BitTorrent's evolution into a legitimate content-publishing platform continues, as the company once linked with movie piracy partners with indie film distributor Cinedigm to promote the new release "Arthur Newman."
Cinedigm is using BitTorrent to release the first seven minutes of the movie starring Emily Blunt and Colin Firth, which hits theaters April 26. The studio is also offering film stills and a trailer on the file-sharing protocol.
This isn't the first time BitTorrent has worked with artists to distribute content using the protocol, but it is the company's first feature film partnership. BitTorrent has in the past worked with electronic music musician Pretty Lights and author Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, to push his most recent book, The 4-Hour Chef, onto the New York Timesbestseller list.
"If you look at the BitTorrent protocol and what it was designed to do, there is literally no better way to distribute feature films in the world," said Matt Mason, BitTorrent's marketing vice president. "This is the first thing we're doing with Cinedigm, but it's one of the content experiments we're doing as we continue to build out this publishing platform, which anyone will be able to use."
Mason said BitTorrent envisions its technology growing more essential for film distribution as 4K content becomes more prevalent.
"There is no way to send a 4K movie file if you're not using BitTorrent," Mason said. "It's not a question of will films start being distributed using the BitTorrent protocol, but it's really a question of when."
BitTorrent's Sync feature now available to all
BitTorrent is focused on publicizing legitimate content, but it's also developing ways to use the protocol in different ways.
Sync, its personal file-syncing client, opened to the public Tuesday after months of being a pre-alpha, invitation-only service.
Sync is a free service that lets you sync large files remotely, with no size limits on files or folders. Pre-alpha users have synced more than 200TB since the program launched on January 24.
BitTorrent has added a few new features to the public version of Sync, such as syncing to a read-only file (so people can see your stuff without being able to change it); security keys with one-time use for sharing and accessing folders; and the ability to exclude some files when syncing.
Sync is still an alpha project as part of BitTorrent Labs, the company's incubator for experiments, so it's not quite a completed product.