March will see the launch of a new P2P download service for licensed movies, known as In2Movies. This is a joint venture with European mobile infrastructure provider Arvato Mobile and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. This will make available a new digital download platform for fully licensed content, to be made available day-and-date with continental release of the same content in video stores. The underlying technology is a synthesis of the decentralized distribution approach of peer-to-peer with a strong digital rights management system.
The announcement cited a study by German research firm GFK/FFA, stating that 73 percent of respondents who admitted illegally downloading videos, stated they would be willing to consider a "paid for" alternative, if one were made available to them. This could be the beginning of a not-so-subtle admission by the content industry that illegal downloaders felt compelled to do so by the restrictive, or unevolved, nature of the existing retail channels. It's debatable whether making retail customers feel they're members of a community through the deployment of a decentralized download system, will help curb illegal downloads. But then again, if people seated comfortably in their homes and going nowhere, can be made to feel they're members of such a community, perhaps there's more to this proposition than at first meets the eye.