For most people, Sweden and BitTorrent equals The Pirate Bay. There is more though, Headweb, a new online movie store now offers over 500 authorized and DRM-free movies, which can be downloaded via BitTorrent. True to the BitTorrent philosophy, sharing is rewarded.
At the moment Swedish customers will have to use the official Headweb download manager in order to download files, but support for regular BitTorrent clients might be added later.
The downloaded movies can be played with any media player, and are free of DRM. On top of that, the download manager comes with a built in DVD-burner so you can burn the movies onto a disk and play them with any standalone DVD-player.
One of the interesting things about the service is that it rewards people who share their purchases. That is, people get credits for sharing the downloaded files with other Headweb users.
Peter Alvarsson of Headweb told TorrentFreak: “We believe it’s fair to pay for our users’ time and resources and we give credits back to those that upload to other users. The ratio is 1 credit per 10mb which makes it possible to get a free movie after some 50 GB upload.
“We’ve seen that some users are really good at predicting “hot” movies and earn a lot of credits by keeping their clients running after the download has finished,” Peter added. A win-win situation really, the sharing mechanism saves Headweb bandwidth and server resources, and the users get free downloads.
All movies offered by Headweb are DRM-free, which is great, and quite unique for a movie download service. Not surprisingly, they had a hard time convincing the movie studios to offer their content without access restrictions.
“It has taken us nearly 2 years to convince movie studios that DRM-free downloads are the future,” says Peter “We’re not there yet with everyone but we are getting closer. More studios now start to realize that DRM isn’t consumer friendly and that it has to go.”
Several surveys have shown that a lot of people are willing to pay to download movies as long a there is enough content available, and if the files are high quality and thus DRM-free.
Headweb’s users seem to confirm these findings. “We’ve received lot of feedback from people telling us that they would switch to support legal services completely, if only the services had the same selection,” Peter told TorrentFreak.
In the near future, Headweb will be working on more new features, groundbreaking innovations and more content. em toThey are confident that this will enable them to compete with The Pirate Bay.