April 15, 2005 6:20 AM PDT

Cerf: Hollywood interested in BitTorrent

Hollywood is anxious to embrace BitTorrent as a method of movie distribution, according to Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet.

Cerf, who co-created TCP/IP, told a roundtable on Internet governance in Sydney, Australia, this week that he had recently discussed file-sharing program BitTorrent with at least two interested movie producers.

"They are only just now starting to come to honest grips with the possibilities of using the Internet."
--Vint Cerf

"I know personally for a fact that various members of the movie industry are really getting interested in how to use the Internet--even BitTorrent--as a...method for distributing content," said Cerf, who is chairman of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN. "I've spoken with several movie producers in the last month."

Cerf was adamant, however, that the entertainment industry still does not understand the online environment.

"They are only just now starting to come to honest grips with the possibilities of using the Internet," he said.

He was particularly enthusiastic about pointing out what he said is a flawed perception about how movies can be delivered via the Internet.

"People think of video and they think of real time, watching it" as it's downloading, he said. "But most video doesn't have to be watched in real time. With TiVo and those other things, it doesn't have to be watched in real time.

"It doesn't matter whether it's delivered by a real-time video stream, or a triple-charge thing that drops packets into a file like BitTorrent. Who cares? At some point, you get the whole file and then you watch it. You don't care how long it took to get a file before you watch it."

Only a very small number of Internet applications actually need real-time capabilities, Cerf said.

Renai LeMay of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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Then, Now and in the Future!
It is quite interesting to have read in this article about the father of the Internet, Vinton Cerf making comments about peer-to-peer file-sharing technologies and the like. If my memory serves me very well... I think I can recall hearing on the radio and later viewing on the television all those spectacular NASA space rockets and shuttle launchings as well as televised landings on the moon... My point is this, have we gone a full circle when it comes to communication technologies. IBM as one should recall was a pioneer in the case of "peer-to-peer" technologies having much earlier incorporated this functionality in its OS/2 Client and Server Computer Operating Systems: re: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.aaxnet.com/design/os2.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.aaxnet.com/design/os2.html</a> . With the advent of higher speed data transport capabilities such as that offered by Internet2... the lines between the televison and the emerging internet technologies are certainly being blurred.
Posted by (187 comments )
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Is it surprising? What took them so long?
Is it surprising? What took them so long?

They don't have anything against Bittorrent technology. They only oppose P2P applications aimed at making it easy for people to share copyrighted content, i.e., those applications that make it easy *to find* things to download, not against the technology used to do the transfer of data.
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
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Indistiguishable
The searching and the downloading are a part of the
Bittorrent protocol and are indistinguisable from
each other.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
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