According to yesterday's press releases, the next step in the increasingly warm relationship between BitTorrent and major movie studios (things got better last fall when BitTorrent agreed to take down links to films offered for illegal download) is here: starting sometime this summer, Warner Brothers will offer both TV shows and movies for download via BitTorrent. In a statement that reflects a surprisingly clear-eyed understand of the possible effects of such a move, Kevin Tsujihara, president of WB Home Entertainment, made it clear that the company doesn't see the agreement as something that will end illegal downloading. (Good thinking, guys.) Said Tsujihara, "If we can convert [five], 10, 15 percent of the peer-to-peer users that have been obtaining our product from illegitimate sources to becoming legitimate buyers of our product, that has the potential of a huge impact on our industry and our economics."

As you might expect, however, there are details aplenty to piss off even those who like the concept, starting with the fact that, though the files will be burnable onto DVD, the resulting discs will be unplayable on all but the computer that did the initial download. Additionally, movies are likely to cost about the same as they would on DVD -- but, one assumes, without the online discounts that are offered by virtually every store these days.

BitTorrent users, what do you think? Are you interested? Could the launch of this system really be a major change in the way films are (legally) distributed, or is it just more evidence that Hollywood doesn't get it?

[via Digg]