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Warner Touts P2P in Europe

30 Jan, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Warner Bros. is embracing legal peer-to-peer filesharing, at least in Germany.

In2Movies will be the first P2P-based download-to-own platform to offer consumers legitimate content day-and-date with the German-language DVD release. With the initial rollout, consumers will be able to download movies and television shows to their personal computers. The second version of the service will expand on consumers' download options and enable them to download programs to DVD recorders and other portable devices.

“Our initial efforts will focus on the German market, but in the months ahead we will leverage this technology to better serve markets around the world,” said Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group.

The goal, in part, is to combat the rampant availability of illegal content, he said.

“One of the most effective weapons for defeating online piracy is providing legal, easy-to-use alternatives,” Tsujhara said.

In2Movies will officially launch in March and will also service Austria and German-speaking areas of Switzerland. The site will initially feature more than 80 Warner new releases, catalog favorites and local productions.

The movies and television series offered on a non-exclusive basis will include Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Must Love Dogs, “The O.C.,” “Friends,” The Little Polar Bear: The Mysterious Island and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

In2Movies will also feature entertainment programming from local distributors and third-party content providers.

The market for a service like this is primed and ready, according to research cited by Warner.

In Germany during the first half of 2005, 1.7 million Internet users illegally downloaded a total of 11.9 million movies. However, 73 percent of all illegal downloaders in Germany said they are interested in using a “paid for” movie download service, according to Warner.

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