Paramount releases film on BitTorrent

Paramount is set to debut its latest horror film for free on file sharing service BitTorrent, the popular application often linked to internet piracy.

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The Tunnel will be launched simultaneously on BitTorrent and a physical DVD that will include extra special features.

Paramount hopes the BitTorrent distribution will build enough interest for fans to buy the extended DVD version.

The film’s producer and editor Enzo Tedeschi says he is impressed with how “forward-thinking” Paramount has been on the project.

He adds: “From day one we’ve maintained that The Tunnel is not supporting or condoning piracy, but instead trying to incorporate a legitimate use of peer-to-peer in our distribution strategy internationally.”

The film industry has been involved in several high-profile lawsuits, suing file-sharers using sites such as BitTorrent for copyright violation. Offenders can be ordered pay fines of tens of thousands of pounds if found guilty.

The Tunnel’s website says that the producers believe that if the film industry stops fighting peer to peer networks, they could become the “biggest revolution” in terms of the way entertainment and information is shared.

The film was originally funded by selling individual still frames for $1 (£0.61p) each. The Tunnel has 135,000 frames in total and so far the film makers have sold 30,000.

The Tunnel is due for global release on 19 May but will not be shown in cinemas.

Ofcom is currently reviewing the UK’s Digital Economy Act, the Government’s measures to restrict copyright infringement. Ofcom will soon introduce a mass notification system to tackle the most illegal file sharing.

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