Kazaa talks to the BBC, goes to the movies

Report In Australian newspaper The Age today highlighted the fact that file sharing application Kazaa is expanding into the movie business with a series of deals announced in the last few weeks. Using copy-protection technology from Altnet, three movies are now on offer with a probable fourth movie now in post-production. The availability of the Bollywood movie "Supari", a full-length Hindi-language thriller and "To' Day of Days", from surf film legend Jack McCoy were announced simultaneously and more recently the Singaporean blockbuster film "Teenage Textbook Movie". Jack McCoy's new movie "Blue Horizon" is being finished and Jack say that he has plans to release the new movie online.

The movie production companies will be paid each time the movie is downloaded and Kazaa users will pay $2.99, $4.90 and $2.99 respectively for these first three movies where the amounts are billed to a credit card. Be warned though, at about 400MB per movie some form of broadband connection is essential for users. A spokesman for Sharman Networks, the publishers and distributors of Kazaa, reports that over 200 download sales have been made for Hindi-language movie "Supari". As well as the movie itself, Kazaa offers free trailers and production footage, the soundtrack and music video clips which can be purchased for 90 cents.

Sharman is currently seeking further material to distribute via service. It currently has people sourcing films from Asia and from France. It has also been in discussions with the BBC because the BBC has a charter to distribute all the content it creates but the size of its archive library is enormous. With a potential audience of 60 million Kazaa users around the world, these new deals should be an interesting proof-of-concept for this method of commercialised online distribution. If it can also sign an agreement with the BBC it will be a major coup and a huge boost to its credibility.

News source: The Inq

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