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Fox Offers Content to File-Sharer

29 Jun, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

20th Century Fox Entertainment Group announced for the first time it will distribute select TV and movie rental content through a peer-to-peer (P2P) service, Peer Impact.

Fox features, however, will not be offered on the same day as the DVD, but in a later window. Warner Bros. Entertainment Group has inked deals with file-sharing services Guba.com and BitTorrent Inc. that do offer features on the same date as the DVD and are available as downloads to own, not to rent as in the Peer Impact deal.

Peer Impact, created last August by Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based Wurld Media, initially offered music and games before unveiling software for movie and TV downloads.

NBC Universal, which last November became the first major studio to make a deal with via Peer Impact, and Warner also offers content through the service.

TV episodes cost as little as 99 cents per 24-hour viewing period for shows that include “The Loop,” “Firefly,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Babylon 5.” Movie rentals range from $2.99 to $3.99.

Movie titles include Warner's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fox's X-Men and X2: X-Men United and King Kong from Universal Studios.

“Through this deal, we can enjoy the benefits of peer-to-peer technology, while offering yet another legitimate alternative to illegal pirate networks,” said Peter Levinsohn, president, Fox Digital Media.

Unlike other file-sharing services, where content is freely disseminated on the network among users, Peer Impact centrally controls its content and users get rebates upwards of 5% for sharing. Anybody on the network who has a file copy of a TV episode or movie being accessed shares in the rebate.

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