MPAA Wins Lawsuit Against Hotfile for Copyright Violations

In a major victory for the Motion Picture Association of America and its member studios, a Florida federal judge has ruled that Hotfile is liable for copyright infringement. According to the MPAA, the decision marks the first time a U.S. court has ruled against a cyberlocker regarding copyright infringement. Hotfile is one of the most popular cyberlockers and of the largest scale, but its claims of safe harbor from copyright liability and no indirect liability of its users failed. Continue reading MPAA Wins Lawsuit Against Hotfile for Copyright Violations

BitTorrent Trying Image Change as Legitimate Marketplace

BitTorrent is primarily known for software that makes it easy to download and distribute pirated digital content. It is now attempting to change its negative image. In the past few months, the company has been actively attempting to convince musicians and content makers that it can help them earn money. The company is offering its BitTorrent Bundle as a way to encourage users to download content, and give creators a way to charge for it. Continue reading BitTorrent Trying Image Change as Legitimate Marketplace

Record Ratings and Illegal Download Spike for ‘Breaking Bad’

The final season of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” debuted with its best ever rating of 5.9 million viewers. Part of the high ratings can be attributed to Netflix, where subscribers can watch all previous episodes of the series, providing new viewers with a way to catch up prior to the new season. Along with the high ratings, there was a spike in illegal downloads of “Breaking Bad” episodes. This occurred despite the show being made available within hours across global regions. Continue reading Record Ratings and Illegal Download Spike for ‘Breaking Bad’

NCTA Cable Show: Battling Cord-Cutting with Technology

“TV Everywhere” and “cord-cutting” were major themes at this week’s NCTA Cable Show in Washington, D.C. where the industry presented technologies intended to sustain its relevancy. Examples included Roku and Xbox as cable set-tops, smartphones as remotes, iPads as TVs, a Slingbox product from Arris and more. Comcast unveiled its X2 cloud DVR and TiVo is expanding its TV Everywhere options with a new Web portal. Continue reading NCTA Cable Show: Battling Cord-Cutting with Technology

File Sharers Download New Episodes of Arrested Development

Within 24 hours of Sunday’s revival of “Arrested Development,” episodes had reportedly been downloaded more than 100,000 times by file sharers looking to watch season 4 without paying. Copies were made available on various torrent sites shortly after Netflix released all 15 episodes. While the numbers do not compare to downloads of popular shows such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and AMC’s “Mad Men,” they still represent a potential issue for Netflix. Continue reading File Sharers Download New Episodes of Arrested Development

BitTorrent Bundle Provides New Options for Content Creators

BitTorrent announced the BitTorrent Bundle earlier this week, a new format that provides access to free content in addition to a gateway to other material. It offers content creators a new means of distributing and monetizing their work outside the confines of traditional methods. BitTorrent continues its efforts to transform the file-sharing software into a legitimate platform for movies and music. Continue reading BitTorrent Bundle Provides New Options for Content Creators

Developer Conducts P2P Experiment: Piracy or Entrapment?

Greenheart Games pulled a switch on gamers this week by providing a crippled version of a game on BitTorrent. The illegal version of “Game Dev Tycoon” will stop at a certain point, indicating that the product has been pirated. While this strategy was initiated as an experiment to draw attention to software piracy, and not to seek out and prosecute offenders, it has raised some interesting and complex legal issues. Continue reading Developer Conducts P2P Experiment: Piracy or Entrapment?

Will BitTorrent Prove a Viable Marketing Tool for Hollywood?

Last week, Cinedigm announced it was partnering with BitTorrent to help promote the release of Dante Ariola’s “Arthur Newman,” starring Colin Firth and Emily Blunt, which debuted in limited release over the weekend. In less than five days, users of the file-sharing app downloaded one million copies of the film’s 10-minute preview. By comparison, the studio’s official trailer had less than 20,000 views on YouTube over the past three weeks. Continue reading Will BitTorrent Prove a Viable Marketing Tool for Hollywood?

BitTorrent Launches Live P2P Streaming Service at SXSW

At South by Southwest this week, BitTorrent officially launched the open beta for its BitTorrent Live streaming service, which allows anyone with a camera to stream live video to an unlimited number of viewers. Those broadcasting can either stream with a webcam or use an app such as Flash Media Encoder to stream their content. Users will need to download the BitTorrent Live plugin to view others’ streams. Continue reading BitTorrent Launches Live P2P Streaming Service at SXSW

BitTorrent Launches SoShare App for Sharing Media Files

SoShare is a new tool from BitTorrent designed for sending large files from person to person, allowing users to send bundles of up to 1TB for free. The app combines BitTorrent file transfer technology with cloud caching, so users can access files even when the sender is offline. The SoShare software — which targets media creators such as musicians, photographers and filmmakers — keeps files available for up to 30 days. Continue reading BitTorrent Launches SoShare App for Sharing Media Files

First BitTorrent-Certified Android Set-Top Box Is Launched

Many new gadgets premiered last week, either at CES or coinciding with the big show. Among them, a “sketchy BitTorrent box” claiming to be the first ever BitTorrent-certified Android set-top box, writes Ars Technica. The box makers claim the device makes “it easier to watch torrented files on a TV” by streaming content downloaded through uTorrent and BitTorrent clients on the local network. Continue reading First BitTorrent-Certified Android Set-Top Box Is Launched

HDTV Prototype Unveiled by Vestel: Would You Buy a BitTorrent TV?

  • The first BitTorrent certified HDTV was demonstrated at the IFA trade show in Berlin last week, although ZDNet points out that torrent fans will be “hard-pressed to get their hands on one (especially in the U.S.).”
  • The Vestel prototype uses BitTorrent’s Chrysalis platform to simplify the process of downloading and converting torrents to view.
  • Although the idea may be exciting to many, it’s a bit early to celebrate. “Not surprisingly, there’s no information about any kind of release dates or distribution model for the TV (or even basic specs like screen sizes, etc.),” reports ZDNet. “Vestel is obviously not a household name, and past BitTorrent-based networking products from the likes of Netgear haven’t been runaway successes.”
  • “Major retailers might not want to stock a BitTorrent TV for fear of offending their digital content partners,” adds the post, “so this might be a niche product that you’d have to track down online. Or it could wind up being vaporware altogether.”
  • ZDNet asks its readers if they would consider buying a BitTorrent TV — a good question for our ETCentric crowd. What are your thoughts?

Will Integrating BitTorrent into HDTVs Provide Easier Access to Pirated Content?

  • Turkish HDTV manufacturer Vestel has announced it would be the first to integrate BitTorrent software into its televisions, enabling European consumers easier access to expanded content offerings.
  • BitTorrent emphasized the deal does not allow easier access to pirated content, but enables “consumers to find, play and share all types of personal media, independently produced content and Internet files directly on their TV,” reports Home Media Magazine.
  • Shahi Ghanem, chief strategist at BitTorrent, said Vestel is a “good and early” example of his company’s push to be included on as many connected devices as possible, and added that by the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, BitTorrent would be available on more CE devices.
  • However, there are detractors. “I do not believe this offering will get much attention from CE companies on this side of the ocean,” said an unnamed exec for a major electronics company. “Unlikely a CE company would be indemnified if the software was misused. Reminds me of Napster, [which] at one time facilitated piracy.”
  • BitTorrent is used by more than 100 million-plus global Internet users.

Piracy Surge: Fox 8-Day Delay Draws Negative Consumer Response

  • Since Fox implemented its 8-day delay of content availability on Hulu, downloads from BitTorrent for shows such as “Hell’s Kitchen” and “MasterChef” have increased 114 percent and 189 percent, respectively. Others are watching Fox shows on video sites including YouTube.
  • Moreover, the situation is creating negative consumer reactions as consumers are forced to find content elsewhere.
  • “One of the main motivations for people to download and stream TV shows from unauthorized sources is availability,” reports TorrentFreak. “If fans can’t get a show through legal channels they turn to pirated alternatives.”
  • The post suggests that some consumers have indicated they will be returning to their DVRs and may even dust off their VCRs in response.

Smart TV Platform Flingo Merges Television and the Web

  • Flingo has created a development platform to integrate the Web and TV.
  • The company’s video demo shows how you can “fling” a YouTube video from your PC to your TV.
  • Their technology is already available in over half the TVs being sold including those from Samsung, LG, Vizio and Western Digital.
  • It is currently available on 5.7 million TVs in 117 countries. You can also buy Flingo-enabled Blu-ray players and Roku boxes.
  • The goal is to merge TV and the Web, allowing media partners like Fox, Showtime and others to build apps that integrate both.
  • Flingo was founded in 2008 by former BitTorrent employees Ashwin Navin and David Harrison.

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