The official BitTorrent site has been planning to launch a video store for quite some time now. Earlier this year, BitTorrent Inc. said that the store would be up and running by the end of 2006. Due to the lack of enthusiasm on content creators’ part for selling videos over the filesharing protocol, the store has been delayed to “early 2007.”
Plans for the BitTorrent Store were made public in March, after which Warner Bros announced that it would sell movies and TV shows on it, once it went live.
Despite Warner Bros backing, the company seems to be having problems getting other content companies on board. Restricting downloads to people who have paid for a file could prove to be a difficult task. Private trackers like Demonoid.com are already doing something along the lines of this by only allowing their members to download torrents, but implementing a commercial BitTorrent system without using DRM is no easy task. Who’s stopping anyone from re-uploading the torrent onto another, public tracker?
On the other hand, BitTorrent is a medium scores of people are already used to and love. Isn’t that how Napster made its money? First there was a P2P program that was being used to swap copyrighted songs, then the company was forced to go legit and a significant part of the user base went along to become paid subscribers.
“The MPAA tells us that 650,000 movies are being downloaded every year, and nobody’s getting paid. We see P2P being utilized so that the publisher, the artist and the ISPs all get paid for the content,” said Lily Lin, a spokeswoman for BitTorrent Inc. In September, Lin told TorrentFreak that the company was still negotiating with other studios and independent artists, trying to get them to sell their content on the BitTorrent Store.