For the last six months or so, the film industry has been gearing up to take on file-sharers exchanging video content online. The owners of the films are not very happy about people around the world freely swapping their content, and them not making any money about it.
The first legal actions were against individuals who were sharing films. Next they mounted their assault on BitTorrent, an application that can be used to download video content. Most recently they have passed their attention to sites that point users to content distributed using BitTorrent.
Their first move has been to take down the most popular of these, such as the self-described Universal Bit Torrent Source, SuprNova.org and TorrentBits.com.
The sites targeted do not contain the actual video files. Because of the way bitTorrent works, they simply contain a list of pointers to the content held in the bitTorrent format. The video files are themselves fragmented around the network of people running the bitTorrent application.
There are other sites, like TVTorrents, still continuing to make content accessible.
While BitTorrent, in and of itself, is not evil, the film companies are very putout that their films are travelling through it. BitTorrent also has legitimate uses. It is used to distribute many type of material. Digital Lifestyles has used it to distribute audio recordings in the past.
We hope that while pursuing their legal action to regain control of the distribution of their content, the film companies are also keeping their eyes open to the opportunities of this type of technology.
As we’ve commented previously, when video content, distributed over a shared network, is combined with a new content alert technology like RSS, the result is a blueprint for a form of TV delivery. Content automatically arrives at the viewer machine when it’s been published alowing them to chose which they will watch.