News: In a few hours, BitTorrent will launch a new website, where you can rent movies, and buy TV shows, and video games. BitTorrent is famous for its peer-to-peer software (which does allow for illegal file sharing), but, after striking a deal with Hollywood studios, it is developing a a BitTorrent Entertainment Network on its site. The rub is, at least for the movies, you can only get a rented copy that expires in 30 days after purchase, or 24 hours after viewing. (More here)
“Somebody once said you have to embrace your enemy,” said Doug Lee, executive vice president of MGM’s new-media division. “We like the idea that they have millions of users worldwide. That is potentially fertile, legitimate ground for us.”
Analysis: Can’t wait to see the new site. Some question whether “renting” movies is inferior to being able to purchase them outright. My guess is that a significant number of people would be fine with renting a movie, just like Netflix. The difference here is that it takes 2 or 3 hours to download a movie over the Internet with a good broadband connection. That’s still pretty time consuming.