Sunday, February 25, 2007

Another Pirate Movie?

Software Exploited by Pirates Goes to Work for Hollywood - New York Times

The New York Times reports that Hollywood is trying to solve the problem of peer to peer piracy through an alliance with BitTorrent, a software package that is popular with people who have no interest in paying for movies online. The Times quotes a Hollywood exec as saying:
"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.”
Are peer-to-peer networks a threat to copyright protection and intellectual property or are they just another medium for publicity and marketing, a way to reach the market? Buyers will rent movies for a nominal cost, Window Media Player piracy protections will be used to prevent users from keeping or resending the rented films.

This is a good example of how a threat to intellectual property rights can be turned into another medium of distribution. The question of whether this new arrangement will stop people from downloading movies for free even when they become available at much cheaper prices is far from settled.



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