Warner Bros, arvato unveils P2P digital download service for Germany

MUMBAI: Movie studio Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group teams with Bertelsmann mobile arm arvato to launch In2Movies. This initiative offers movie and TV downloads to consumers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland using a peer-to-peer (P2P) network.

The In2Movies is expected to launch in March and with this, Warner and arvato plan to make movies available on the P2P download service on the same day as the German DVD release appears.

This joint venture comes after recent efforts by movie studios and the Motion Picture Association of America to stamp out the illegal file sharing of content over the Internet using P2P technology like BitTorrent and eDonkey. P2P networks have been blamed for rampant online piracy around the world and have been targeted by the music industry in a series of high-profile lawsuits.

 service will have more than 80 Warner Bros. films, new releases, library titles and local productions, including Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Must Love Dogs, along with TV shows such as The O.C. and Friends.

In2Movies will also feature entertainment programming from local distributors and third-party content providers. The initial rollout will deliver content to computers. Eventually, the service will expand its service, allowing downloads to DVD recorders and other portable devices.

Customers will be able to download the movies and TV shows directly from the In2Movies web site, as well as from retail partner sites, or via a click-through from other sites. Warner and arvato see it as a way for DVD retailers to get into the movie download business.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara said."Through this partnership with arvato mobile, Warner Bros. will be breaking new ground in legal digital delivery, providing a rich experience at affordable prices. One of the most effective weapons for defeating online piracy is providing legal, easy to use alternatives. Warner Bros. continues its role as an industry leader by expanding the reach of its digital content through this extremely innovative platform. Our initial efforts will focus on the German market but in the months ahead we will leverage this technology to better serve markets around the world."

The In2Movies service is using technology from GNAB, which combines a centralized download platform for protecting copyrights and licensee requirements, with a decentralized P2P network that makes it easier to distribute large files like movies without bogging down the server.

arvato mobile chief executive Bernhard Ribbrock said, "Consumers are seeking new channels for finding authorized entertainment."

It also may eventually offer added content, such as the featurettes that are usually packaged with movies and TV shows on DVD. The downloads will be priced at different levels depending on how new the content is, whether it's a movie or TV show, and other factors.

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