Movie industry looks toward BitTorrent as possible video distribution method

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Monday, April 18, 2005

BitTorrent greatly reduces the load on the server, because the users generally download the file from each other, not the server. As the coloured bars below each client show, the file is downloaded in random order, instead of sequential order.

According to Dr. Vinton Cerf, a few movie producers have talked about using filesharing such as BitTorrent for the distribution of video content. Dr. Cerf is considered to be one of the fathers of the Internet. One of the problems with having a video on demand service is video files take quite a bit of bandwidth to distribute. Through the use of file sharing, the clients that are requesting a video can share information amongst themselves and can take some of the load off of the original distributor. The only draw back to using file sharing is the distribution would not be instant; instead, it would have to be pre-recorded like TiVo.

Ironically, the movie industry has been suing people for file sharing for years now. In the end, this same technology might save the movie industry millions. Cerf said, "They are only just now starting to come to honest grips with the possibilities of using the Internet," according to ZDNet Australia.

Currently, waves of lawsuits against internet file-sharing services continue to be mounted. 11 countries across Europe and Asia have seen lawsuits filed against individuals by record companies fighting file-sharing technology which they say is costing it billions. The total number of lawsuits worldwide is in the range of 12,000.

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