In a move that shows Hollywood is examining the benefits of a technology it long reviled, Time Warner
Inc.’s Warner Bros. is expected to announce today that it will sell
movies and television shows online in Germany using peer-to-peer
technology.

Warner Bros. is working with Bertelsmann AG and its
subsidiary Arvato to create a service called In2Movies, to launch in
March. The service will feature movies dubbed into German, including
"Batman Begins" and "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," for a fee
that Warner says will be similar to the cost of a DVD. It will also
offer television shows like "The O.C." and locally made programs and
movies. Users, who will have to register for the service, will be able
to keep the movie indefinitely. But instead of getting a movie from a
central server, pieces of it could come from other people on the
network who also bought that movie.

The Arvato architecture is similar to that used by
peer-to-peer systems like BitTorrent, a technology that enables
millions of people to share copyrighted movies and other material
online without paying for them. Peer-to-peer technology has long been
blamed for enabling the theft of music and movies online. But with
Internet and DVD piracy on the rise, the Hollywood studios are looking
for ways to harness peer-to-peer and other Internet-based technologies.

By Sarah McBride

More here.