After several years of toiling Bittorrent is finally releasing something productive. Bittorrent is the latest P2P file sharing technology giving the music and movie business headaches. But unlike many of the other P2P networks that came before it, Bittorrent is also widely used for completely legitimate purposes as. Many software companies, for example, are using it to distribute updates to their code. In 2004 Bram Cohen organized Bittorrent as a company and received venture money to further develop the commercial potential of the technology.
Now Bittorrent is unveiling a video store with movie and tv shows available for rent or purchase. Unfortunately, Macintosh users
take it in the shorts again as they will use a Microsoft based DRM that will not work on Macs. Cohen and co-founder Ashwin Navin have spoken out against DRM before, noting that it creates many problems for them as a company and most likely encourages more piracy than it stops. In order for online media sales to reach their full potential, we either need a fully cross platform DRM solution or we need to drop DRM altogether. Some have called on Apple to license their DRM technology Fairplay. Even if they did, however, it’s not likely that Microsoft will adopt it and support it in Windows just as Apple does not support Microsoft’s DRM in OS X. By far the easiest and best thing is to remove DRM from the equation, but the current generation of entertainment industry management cannot get their heads around the idea. It could take a new generation of management, one that has grown up in the new media world and that has a better understanding of it to finally kill DRM.