dont like the subscription model?

    I can already get that quite nicely via NetFlix etc. I want to be able to pay 2 (maybe 5) bucks and download the movie NOW. I dont mind if I have watch it within a week or even within 24 hours before the DRM kicks in, but I dont want to have to pay when I dont use.

    Movies on demand. Thats what we want.
  • ObPA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:26AM (#15697346) Homepage Journal
  • Roadblock (Score:4, Interesting)

    by spykemail (983593) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:38AM (#15697442) Homepage
    After reading everyone's comments I've come to the opinion that they're going to hit a big roadblock with this. The people most interested in this type of distribution model are the exact same people least interested in putting up with restrictive digital rights management, especially of the Microsoft variety.

    It's almost like these companies don't do any market research at all :(. I, for example, would love to lay the DVD (and all physical distribution formats) to rest in favor of files downloaded over the internet (hint: I already have). It's cooler, it SHOULD be cheaper, files don't get scratched every time I touch them, and I plan to have a computer screen bigger than my TV screen anyway. But there's simply _NO_ way I'm going to pay money for something that requires a Microsoft product to work. I'd rather climb up a skyscraper, wrap one end of a chain of Windows 98 CDs around my neck, tie the other end to a lightning rod, and jump off. I'm also not going to put up with a proprietary DRM of any kind.

    If someone can develop and popularize an open source standard DRM format that has REASONABLE (or at least adjustable - so that I can choose to buy things with less restrictions) restrictions call me.
    • But you forgot the one problem with bandwidth. There's nothing with better bandwidth than a truck stacked to the brim with DVDs. Simply put, it's still cheaper (for everyone involved) to go down to the store and buy the disc yourself. Most discs I buy are currently are around $12. Which is still a couple dollars more expensive than ITunes, but I get a CD case, and disc, and some liner notes that are already printed. Plus with iTunes you have to have a good connection so it doesn't take forever to get y
    • You are not the target market for this service. This is targeted at the 99% of regular people that actually pay for stuff: they go to Blockbuster, subscribe to Netflix, and visit the multiplex theater.

      I love it when geeks believe that they are so "bleeding edge" that they must be the target demographic for any technology. Here's the facts: we're geeks... other than influincing corporate IT purchases, we represent a miniscule speck of the consumer market for anything. We're not hip, and we generally don't

  • Helps Net Neutrality (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tlabetti (304480) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @08:50AM (#15697524) Homepage
    I think bittorent's deals can eventually help Net Neutrality. If big content providers are successful using bittorent to distribute their properties then they will start to cry foul when bittorent traffic is relegated to the slow speed tier. The content providers such as Warner have properties that the ISPs want (TV shows/on demand movies etc...) and thus they can push the ISPs to keep bittorent traffic untouched.

    The more the big content providers find ways of distributing content directly to the consumer the more interested they will become in telling ISPs to stay out of the gatekeeper business.
  • Yes. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe&joe-baldwin,net> on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @09:22AM (#15697766) Homepage Journal
    Given that BitTorrent's number one usage is downloading pirated movies and music, this is a drop in the bucket. And it's not that Hollywood or the RIAA are distrustful of P2P in general, they're distrustful of people using P2P to send around media they own the copyright to.

    Good first step, and I don't agree with the people complaining about DRM on the movies...in the world we live in, where people will take anything not nailed down, it's kind of a necessity.
  • The best part (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zoeblade (600058) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @09:37AM (#15697904) Homepage

    The best part is that this content will be made available by subscription.

    Best for who, exactly? Presumably the movie companies, not the customers. This way you get to keep on giving money for the subscription, and when you finally decide to stop, you have no products to show for it.

    I for one will consider downloading albums and films legally just as soon as a method of selling them second hand legitimately appears. Until then, I'll stick to tangible formats which still give me that right.


  • a) .. its the cheapest way for Hollywood to distribute its films: use their end-customers' bandwidth.
    b) .. the tracking available, and 'general concensus' style marketing details that can be gleaned from a torrent, are Super Sexy to Hollywood market scientists
    c) .. tie it in with 'the new Media' ideal that is finally out of the "passé" years in the Hollywood cognescenti, and it means the dream can now be delivered: we own you

    Consider this. Whatever is running on your computer, is 'owning your computer
  • The bittorrent developers have sold out! Now if I owned the code, that action would have been OK, but seeing as I don't, it's despicable. Of course the bittorrent developers could always cut me in for a part of the action and I would be open to changing my opinion.
  • What format will the movies be in?
    And will it work without my having to switch platforms?
    Bittorrent currently functions with linux, and that's most of the reason I use it.
    I truly hope that their service will let me watch those movies LEGALLY on linux.
    Nothing else besides a true lockout of given platforms would piss me off more!

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