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The crack in the wall - Warner to sell downloadable movies

Warner Bros (opens in new tab) - part of the AOL Time Warner triumvirate - is to use file sharing to start selling film downloads to consumers.

Peer to Peer, also known as P2P has been widely regarded as the biggest threat to the film industry but will now play a central role in Warner's legit alter ego to underground file sharing networks like Kazaa or Gnutella .

One by one, the studios have now accepted that ‘reasonably priced legal alternatives’ together with a wider distribution and better quality, might woo more customers and increase revenues.

After all, as Kevin Tsujihara, president of the Warner Bros, Home Entertainment Group, puts it, if the studios can convert even 10% of peer-to-peer users into legitimate users, this will pave the way to some long term sources of revenues.

Other TV channels such as Channel 4, ABC and Five have begun to offer free episodes of hit series like Lost or Prison break. Analysts expect television shows to be available for less than $1, which is what iPod users are paying for a single iTune song. But even some like Steve Bryant's do not buy into Warner Bros' sudden change of heart, calling it cheapo PR.

Laws of economics and nature, predict rightly that once an equilibrium price is reached - between what people can spend and what amount of risk they would take, piracy will stop to be a threat and will die by itself. The quicker that equilibrium point is reached, the better it will be for everyone.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.